Wednesday, May 25, 2011


A Step-By-Step Tutorial

Always cover your workspace to prevent staining and to simplify cleanup. Here, we have covered it with a sheet of parchment paper.

Gather your materials – air freshener blanks, fragrance oil, rubber stamps, stamp pad(s), coloring materials (colored pencils were used here, but fine-tipped markers also work well), brush to apply fragrance

Start by selecting a blank. Here, we’ve used an oval because it would accommodate the tall, thin tulip stamp we wanted to use.

Choose a rubber stamp that will fit your shape. Be sure that your stamp pad and markers are compatible with the fragrance oil you’ve chosen before starting. Pigment stamp pads that are marked as being permanent for use on fabric generally give excellent results. We’ve chosen to stamp the outline in black, but you can use whatever color you like. Any type of rubber stamp will work, but the clear acrylic cling type is easy to use, because you can see exactly where the stamped image will appear on the shape – no guessing involved like there is with the wood block type.

Carefully ink the stamp, making sure that all raised surfaces are completely inked.

Turn the stamp inked side down, line it up on the air freshener blank, and stamp the blank. Be sure that you don’t move the stamp, to avoid a double impression on the blank.

Remove stamp and allow the stamped image to dry completely. (Tip – if you are making multiple air fresheners with the same stamp, line them up and stamp each one, reinking each time. By the time you stamp the last one, the first one should be dry and ready to color in.) Older kids and teens can also have fun coloring these!

Now use the colored pencils (or markers) to color in the image you’ve just stamped.

Here, we used two shades of green for the stem and leaves and two shades of pink to color the tulip. This took less than a minute to color in.

Punch your hang hole, since it will be more difficult (and messier!) to do it after fragrance is applied.

When selecting fragrance oil, keep in mind that the blank will pick up the color of the fragrance. Here, the pale yellow color of the fragrance oil works well with the pinks and greens – it definitely would not have been as attractive with a brown background! Apply your fragrance with an inexpensive brush or disposable pipette.

Here’s the finished air freshener, ready for a hanger and packaging! Your creativity is limited only by the selection of rubber stamps available, and custom rubber stamps are easy and inexpensive to order online. School or organization logos can be stamped on for fundraising, or stamp with your company logo and give to customers with their orders.

Monday, May 9, 2011


A Step-By-Step Tutorial

Always cover your workspace to prevent staining and to simplify cleanup. Here, we have covered it with a sheet of parchment paper.

Gather your materials – air freshener blanks, fragrance oil, liquid candle dye (BC Coffee / Caramel liquid was used here), brush and or a fragrance oil dropper, mixing container

Weigh or measure out your fragrance oil into the mixing container. Here, we used ½ ounce by weight, which will be enough for approximately five air fresheners.

Carefully add liquid candle dye to the fragrance oil. The amount needed will depend on the desired level of color – here, we have added less than a drop by dipping the tip of a metal skewer into the dye and shaking off the excess back into the bottle. This fragrance oil was already a dark color, so very little dye was needed. If your chosen fragrance is clear or lighter colored, you will need more dye. To achieve even a very dark shade, you will not need to add more than 1-2 drops per ounce of fragrance oil. Take careful notes of how much fragrance and color you use, so you can duplicate the exact shade in the future!

Apply the dyed fragrance oil to the air freshener blank. The two easiest and least messy ways to do so are by brushing it on with an inexpensive wide paintbrush, and dotting it on with a fragrance oil dropper. Don’t worry about getting the layer of fragrance perfectly even – the material will distribute the liquid evenly over a period of a few minutes. Most shapes will accept approximately 1/10 of an ounce of liquid, depending on their size, and if you apply more than it will absorb, simply blot the excess with another blank.

Here is the finished air freshener, with fragrance lightly dyed and brushed on. This gives the same basic look as dying them with tea or coffee, but with the convenience and speed of a single step!

A slightly more mottled effect can be achieved by adding more dye, then drizzling it on with a dropper. The fragrance/dye mixture will spread out, but slightly darker patches will remain in the spots where it was applied.

Here is the finished air freshener, after adding more dye and applying with a dropper.

And here is the range of looks you can achieve with this technique – not just on prim shapes, but also on other shapes and using different colors of dye. From left to right, a fresh blank, the lightly dyed and brushed air freshener, and the more deeply dyed and droppered air freshener.