DIY Diffuser Jewellery
I love essential oils. I have my favourites, those scents that always seem to get top billing in my office diffuser, my beauty products, perfumes, toothpaste, soaps and salves. I use them so often, in fact, that certain essential oils have become interlaced with my memories and emotions. It doesn't matter where I am, or what I'm doing, if I catch a whiff of lavender, pepperment and lemon, it instantly takes me back to my daughter as a tiny wrinkly crying ball in ginormous cloth diapers, and my heart instantly swells (think of the Grinch, only swellier).
There is something to be said about the power of essential oils. Whether or not you believe in their potential healing abilities, there is a ton of scientific evidence that links scents to memories, feelings, and motivations. Ever heard that men love women who smell like pumpkin pie? Weird, but apparently true! We are driven by our noses: to avoid potentially dangerous situations, to be drawn into potentially delicious ones, and even to relax in comforting ones.
A few Christmases ago, my husband bought me a diffuser necklace. It's a lovely silver filigree ball on a chain. The ball is actually a little hinged case that opens to reveal a tiny fragrance pad. I just dab a little essential oil on it and let the oil's therapeutic power do its thing. I love it. I wear it every chance I get, and if you’ve seen me wear it, then you may have noticed my potentially annoying habit of holding the diffuser charm up to my nose and smelling it. I probably look certifiable while I do it, but those essential oils smell too good to care! I love that pendant. I use different oils depending on my mood. When I fly, I use lavender to calm me. When I’m tired, I pop in some lemon, or orange to jazz me up. When it’s date night, I may put in a little patchouli or sandalwood, just so I can feel more exotic while I’m chomping down on a taco at some dive where my Birkenstocks stick to the beer-soaked floor.
The cool thing about it is that it's like having my own portable diffuser. I just pop in some oil, and the warmth of my body warms up the oil and releases its scent. Sort of like having a secret, only much better smelling!
Diffuser jewellery doesn’t have to look like you’re wearing a pine tree air freshener around your neck. In fact, they can be super discreet and pretty stylish. Most people don't even realize I'm wearing one! (I like to keep a little mystery in my life, after all.)
Here are two ridiculously easy DIY projects that you can whip up, make your own, and then add a drop or two of essential oil and sniff to your heart's content (disclaimer: I cannot personally be held responsible for any strange looks received while publicly smelling said DIY diffusers). And while you can certainly buy diffuser jewellery, making it yourself can be super satisfying, too!
Diffuser jewellery two ways:
The diffuser pendant
Diffuser pendants are great. They are usually a metal cage, or pretty filigree locket that opens up to hold a little fragrance pad. You can buy them, sure, but they are also really easy to make yourself and take zero time. In fact, you can go to the store (or order online, which involves no actual movement at all), pick up a little filigree locket, a chain, and some essential oils, and you're already almost done!
Instead of purchasing a fragrance pad, I thought it would be pretty cool to use something most people have at home. Cork! So I grabbed a serrated knife and carefully sliced my cork into thin little discs.
Then I popped it into my pendant, added a few drops of essential oil to the cork piece, and bam! Done. If your pendant is too small for a whole disc, just cut up the cork accordingly. It’s easy, biodegradable, and a great solution for those corks that otherwise get tossed out!
The air dry clay diffuser bead
Did you ever make salt dough ornaments when you were a kid? They were fun, right? This is the same principle, only there's no baking involved, or salt, but that's not the point. Air dry clay is easy and takes only three ingredients, which you probably already have in your pantry. Once you have the clay made you can roll it into beads, and then string away! Just keep in mind: you can’t get the beads wet! Think of them like Gremlins. If they come in contact with water, chaos will reign and they might make a whole movie about your horrors…okay, maybe not that bad, but the beads will crumble and weaken. If you get splashed, don’t cry, you should be good. Just don’t wear the bracelet to the beach, or to wash a thousand dirty dishes (and who needs a better excuse than that, really!?)
Air Dry Clay Beads
¼ cup baking soda
1/8 cup cornstarch
scant ¼ cup water
Put all three ingredients in small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.
The mixture will start to thicken pretty fast. Continue stirring until mixture is a rough ball.
Turn out onto a cornstarch sprinkled cutting board.
Allow to cool down a few minutes, then, with cornstarch covered hands, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic.
To make the beads:
Roll small amounts of the clay in your hands. Use a skewer or other sharp-ended implement to create a hole for beading.
If your dough seems a bit sticky while using, feel free to add more cornstarch and knead it into your dough as you go. Once your beads are completed, allow to air dry. Depending on the size of your beads, they may only need a few hours, or up to a few days, to firm up. (The seed beads I made took about 4 hours to completely harden).
The fun part is stringing your beads. For my bracelet, I used seed beads in shades of turquoise. I strung them on an elastic thread, and incorporated the air dry clay beads in groupings of 3 and 4, every 25-50 turquoise beads. I wanted the end result to be discreet and clean.
My final bracelet measures about 2 feet around, enough that I can have multiple wraps. But your final product is up to you! Use as many or as few beads as you want! Make them big and chunky or small and sweet. After you’ve strung the beads, dab a drop of essential oil on the clay ones and enjoy the benefits! Over time, your clay beads will yellow a bit from the oil and dirt and stuff, and if you want you can just swap them out for new beads.
How fun is that!?