Aroma beads can be used for numerous types of projects. One fun way to use aroma beads is to make your own tree ornaments. Just like making DIY car air fresheners, you can make scented ornaments that make your tree look and smell beautiful. This project is perfect if you have an artificial Christmas tree but miss that fresh real-tree smell. Even if you do opt for a real Christmas tree, these ornaments are great to use once the tree starts to lose its scent. Follow along as we make this super easy aroma bead project!
We start by making a batch of scented aroma beads. The aroma beads, fragrance and mica are added to a jar and left to cure. Once the fragrance has absorbed, the aroma beads are poured into metal cookie cutters and are baked in the oven. After baking, we will pop the shapes out of the mold and attach a string so the ornaments can hang. If you like, you can also decorate your tree ornaments with glitter to make them even prettier!
This project makes 12+ ornaments, depending on the size of your cookie cutters and how full you fill them. If you have leftover beads, you can leave them in the jar for future use, or place them in an organza bag or muslin sachet. Not only is this a pretty way to display your aroma beads, it will also help your home smell like the holidays all throughout the season.
Skill Level: Easy
Hands-On Time: 1-2 hours
Yield: 12+ ornaments (depends on size made)
Supplies & Ingredients
- Glass jar (32 oz or larger recommended)
- 12 oz Aroma Beads
- 1-2 oz Frasier Fir fragrance oil (or your preferred pine scent)
- Plastic pipette
- Micro scoop
- 4-6 micro scoops of Super Sparkle Mica
- Digital Scale
- Face mask (for working with mica)
- Metal cookie cutters (we used snowflake shapes)
- Baking sheet
- Wide-mouth funnel
- Parchment paper
- Glue such as hot glue
- Decorative string
- Optional: glitter and basic white school glue for decoration.
Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Aroma Beads
First, we need to start by prepping and soaking aroma beads for this project. Follow these simple steps to make aroma beads:
- Wearing a mask, add 4-6 micro scoops of Super Sparkle mica powder to your glass jar.
- Place the jar on the digital scale and tare it to zero. Then add 1 oz of Frasier Fir fragrance oil to the jar. We recommend that you weigh out the fragrance using your scale, but if you prefer, you can simply add approximately 1 oz to the jar without weighing it (as shown in the video). A plastic pipette is very helpful for transferring fragrance oil.
- Swirl the jar to combine the fragrance and mica. Place the jar back on the scale and tare the scale to zero again.
- Using a wide-mouth funnel, add 12 oz of aroma beads to the jar. If you don’t have a funnel, you can make one out of rolled paper.
- Place the lid on the jar securely, then shake the jar to distribute the fragrance oil onto the beads.
- Shake the jar again every few hours to help the fragrance absorb. The more you shake, the faster it will absorb. It may take 24 hours to 2 weeks for the fragrance to completely absorb. Read our tips for helping aroma beads absorb fragrance faster for more helpful information.
- After the fragrance has absorbed into the aroma beads, check that you like how strong it smells. If you prefer a stronger scent, add more fragrance to the jar and repeat the process of shaking it every few hours. It will generally take the same amount of time for the second round of fragrance oil to absorb into the beads. We recommend adding a small amount at a time until you achieve the scent you like, rather than adding a large amount of fragrance all at once.
- Once you like the scent of your aroma beads and the fragrance is fully absorbed, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place cookie cutters onto the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart from one another. Try to use cookie cutters that are somewhat similar in size, as smaller shapes will cook much faster than larger ones.
- Carefully scoop aroma beads into the cookie cutters on the baking sheet. Be sure to push the beads into all of the corners and details, and make sure the beads are evenly distributed. Aim to fill each cookie cutter to the same level.
- Bake the aroma bead shapes at 350 F for about 5 minutes, then check to see how they’re coming along. The beads will appear clear and glassy when they are melting. You can poke at the beads with a spoon or toothpick to check if they are sticking together. The edges and more intricate details will start to melt first, while the center will take the longest.
- Bake until the beads have adhered to one another. They should feel tacky and stay stuck together when you poke at them. This may take anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes of total baking time depending on the shape and size of your cookie cutters. (Note: If using different sized cookie cutters, you may need to remove the smaller shapes from the tray first, and allow the larger shapes to continue cooking longer).
- Remove the tray from the oven and let the shapes cool.
- When the cookie cutters are cool enough to handle, and the beads are firm when you touch them, the shapes can be removed from the cookie cutters. Avoid removing the shapes too soon, as this can warp them.
- Use a hot glue gun to attach a decorative string to each ornament so that it can hang.
- Optional: Use white school glue to draw designs on your ornaments, then dust them with glitter. Let the glue dry, then tap off the excess glitter onto a piece of paper. Clean glitter can be poured back into your glitter container for future use!
Tips for Storing Aroma Bead Ornaments
Aroma bead projects will start releasing fragrance as soon as they’re exposed to the air. If you have scented beads left over after making these ornaments, keep them sealed in the jar until you’re ready to use them.
Once your ornaments are baked and decorated, store them in a jar or mylar bag to keep them fresh until you’re ready to use them. We don’t recommend using a standard plastic bag, as the plastic still permits oxygen to pass through it. This means that over time, air fresheners stored in a regular plastic bag will lose their scent over time.
Baked aroma beads typically last 45 days or so. That means the scent in your ornaments should last through the whole holiday season. Please keep in mind that once baked, aroma beads may lose their scent faster than unbaked aroma beads. For an even longer-lasting air freshener, try placing some leftover aroma beads into an organza or muslin bag and placing it near your tree.
Have you tried this project? Tell us how it went in the comments below or share pictures of your ornaments with #MadeWithNorthWood!
NorthWood is not responsible for any products that you make with our supplies or recipes.