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
  • Print

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
  • Print

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
  • Print

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.

at_ribbontreediffuser

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.

at_rct_sprayingeo

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).at_rct_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.at_rct_beads
  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.at_rct_assembly
  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.at_rct_finishing
  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.at_rct_sprayingeo

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.

Essential Oil Transfer on Easter Eggs

Did you know you can use essential oils to transfer prints from a laser printer or copier onto fabric, wood, or other materials? This easy method is a lot of fun and opens up many possibilities for personalized gifts with a really neat effect! We decided to try this method when decorating Easter eggs, and it worked pretty well!

AT_EOTransferEasterEggs1

As you can see in the above picture, the transfer works better on the light colored eggs. `The egg right behind the bottle also has an ink transfer on it (green and red), but the darker background makes it more difficult to see.

AT_EOTransfer_EasterEggs_Step1

Start by gathering your materials. You will need an image, design, or text (about 1/2 inch to 2 inches in size works best for Easter eggs). Use a program like Microsoft Paint or Photoshop to lay out your words or design. For this process, dark, solid text and pictures work best, as the image will fade a bit during the transfer. This can lead to some really cool vintage or antiqued looks when finished but can appear too faded if you choose something with light colors or faint gradients. When you have the design looking how you want it, select the design, and use the program’s flip or rotate tools to flip the design horizontally so you have a mirror-image of the design. Print the design onto normal copier paper using a laser printer (or copy it on a toner-based copier). Note: Be certain your printer or copier uses toner. This method doesn’t work with inkjet or wax systems.

Other materials you will need include a hard-boiled egg, tape, a popsicle stick (or other hard, straight-edged object), a cotton swab, a small glass bowl (we used a shot glass), and orange essential oil.

AT_EOTransfer_EasterEggs_Step2

Cut out your design, leaving a little room for the tape. Place your design where you want it (face down so the ink touches the egg), and tape it to the egg. Because the surface of the egg isn’t flat, you will need to pinch and cut the paper as needed to get the ink to lay as flat as possible against the egg. This part of the process is a lot easier when working with materials that can lay flat like wood or fabric.

AT_EOTransfer_EasterEggs_Step3

Add a few drops of orange essential oil to your small glass bowl or shot glass. You only need a couple drops per design; so start with less, and add more as needed.

AT_EOTransfer_EasterEggs_Step4

Dip the cotton swab in the essential oil, and rub the oil onto the back of your design. Your design will show through the paper as you rub the oil on.

AT_EOTransfer_EasterEggs_Step5

Next, use the popsicle stick to rub completely over the back of the printed design. This presses the toner onto the egg, so you need to be fairly firm; but don’t press down so hard that you crack the egg or tear through the paper. Be certain to rub over all parts of the design. If you have a larger or more complicated design, you may want to apply oil over a small part of it, rub over that part to transfer it, and then move on to the next area to help prevent missing any part of the design.

AT_EOTransfer_EasterEggs_FinalResult

Once you are certain that you have firmly rubbed over the entire design (you can always try peeking under the paper or do a second coat of oil and rub again if you aren’t sure), remove the paper, and see your result.  If you missed an area, you may be able to re-position and tape the paper back to the egg and try again; but it is much easier to get it right the first time. Once it looks good, you can use a blow dryer to help the ink set. For the eggs, you can also just let the ink dry, but using a hot blow dryer really helps set the ink when you are doing an essential oil transfer on wood or fabric.

Essential Oil Transfer

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • A laser printer or copier (Be certain your printer or copier uses toner. This method doesn’t work with inkjet or wax systems.)
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Cotton swabs
  • Small glass bowl or Shot Glass
  • Orange essential oil
  • Popsicle stick or other straight-edged, rigid object
  • Blow dryer

Instructions:

  1. Use a program like Microsoft Paint or Photoshop to lay out your words or design. For this process, dark, solid text and pictures work best, as the image will fade a bit during the transfer. This can lead to some really cool vintage or antiqued looks when finished but can appear too faded if you choose something with light colors or faint gradients. When you have the design looking how you want it, select the design and use the program’s flip or rotate tools to flip the design horizontally so you have a mirror-image of the design. Print the design onto normal copier paper using a laser printer (or copy it on a toner-based copier).
  2. Place the print of the design over the egg (or other material) with the printed side against the egg (face-down). Use scotch or masking tape to hold the print in place. You may need to pinch or cut the paper to get the ink to lie as flat as possible against the surface of the egg.
  3. Place several drops of orange oil in a small glass bowl or shot glass (the amount you’ll need will depend on the size of the transfer). Start with a couple drops, and add more as needed.
  4. Dip a cotton swab into the orange oil, and then swab the oil over the back of the printed design a little at a time (the design will become visible through the paper as you swab the oil over it).
  5. Use a popsicle stick to rub completely over the back of the printed design. This presses the toner onto the egg, so you need to be fairly firm; but don’t press down so hard that you crack the egg or tear through the paper. Be certain to rub oil over all parts of the design. If you have a larger design, you may want to apply oil over a small part of it, rub over that part to transfer it to the egg, and then move on to the next area to help prevent missing any part of the design.
  6. Peek under the paper, or carefully peel back one corner or side of the design to ensure you didn’t miss transferring any part of it. If you did, carefully replace the paper in the same spot, and rub over the missing areas to transfer them. When finished, remove the paper and tape from the egg.
  7. Use a blow dryer on its hottest setting to blow hot air over the design to help fuse it onto the egg.

Extra Ideas:

  1. The things you can do with this method are virtually endless! Use this method to create personalized aprons, totes, gift tags, gift bags, stockings, game/play mats, t-shirts, ribbons, and whatever else you can think of!
  2. This method can also be used to transfer prints onto wood with some neat effects, as the transfer will transfer around the grain and texture of the wood.

Make & Take Class Idea: Essential Oil Milk Bath Fizzers

Have you tried hosting an essential oil spa night? A spa night is a fun and relaxing way to introduce your friends to essential oils. This spa night includes a make-and-take recipe that allows your friends to experience the essential oils again at home.

AT_FootBathFizzers1

Ideas for Teaching This Class

You can simply enjoy a foot bath as you sit and chat, or you can make it into an essential oil class. If you teach about essential oils, try to keep the lesson to around 15–20 minutes. Here are a few topics you can teach about:

Preparing for This Class

The idea behind this class is to allow your attendees to soak their feet in a milk bath while you teach a short lesson on essential oils or just sit and chat. Keep a Modern Essentials book close by in case you need to reference it to answer questions. After the footbath and short lesson, show your attendees how to make the milk bath fizzers with essential oils, and allow them time to make their own that they can take home with them.

For the footbath portion of the class, you will need to gather the following items:

  • Towels (any size will work)
  • Small foot basins
  • Prepared small Milk Bath Fizzers (see recipe below)

AT_FootBathFizzers2 Continue reading