Soft & Squishy Soap Jellies

Kids love how soft and squishy these soap jellies are! They are perfect for making bathtime and learning about hygiene fun. You may even want to try them out on yourself! They make a great sensory experience for all!

Soap Jellies

  • Servings: 12+
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin (about 2–3 small packets)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) distilled water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Castile Soap
  • 30 drops essential oil (lavender, melaleuca, lemon, orange, and peppermint are good options)
  • Body-safe soap coloring (optional) (a drop or two of blue tansy essential oil is a natural way to get a nice blue color)
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • Silicone mold or small soap mold
  • Small Spray Bottle of alcohol (optional)
  • 16 oz. PET Jar

Instructions:

  1. Place mold on a cutting board or cookie sheet or another flat, movable surface.
  2. Place water in a pan, and sprinkle the gelatin on the water. Allow gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes; then bring the water to a boil to dissolve the gelatin.
  3. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the castile soap, coloring, and essential oils. Stir gently until combined.
  4. Stir in the salt last. (Don’t skip this step! It makes a big difference!)
  5. Pour the mixture into your molds.
  6. You can get rid of air bubbles by spritzing the soap with a little alcohol from a small spray bottle.
  7. Place in the refrigerator until completely hardened.
  8. Store in a PET Jar in a cool, dry location (such as the refrigerator) for up to 1 week.

Mini Pumpkin & Apple Candles

These mini pumpkin and apple candles make cute autumn decorations that double as essential oil diffusers. You’ll also love the sound of a real fire crackling and snapping as the wooden wicks burn!

Pumpkin & Apple Candles

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Mini pumpkins, gourds, squash, or apples
  • Wooden candle wicks (these can be found on amazon.com)
  • Beeswax Pellets
  • Essential oils (see blend suggestions below)
  • Small autumn-shaped cookie cutters (optional)
  • Sharp paring knife and/or pumpkin-carving tools

Instructions:

  1. Melt 1/3 cup (25 g) of beeswax pellets in a microwave, or use a double boiler. A DIY double boiler can be made by placing a heat-proof glass measuring cup in a pan of water. Place the beeswax pellets in the measuring cup, and heat over medium heat.
  2. While the beeswax is melting, cut out a hole in the pumpkin, gourd, squash, or apple. We used small autumn-shaped cookie cutters to start the cutting process and give the holes some character. We found pumpkin-carving tools helpful for carving holes in the mini pumpkins.
  3. Once you have the holes cut out, set up the wood wicks inside, and cut to about 1/2″ (1 cm) above the pumpkin or apple. You’ll want to double up the wood wicks (2 per candle) for the best continuous flame.
  4. Once your wicks are cut, soak them in the melted beeswax for 5–10 minutes as you keep the beeswax hot.
  5. Pull out the candle wicks, and place them on a paper plate. Match up the pairs (according to size) and place them in the candle wick holders that came with the wicks. Then place them in the pumpkins/apples, and pack beeswax pellets around them to hold them in place and fill the holes.
  6. Add 15 drops of essential oil to each candle (see blend suggestions below). Then pour the melted beeswax into each candle until all have been filled.
  7. Allow candles to cool before using.

Essential Oil Blend Suggestions:

Pumpkin Spice:
6 drops cinnamon*
4 drops ginger
4 drops clove
2 drop cardamom
Autumn Zest:
6 drops orange
4 drops lemon
3 drops cinnamon*
3 drops clove
Spiced Cider:
6 drops orange
5 drops cinnamon*
3 drops ginger
Spicy Citrus:
4 drops orange
4 drops cinnamon*
3 drops lemon
2 drops bergamot
2 drops clove
Stress Less:
4 drops lemon
4 drops orange
4 drops clove
4 drops cedarwood
Holiday Glow:
3 drops cinnamon*
7 drops fir
5 drops orange

*Cassia can be used instead of cinnamon.
You can also use the essential oil autumn blends we used in our room sprays. Just double the recipes for use in the candles.

Safety Note: Make sure to keep an eye on these candles while they are burning or place them in a heat-proof (or candle-approved) glass container while burning.


Hunting Scent-Masking Spray

If you are a big hunter, you probably know that deer (and other game) have a stronger sense of smell than humans. In fact, a deer’s sense of smell is even greater than a dog’s sense of smell. So if you plan on hunting this season, give this scent-masking spray a try. This spray works best if you use an odorless carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil) and essential oils from plants that naturally grow in the area you will be in.

Hunting Scent-Masking Spray

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place essential oils and carrier oil in the spray bottle. Screw the lid on tight, and shake to combine. Let sit overnight to allow the essential oils to infuse the carrier oil.
  2. To use, spray all over skin, hair, clothes, etc., and rub in as much as possible. Reapply as necessary. It also never hurts to stay downwind of your game.

Essential Oil Recommendations:

Cedarwood, fir, pine, spruce, cypress, vetiver, juniper berry, anise, and fennel (anise attracts deer, and fennel has a similar scent to anise) or other woody-scented oils. Choose scents that are common to the area.

Notes:

  • The oils in this spray may stain clothing.
  • Because this spray is all oil, the trigger spray tops tend to work better than the misting spray tops.

Essential Oils for Cut Flowers

Who doesn’t love having decorative spring flowers to brighten their home? The only downside to bringing cut flowers inside is that they don’t seem to last very long. We have been experimenting with cut flowers, and we found that adding a drop of melaleuca to the water helps them last longer!

Useful tips when caring for cut flowers:

  • Cut the stems of the flowers at an angle. This allows the flower to soak up nutrients more easily.
  • Add a drop of melaleuca essential oil to a flower water mix (see recipe below). The melaleuca helps kill bacteria that leads to mold growth.
  • Use filtered water to reduce the amount of chlorine and other minerals or chemicals often found in tap water. These substances diminish plant health.
  • Change flower water and recut flower stems (just a tiny bit) every 2–3 days. A cut flower stem eventually seals up, preventing nutrient assimilation. So cutting the stems and adding more nutrients helps preserve the flowers.
  • Keep cut flowers away from direct heat and light (if possible).

Decorative Flower Vases

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Stir together sugar and melaleuca in a glass measuring cup.
  2. Add apple cider vinegar and filtered water. Mix well until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the water mixture to bottles or clear plastic tubes.
  4. Cut flower stems at an angle a little longer than the desired length. Arrange flowers in the bottles or tubes.
  5. Change flower water and cut stems just a little bit every 2–3 days.

Extra Ideas:

  • Clear plastic tubes make great single flower vases. You can easily decorate them by gluing ribbon, buttons, or other items to the outside.
  • If you are using cut flowers for an event—essential oil class, wedding reception, or party—you may want to use a floral essential oil instead of melaleuca to enhance the scent of your decoration. Then, when you are ready to display your flowers elsewhere (after 2+ days), add melaleuca essential oil to the replacement water. Some floral oils include lavender, ylang ylang, geranium, clary sage, Roman chamomile, jasmine, and rose.

Flower arrangements in glass bottles or clear plastic tubes make great centerpieces and decorations for essential oil classes!

An Essential Oil-Filled Easter

Easter has become a commercialized holiday, often involving candy-filled, plastic eggs. Many parents don’t want so much candy but still want a fun and meaningful Easter. If that’s you, take a look at these ideas for a healthier holiday!

Easter Eggs and Easter Baskets

Easter Food

Try some of these delicious dishes for your Easter dinner:

Try making these dessert recipes into Easter-egg shapes for a fun treat:

Easter Egg Decor

This holiday project makes a great Easter decoration: Essential Oil Transfer on Easter Eggs.

These candles are a fun family project, and they make a beautiful Easter centerpiece!

Easter Egg Beeswax Candles

  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Supplies:

  • Awl/Knife
  • Eggs
  • White Vinegar
  • Boiling Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Beeswax Pellets
  • Essential Oil
  • Waxed Candle Wicks with Metal Base (available at most craft stores)

Instructions:

  1. Start by poking a tiny hole in the top of your egg with a sharp object, such as an awl or paring knife. Then carefully chip away the top of the egg until you have a nice, wide opening.
  2. Wash out the inside of the eggs and let them dry while preparing the dye.
  3. Combine 2 Tbsp. of white vinegar, 1 cup of boiling water, and 10–20 drops of your desired food coloring in a disposable paper or plastic cup (or other container that you don’t mind getting dye on). Submerge the eggs in the dye 1–20 minutes until you obtain your desired color.
  4. Let the eggs dry. We dried our eggs in the sun on bamboo skewers in a vase, as pictured to the right.
  5. While the eggs are drying, melt the beeswax in a double boiler on the stove. A heat-proof glass measuring cup in a pot of boiling water works great for this (and the measuring cup makes it easy to pour the beeswax later). You will need about 1 oz. of beeswax for each egg you make.
  6. Mix a few drops of essential oil into the melted beeswax (1–2 drops for each candle). If you want to vary the type of essential oil you use in each candle, you can add the essential oil after you pour the beeswax into the eggshells.
  7. Carefully pour the beeswax into the dried eggshells. Then place your wick in the middle of the eggshell and let the beeswax harden. You can put your egg candles back in the egg carton to stabilize them while you pour the beeswax and insert the wick.
  8. Once the beeswax has hardened completely, move your egg candles to egg cups or any decorative container that will hold them upright.
  9. Enjoy your beautiful Easter creation! These eggshell candles look great as a table centerpiece or on a mantle or shelf.

Applesauce Ornaments

This is a fun craft to do with the kids or to give as a gift. Decorate the tree with these homemade creations and make the house smell wonderful!

ornaments Continue reading

Class Idea: Ribbon Christmas Tree Diffusers

These Ribbon Christmas Tree Diffusers are simple to make and incredibly adorable! Hang one up in your car as a diffuser, on your Christmas tree as an ornament, or anywhere else you want to decorate and add a little holiday scent. Gifting one of these is also a great way to introduce a friend to essential oils.

Use This Craft in a Make & Take Class

These Ribbon Christmas Tree Diffusers also make a fun make-and-take project at an essential oil class! Just start with a short lesson about essential oils, and then mingle with your guests as they make their own Ribbon Christmas Tree Diffusers.

Here are the items you will need from AromaTools®:

Other items you’ll need to gather:

  • Printed instructions
  • Ribbon
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Beads
  • Thread or thin elastic string
  • Needles (want to make sure your string can fit through your needles.)
  • Clear fingernail polish (or other fray-stopping glue)
  • Essential oils (such as a Christmas blend or a few single essential oils that your guests can make their own blend with)
  • Distilled water

Depending on the number of people attending your class, you can set this up in the following stations:

  • Materials Station. This station should include various types of ribbon, rulers or another way to measure out the ribbon, scissors, and a variety of beads (you’ll need small beads to help tie off the string and larger beads to use as the tree trunk). Every ribbon tree requires 2 small beads and 10 larger beads. Make sure to include a list of materials needed.
  • Ribbon Tree Assembly Station(s). Have markers, rulers, elastic string, scissors, needles, and clear nail polish at this station with instructions for making the Ribbon Trees.
  • Essential Oil Station. This is where your guests can make their own essential oil spray. You’ll need the 15 ml spray bottles, vegetable glycerin, essential oils, and distilled water with instructions for making the sprays. If you have a holiday-scented essential oil blend, it would be easy to just offer that. If not, you can offer a few single essential oils and recipes for your guests to make their own holiday-scented blend. Here are a couple holiday blends you can try: Holiday Diffuser Blends, Citrus Spice Diffuser Blend, Autumn-Scented Essential Oil Blends.

Ribbon Christmas Tree Diffuser

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Ribbon Trees:

  • Ribbon
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • Beads
  • Thread or thin elastic string
  • Needles (make sure your string can fit through your needles)
  • Clear fingernail polish (or other fray-stopping glue)

Essential Oil Spray:

Instructions:

  1. Cut a piece of ribbon 19″ (48 cm) long. Use a marker to place a small dot in the center of the ribbon 2″ (5 cm) from one end of the ribbon to mark your starting point. From this point, make additional marks along the ribbon, spacing them apart at these increments: 2 3/4″ (7 cm), 2 1/2″ (6.5 cm), 2 1/4″ (6 cm), 2″ (5.5 cm), 1 3/4″ (5 cm), 1 1/2″ (4.5 cm), 1 1/4″ (4 cm), 1″ (3.5 cm), etc. (the spaces between the marks should gradually get smaller by a 1/4″ [.5 cm] as you move down the ribbon).
  2. Select your beads. You’ll need 2 small beads to secure the ends and 10 larger beads for the “trunk” of the tree.
  3. Cut a piece of thread/string about 30″ (76 cm) long (you’ll need about 10–12″ [25.5–30.5 cm] for the tree and extra for the loop at the top). Thread your needle, and tie the ends of the string together.
  4. Put your needle through the ribbon at the starting point (the mark 2″ [5 cm] from the end), then through a large bead, then through a small bead; continue threading around the small bead, back through the large bead, and back through the ribbon at the same mark. This secures the bottom of the tree. Now put the needle through another large bead, through the ribbon at the next mark, through another large bead, through the ribbon at the 3rd mark, and repeat until all the large beads are gone. After the last bead is threaded, put the needle through the small bead, then around the small bead, back through the large bead, and back through the last mark on the ribbon. Tie a knot, then go back up through the ribbon, large bead, and small bead. Tie another knot a 2–4″ (5–10 cm) above the tree (or however big you want your hanging loop to be), and cut the thread.
  5. Finish by cutting the ribbon ends to where you think it looks good, and apply clear nail polish or glue to the ends to help prevent fraying.
  6. Make an essential oil spray by placing 1/4 tsp. (1.5 ml) vegetable glycerin in the 15 ml bottle. Add 4–6 drops of essential oil. Fill the rest with distilled water, and screw on the spray top. Shake to combine.
  7. To use, spray your essential oil spray on the ribbon tree, and hang wherever you desire. Refresh the scent by spraying the tree again with more of the essential oil spray.

Scented Sidewalk Chalk

Do your kids love to play with chalk, but get their hands really messy while they are at it? You can cut down on the mess a bit by making your own chalk in deodorant containers. Homemade retractable chalk is easy to use and fun to play with! And since we love essential oils, we decided to make our chalk scented to enhance the sensory activity for the kids.

AT_ScentedSidewalkChalk2

To be honest, this project has had a couple of flops, but we kept great notes on our tests so you can learn from our mistakes.

The idea behind making the chalk is simple:

  1. Coat the deodorant containers with petroleum jelly so the chalk doesn’t stick to the container.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water with food coloring and essential oils.
  3. Add 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris to the cold water. Mix, then pour into the containers.
  4. Let sit until completely hardened (about 4 hours).
  5. Twist up and have fun!

AT_ScentedSidewalkChalk3

Now for the things we learned:

  • It is a good idea to coat the inside very thoroughly. You want every area of the inside to have a layer of petroleum jelly. We used about 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) of jelly per deodorant container.
  • Use disposable cups/utensils to create the mixture. Once this stuff hardens, it is a huge pain to get off dishes and utensils. And, honestly, it’s probably not a good idea to pour it down your drain.
  • To get a vibrant color, you will need a lot of food coloring/dye. The water will need to look pretty dark, because the white plaster of paris lightens the mixture quite a bit.
  • Plaster of paris can be harmful if inhaled, so be very careful about not creating dust. It is also a good idea to wear a dust mask and do the mixing and pouring outside where it is well ventilated. The mixture also gets pretty hot, so don’t touch it with your bare hands.
  • Once the plaster of paris and water mix, you don’t have a lot of time before it starts to harden. So work fast, and do only one deodorant container/color at a time. If you are doing multiple colors, you can do some prep work (coat the insides with petroleum jelly, color and scent the water), but don’t mix the plaster of paris with the water until you are ready to quickly mix and pour.
  • When pouring in the mixture, you may be tempted to stack it up on the top until it looks like it might overflow. Don’t do it. In fact, it is a good idea to only fill to just below the lip of the container so the chalk mixture has a little space to expand before reaching the top (and the end of the petroleum jelly coverage).
  • When trying to twist up the chalk initially, it will stick a little bit. First, squeeze the sides of the container to loosen the edges. Then, put your fingers on the inside of the twist dial on the bottom, and use the little groves inside as traction. Apply firm pressure as you twist, but be careful not to break the middle piece inside. Once the chalk is loosened initially, it should be easy to twist up and down like you normally would.

AT_ScentedSidewalkChalk_Twist

Hopefully we haven’t scared you away from doing this project now that you have read all of our notes and cautions. This really is an easy project, and the kids had a blast playing with the chalk once it was done.

You can also do this with lip balm containers for smaller sticks to use on chalkboards. In fact, you should have a little mixture left over in your disposable cup so that you can fill 1 large deodorant container and a few lip balm containers with the recipe below.

AT_ScentedSidewalkChalk1

Scented Sidewalk Chalk

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Deodorant Container (and a few Lip Balm Dispensers, if desired)
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) petroleum jelly (per deodorant container)
  • 1 disposable cup and plastic fork (per color)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water (per deodorant container)
  • 5–10 drops essential oil (per deodorant container)
  • Food coloring (you can also use liquid watercolors or tempura paint)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris (per deodorant container)

Instructions:

  1. Coat the inside of the deodorant container with petroleum jelly. Be very generous, and make sure to apply the jelly everywhere inside, especially the bottom. We used about 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) or more of petroleum jelly per deodorant container. It might help to twist up the bottom piece so you can thoroughly coat it, then lower it back down to coat the sides and middle piece.
  2. Next, pour the cold water into a disposable cup, and add the food coloring and essential oils. It is fun to coordinate the scent of the essential oil with the color of the chalk (e.g., lemon essential oil for yellow chalk, orange essential oil for orange chalk, peppermint essential oil for green or blue chalk, etc.). If you are attempting to do multiple colors and deodorant containers, do steps 1–2 in bulk, but do the rest of the steps for only one container at a time.
  3. Note: If you have a dust mask, put it on for this step. Also, move the project outdoors to finish so you are in a well-ventilated area. Very gently, spoon out 1/2 cup (100 g) of plaster of paris, and add it to the cold water solution. Be very careful not to create dust or inhale any dust. Once the plaster of paris and cold water mix, it will get hot—so don’t touch it with your bare hands until it hardens.
  4. Using a plastic fork, stir the mixture until it is well combined and the color is thoroughly mixed in. You can still add food coloring at this stage, but be quick; you really don’t have a lot of time before it starts to harden.
  5. Pour the chalk mixture into the deodorant container until just below the lip.
  6. Let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours to harden completely.
  7. Once hardened, squeeze the sides of the container to help loosen the chalk. Then put your fingers on the inside of the twist dial on the bottom of the container, and use the inside grooves as traction. Apply firm pressure as you twist, but be careful not to break the middle piece inside. Once the chalk is loosened initially, it should be easy to twist up and down like you normally would.
  8. To use, twist up and get creative!


Update 4/19/17: We now sell these round twist up containers that would work well for this project.

Keep Your Kids Entertained with This Fun Craft!

Make your own beeswax yarn strips for a fun sensory activity for your children. These strips are fun to bend into shapes to create a picture or sculpture. They also make a great quiet activity to take with you on the go.

Yarn-Art

Flexible Beeswax Yarn Art

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (144 g) beeswax pellets
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) jojoba oil
  • Crock pot
  • Colored yarn

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a small crock pot or double boiler.
  2. Once the wax is melted, add the jojoba oil.
  3. Cut your yarn to the desired length (9 inches [23 cm] is a good starting point).
  4. Add the yarn to the melted beeswax-jojoba mixture.
  5. Once the yarn is completely covered in wax, remove the yarn from the crock pot using a toothpick or bamboo skewer, and lay out in individual strips to dry. (We laid our strips on a plastic grocery bag.)
  6. Once the wax dries, have fun creating pictures and sculptures with your waxed yarn strips!

Extra Idea:

If desired, you can add essential oil to the wax mixture for an additional sensory experience. Start with 2–4 drops, and then add more depending on your preference for scent.

Simply Natural Lip Balm

Treat your lips right with this natural essential oil lip balm. The lip balm includes only all-natural ingredients and will leave your lips feeling soft and refreshed!

Simply Natural Lip Balm

  • Servings: 8–12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place beeswax pellets and cocoa butter in a heat-proof glass measuring cup.
  2. Melt the oils in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan filled with an inch of simmering water (creating a double boiler). Heat until completely melted.
  3. Add jojoba oil to the melted oils, and continue to heat until all the oil is incorporated.
  4. Allow to cool for a minute, and then stir in essential oils.
  5. Pour the mixture into your lip balm containers of choice. You may find it easier to use a small dropper or small funnel to transfer the mixture into the small containers without spilling on the side.
  6. Allow mixture to cool and solidify before using.

Extra Idea:

Create fun labels for your lip balm creations using our 2″ x 4″ Blank White Labels. Set up your labels so that two labels fit side-by-side on each 2″ x 4″ label; then cut the label in half after printing so that you have two labels that each measure 2″ x 2″. This size fits perfectly on our White Lip Balm Dispensers. Our .5″ x 1.75″ Blank White Labels also fit perfectly on our 1/4 oz. Lip Gloss Containers.