I didn’t set out to make these homemade air fresheners. I was actually starting to work on Christmas decorations when this idea came to life.
Yeah, you read that right, I am a certain kinda of special when it comes to planning for Christmas.
They were so pretty when I unmolded them that I started thinking of ways I could use them outside of the holiday season.
A few tests later and I had all my closets and dresser drawers filled with homemade air fresheners.
Funny how things work out sometimes.
How to make plaster air fresheners – a simple step by step
I made one a few weeks back to test the staying power of the essential oils. In my first test, I added bergamot and grapefruit essential oils to the plaster prior to pouring into the mold. I love the smell of bergamot and it pairs so well with grapefruit.
The essential oils held up for almost 2 weeks, dwindling toward the end of the second week.
Recharging them by dropping the oils on the surface also lasted for about two weeks. Your mileage may vary here. The citrus scents will wear off faster than floral, or spice. I found the grapefruit wore off after a few days but the bergamot stayed strong for almost two full weeks.
These air fresheners are not overpowering, or super strong. If you want them really strong, add more essential oils and or add more to the surface after they have cured to double down on the scent.
I also tested one with my perfume to add to my dresser drawers. That one, that one is STILL going strong and it’s been 3 weeks. It could be that the area is smaller so the scent gets trapped, but it is absolutely beautiful to open up the drawer and get a whiff of perfume.
Perfect to Scent an Artificial Christmas Tree
Just a quick edit, I recently tested these with pine essential oils and I can tell you that the scent lasted a long time and a little went a long way! If you are planning on making a few for your artificial Christmas tree, go easy with the drops of pine essential oil.
20 drops of pine essential oil are plenty to add to the mix, and you can always recharge your air fresheners by adding drops to the surface when the scent fades.
Tools & Supplies
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My last few DIY projects were a bit involved, and frustrating! It was nice to pull this one together over the course of a day and have it work as intended without any fuss.
These are not at all hard to make and you can use any mold you want in any design that you like. All you need is a box of plaster of Paris and a mold and a few simple materials to pull it all together.
Step 1: Mixing Your Plaster of Paris for Your Homemade Air Fresheners
When mixing your plaster of Paris, wear a particle mask, eye protection, and gloves. Read the manufacturers instructions and follow their recommendations.
My heart mold is a bit on the large side. The cavity holds a cup and a half of liquid.
To fill my molds I used 2 parts of plaster of Paris and one part water. I also added 40 drops of essential oils, 20 of my bergamot and 20 of my grapefruit. The whole kitchen smelled amazing!
I used a small plastic cup and an old spoon to mix it up. The plaster mixes in quickly and you want to work quickly.
I did stir for at least a minute to make sure it was well mixed and didn’t have any lumps. You also want to make sure that you mix well enough so you get a reaction. My first one never cured, it pooled water on the top and stayed crumbly. My second one was perfect, the only thing I did differently was stir for a full minute.
DO NOT rinse your cups or spoons in the sink. You could have it cure in your pipes and cause a blockage. If you want to reuse the cups wait until the plaster sets inside the cup and just chip it out and add the chips of hard plaster to the waste bin.
Step 2: Pouring the Plaster and Preventing Bubbles
Pour half in your mold. My mold does not sit level on a table, so I leveled it out by using a bowl. After I poured in half of my plaster of Paris, I gave it a good tap about 10 times to remove as many air bubbles as I could.
In the photo below you can see the one on the right has multiple air bubbles and the one on the left that was tapped a few times has none.
Tapping doesn’t guarantee a perfect surface, but it does help. I only had 2 of the 12 that I made end up with bubbles. The remaining 10 were very smooth and perfect.
Step 3: Final Pour and Curing Time
Pour the remaining plaster of Paris from your cup. Give the mold a few last taps to level out the surface of the plaster.
Setting only takes 30 minutes, and a full cure only 24 hours.
I was pleasantly surprised by the scent of the essential oils. Even after the plaster cured, the scent was quite strong. It did lose strength after a day, but the scent filled and stayed inside my closet for almost two weeks. Every time I opened the closet I could smell the bergamot quite clearly.
Step 4: Adding Ribbon to your Homemade Air Fresheners
Once you are sure your plaster of Paris is dry, you can drill your hole.
Use a 1/4 inch drill bit to create a hole. Go slow, you don’t want your plaster to crack!
Sweet Vintage Looking Homemade Air Fresheners
Add your ribbon and hang them in a room you want to add scent. The larger the room the weaker the scent will be. In a very small room or small space, they work perfectly. Think closets, dresser drawers, and cabinets.
I can see them at Christmas time adorning a tree, or hanging on door handles scented with pine or cinnamon!
These would make great DIY gifts too and can be personalized by finding the right mold. We even have a set of gift tags and product wraps you can download to add to all your handcrafted goodies.