These cute little hand and foot warmers are easy to make and a good way to use up fabric scraps. If you don’t have any fabric scraps, you can pick up the last bits from a roll at a fabric store for very little money.
Not only can these warm up your hands and feet, but if you add essential oils, you can turn them into personal diffusers and customize the scent according to your needs.
Try gifting the hand and foot warmers along with a small sample bottle of oil for refreshing the scent.
Sew a 1 1/2″ x 2″ (3 3/4 × 5 cm) piece of fleece to the center of one of the fleece squares to make a little pocket. You’ll want to attach it to the square on three sides and leave one side open (you’ll be inserting the small aroma pad in this pocket to customize your scent).
Now take another fleece square that is the same size as the one you sewed the pocket to, and put them together with the pocket side on the outside. Sew these squares together on 3 sides (leave one side open). Note: when you start or end sewing, reverse directions after 10 stitches or so to reinforce the area and prevent it from coming unstitched.
Fill the fleece warmer with rice or whole flax seeds (until 2/3 full—leave enough space to sew the remaining side without rice getting in the way). Add 3–5 drops essential oil to the rice or whole flax seeds (optional, but this helps cover the musty scent of the rice).
Once the rice or whole flax seeds are in, sew up the remaining side.
To use, simply pop your warmers in the microwave for 30 seconds or until pretty warm (but not hot!). Add a few drops of essential oil to the aroma pad, and place it in the little fleece pocket. Use to keep your hands or feet warm by holding them or placing them in mittens or socks. They should stay warm for about 15–20 minutes.
Use pinking shears to cut your squares to give them a decorative finish.
If you don’t want to sew a pocket for the aroma pad, you can always add your 3–5 drops of essential oil to the rice, then add additional scent directly to the fleece (just avoid citrus essential oils if putting oil directly on the fleece).
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!
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.
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.
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.
Once your wicks are cut, soak them in the melted beeswax for 5–10 minutes as you keep the beeswax hot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Stir together sugar and melaleuca in a glass measuring cup.
Add apple cider vinegar and filtered water. Mix well until sugar is dissolved.
Add the water mixture to bottles or clear plastic tubes.
Cut flower stems at an angle a little longer than the desired length. Arrange flowers in the bottles or tubes.
Change flower water and cut stems just a little bit every 2–3 days.
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!
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
Fill Easter eggs with small food items such as nuts, berries, dates, raisins, dried fruits, or cereal.
Waxed Candle Wicks with Metal Base (available at most craft stores)
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.
Wash out the inside of the eggs and let them dry while preparing the dye.
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.
Let the eggs dry. We dried our eggs in the sun on bamboo skewers in a vase, as pictured to the right.
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.
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.
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.
Once the beeswax has hardened completely, move your egg candles to egg cups or any decorative container that will hold them upright.
Enjoy your beautiful Easter creation! These eggshell candles look great as a table centerpiece or on a mantle or shelf.
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®:
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)
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.
4–6 drops essential oil (a holiday-scented blend works great!)
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).
Select your beads. You’ll need 2 small beads to secure the ends and 10 larger beads for the “trunk” of the tree.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Coat the deodorant containers with petroleum jelly so the chalk doesn’t stick to the container.
Mix 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water with food coloring and essential oils.
Add 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris to the cold water. Mix, then pour into the containers.
Let sit until completely hardened (about 4 hours).
Twist up and have fun!
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.
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.
Food coloring (you can also use liquid watercolors or tempura paint)
1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris (per deodorant container)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pour the chalk mixture into the deodorant container until just below the lip.
Let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours to harden completely.
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.
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.
Melt the beeswax in a small crock pot or double boiler.
Once the wax is melted, add the jojoba oil.
Cut your yarn to the desired length (9 inches [23 cm] is a good starting point).
Add the yarn to the melted beeswax-jojoba mixture.
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.)
Once the wax dries, have fun creating pictures and sculptures with your waxed yarn strips!
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.