Making Car Air Fresheners

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 555 Posts
June 2, 2015

Car Air FreshenerA cute and simple project that kids can make for dad for Father's Day. A car or office air freshener!


Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 a styrofoam plate (found under fruits/foods at the grocer)
  • 1 ft cord
  • a small piece of felt
  • some sort of scent dad likes: essential oils (pine, eucalyptus, rosemary all smell great) or even some of his cologne!
  • 1 scissors
Car Air Freshener


  1. Cut a rectangle out of the Styrofoam.
  2. Car Air Freshener
  3. Fold it in half to shape it into a triangle with like sides.
  4. Car Air Freshener
  5. Punch a hole through the top of each triangle (one at a time).
  6. Car Air Freshener

  7. Cut your piece of felt or cloth a little smaller than the Styrofoam triangles and punch a hole in the top of that as well.
  8. Car Air Freshener
  9. A parent should oversee this part. Carefully pour a tiny amount of cologne or essential oil onto the felt. You may add olive oil if you want to extend the scent's lasting ability, but be careful not to pour/spill on any of these products! I placed the felt over the open oil and carefully turned it upside down while pressing on the bottle to limit how much came out at once.
  10. Car Air Freshener

  11. Sandwich the felt in between the two Styrofoam triangles.
  12. Thread the cord through all three triangles (the two Stryfoam and the felt piece).
  13. Car Air Freshener
  14. That keeps the freshener dry to the touch on the outside while hanging.
  15. Tie the loose end of the cord and present to dad to hang in his office, closet or vehicle!
  16. Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there!

Note: You may want to design your freshener in the shape of a ball, fish or other hobby of dads. I just thought the triangle looked pretty cool and was simple for young hands!

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
August 4, 2010

I like the candle scent so much I am going to take a melon ball thing and take round things out of this scent, flatten them, and put them under the car seats where the dogs can't get at them.

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March 4, 2005

Cut a piece of fun foam into desired shape. You can draw it, or use cookie cutters to trace around. Cut the shape out. Paper edging scissors are fun to use!


Take a drop or two of essential oil or fragrance oil (from the craft store or a health food store) and rub it on with your finger.

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July 1, 2004

I am allergic to a lot, and with my pregnancy, smells drive me crazy, even ones that make life a bit more pleasant, like air fresheners in cars. I don't normally smell them but they are needed due to occasional trips with the dog.

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15 Questions

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May 7, 2008

Did anyone ever get the recipe for the gel looking, cookie cutter shaped air fresheners being sold at craft fairs for 4.95 each with rope tied through top for hanging? I would like to make my own instead of buying and looking for them elsewhere. Hard to find.



By denise w (Guest Post)
May 21, 20080 found this helpful

Hi everyone. Just a little tidbit of info for all. I'm one of those crafters who make and sell those aroma beads. I just wanted to let you know that by the time you order the product, pay shipping. make the beads and package them 4.95 is a steal, but if you want a discount what would be better is to ask the seller for one if you buy say 3 and have a few friends go in on it.


I love this site and I love saving money, but some things its just easier to buy and by the way it costs about 2.75 for each auto air freshener to make and then the person has to pay for the booth. I go to festivals and sell my wares, and by the time I come home I paid for the day. A lot of us do it because we like to.

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By bambi (Guest Post)
November 20, 20080 found this helpful

I found some templates at a craft site they were hard like cardboard, but were made of some type of white paper bound together and you then put your own scent on them. I just wish I could remember where it was I ordered from.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
May 18, 20090 found this helpful

I simply take a fabric softener sheet and attach it to a vent in the car. My car always stays fresh smelling! Even my trucker husband does the same thing in his truck!

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May 21, 20091 found this helpful

Scented Gel Air Fresheners

What You Need:
2 c distilled water
Essential oil/fragrance
4 pkg unflavored gelatin
Empty jar(s)
Food coloring (optional)


Here's How:

Heat 1 cup of distilled water to boiling.
Stir in 4 packages of unflavored gelatin (e.g., Knox) until dissolved.
Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the other 1 cup water.
Add 10-20 drops of essential oil or other concentrated fragrance.
If desired, add food coloring to tint your gel.

You may also wish to add a mold inhibitor, such as 1-2 T salt
OR a small amount of potassium sorbate
OR a splash of vodka.

Pour the gel into clean baby food jars or other small, decorative containers.
The gel will set at room temperature, although you can place the air fresheners in
the refrigerator for a quick set (and scented fridge).

Decorate your jars as desired and enjoy!


This project requires heat, so adult supervision is required.

Feel free to scale the recipe up or down to make the amount of gel you need
(e.g., 1 cup water to 2 pkg gelatin).

If you wish, you can (carefully) dissolve gelatin in concentrated liquid potpourri
(no other ingredients needed) to make your air fresheners. Use a ratio of 1 cup liquid to
2 packages gelatin.

You can make multicolored gels by pouring a new color over one which has already
set up (like making a layered gelatin dessert).

You can get cute jars for about $0.44 at Wal-Mart in the craft department.

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January 18, 20100 found this helpful

I have found the true recipe for air freshener you were talking about!

Here is the link at which I found it:

Here is the recipe:
By: Fleur Forsythe
Making your own aroma beads air freshener is an easy and inexpensive craft project with many creative possibilities. Aroma beads air fresheners, which you can make in a variety of colors and fragrances, make lovely gifts or party favors, especially when presented in decorative glass containers, paired with fabric sachets, or molded into shapes. You can even sell them at craft fairs or fundraisers.

1. You can find the materials to make aroma beads air freshers any store that sells candle- and soap-making supplies as well as online. To make the aroma beads, buy clear plastic unscented aroma beads made especially for this purpose, also known as luminettes. The beads are designed to absorb fragrance oils and colored dyes---other kinds of plastic beads will not work. Purchase concentrated liquid candle dye to color your beads. Do not substitute food coloring or other dyes, such as fabric dye. You'll also need to pick up the fragrance oil---the kind used for candles or essential oil. Other supplies you might already have on hand include a covered glass or plastic container (large enough to hold a batch of beads), cookie cutters, and a cookie sheet, if you want to mold the beads into shapes.
Making the Beads

2. Reserve 2 to 3 tablespoons of fragrance oil for 1 cup of beads. This proportion is a good starting point; however, some oils (particularly essential oils) are more absorbent than others. Place the colored oil in your covered container and add a tiny drop of colored dye to the fragrance oil. You can use a toothpick dipped in the dye to retrieve the tiniest drop. Agitate the container to blend in the color. Add more color, in small increments, if you want a deeper shade. For clear beads, leave out the dye. Carefully pour the beads into the container. Cover and shake the container so that all of the beads are completely coated with oil. It will take between one and three days for the beads to absorb the oil. If you think you've used too much oil, add more beads. During the oil-absorption process, occasionally shake the container to keep the oil evenly distributed. The beads are finished when they are completely dry.
Molding Shapes

3. Mold the aroma beads into decorative shapes, such as animals, flowers, hearts, or holiday designs. Do this by placing cookie cutters on top of a cookie sheet and filling the cookie cutters with the beads. Bake the beads in a 200° oven for about 45 minutes. Make sure the beads are completely cool before removing them from the cookie cutters. Make these designs into hanging air fresheners by drilling a hole through the shape and attaching a decorative ribbon.

4. Keep aroma beads air fresheners away from children and pets. Aroma beads may also stain wood as well as painted or plastic surfaces. Keep aroma beads away from heat, as they can melt if exposed to temperatures as low as 150°. As with any craft project, don't use the same kitchen utensils for making aroma beads as you do for food preparation.

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May 12, 2005

I am looking for a recipe to make car airfresheners, they look like a gel, but they are hard but flexable. It is shaped like a foot and hangs on a string. If any one has a recipe for these I would really love to have one.

Linda from Danville


May 30, 20050 found this helpful

I found this on another website. Haven't tried it, but it seems like you could use cookie cutters to make the shapes you want. I don't know how the gelatin will hold up in a car. White glue is also flexible when it dries. I'm not sure how you could make that work, but maybe it will get your creative juices flowing.


The "Smelly Jelly" Answer

I have a recipe that my daughter gave me. They are inexpensive and fun to make. The name on the recipe was called Gel Air Freshener, but we changed the name to "Smelly Jelly."

Smelly Jelly

2 cups Concentrated Potpourri Liquid
4 envelops Knox gelatin
1 tablespoon salt (to deter molding)

Heat 1 cup potpourri until almost boiling. Remove from heat. Add 4 envelopes Knox Gelatin and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir until dissolved. Add remaining 1 cup potpourri. Pour into clean jars and allow to set. If in a hurry, lightly cover and refrigerate them to speed the process.

I add food coloring if I don't like the color. This can be put in a vase, and as it starts to set, place artificial flowers in the vase. The flowers seem to be real because they have a smell.

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By Quen (Guest Post)
January 18, 20060 found this helpful

What kind of molds do you use if you want to hang them in the car?

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April 8, 20060 found this helpful

you can buy the beads at or
just add scent and color an lay out on a cookie sheet use a lollipop stick to make the hole an voila .. all done depending on the size of the cookie sheet and cutter you can make up to 25 in 10 minutes

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November 8, 20070 found this helpful

Does the Smelly Jelly will make the cooler of the car air condition look like in the picture attached?

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By Ralph Bell (Guest Post)
April 8, 20080 found this helpful

What tpye of paper do they use for Car Air Fresheners that you hang on your rear-view mirror, and where can I buy it?

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Answer this Question

March 29, 2015

How do I make a wax gel freshener for the car?

By Virenn

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November 20, 2011

Can someone tell me how to make car perfume?

By Mahendra

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September 16, 2010

I need to know where to buy cardboard paper, or whatever it is, to make car fresheners. I don't mean the aroma beads. It looks like some sort of fiber paper, and I also need the directions to make them.

By margaret from Tyler, TX

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December 13, 2013

I am looking for plastic containers that I can place my scented gel into, that I make for candles and air fresheners, and be able to put them in the car as well. I would like to have something that would clip to the vents for maximum circulation! Any suggestions?

By Jayne H.

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April 17, 2019

A great way to reuse your prescription bottles is as a car air freshener. You can drill holes in the lid and put some scented oil on cotton balls inside it. This is a page about prescription bottle auto air freshener.

Closeup to prescription bottles.

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June 30, 2017

Make your own car air freshener from a sponge. This is a page about sponge car air freshener.

Sponge Car Air Freshener - hang on rear view mirror

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