Herbal Interests // DIY Floral + Beeswax Air Fresheners
You're going to laugh at me, I think, when you see this project. We all have project fails, right? Well, after everything that has been happening around here, I literally tried to finish this project up yesterday and just decided to say, "It's good enough..." which is not proper blog etiquette. Another great thing about messing up with beeswax is that you really can't mess up at all. You'll see what I am talking about as we go along! Please make sure you read the full tutorial before you begin this project. You've been forewarned.
Over a month ago, I purchased a bouquet, that I was able to arrange myself, at the farmer's market in Iowa City. I chose some different stems that looked more like wildflowers, along with a giant sunflower, and it sat in the window for a little over two weeks. Once it began to wilt, I knew it was time for the garbage, which made me sad. I really wanted to preserve those flowers! It seemed like such a waste to set them in a vase and then throw them away. So, I saved the ones that were still decent looking (next time I'll try to save them all!) and pressed them into some heavy books between wax paper. But I wasn't sure what to do with them... so many thoughts went through my mind, but I thought that making a natural air freshener may be the best bet!
- Dried or fresh flowers
- Essential oil (rose, lavender, or sandalwood would work well!)
- Double boiler
- Wooden stick (for stirring)
- Cookie cutters or soap molds
- Cookie sheet
- Wax paper
- Heavy twine
Okay, so here's the funny part no. 1... I wanted to use soap molds. They would have been pretty, easy to use, and little to no mess. But I am also a cheapskate and a little sick of driving 30+ minutes to Iowa City to run to a Michael's. So I thought, "Hey! Cookie cutters would totally work!" Alas, we only own Christmas themed cookie cutters. Christmas in July, er, August, anyone? I tried to pick out the most natural and plantlike looking ones of the bunch, not the fat Santa or little reindeer. We also had these little teapot themed cookie cutters as well. I made what I had work! Here's how to make the air fresheners:
- Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Place your cookie cutters along the wax paper. In each cookie cutter or soap mold, arrange your flowers of choice. This will be the side that the flowers are most exposed on, or the front. Along with my dried flowers, I also sprinkled some dried lavender for added scent.
- In a double boiler (or, if you're cheap like me, two pots made into a makeshift double boiler) heat the beeswax. How much beeswax you will need depends on how many molds you are planning to make. The above molds required about 3/4 lb of beeswax. While the beeswax is melting, pour in a little essential oil of choice. Stir occasionally until it is all melted.
- Bring the melted wax over to the molds and pour it in, covering the flowers. After you have filled each mold to where you want it, cover with any extra flowers you have. Let the molds settle a bit.
- When they have settled, place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. While you are waiting for your molds to harden, you can clean up your mess, have a cup of tea, and then completely forget the molds are even in your freezer because you've started watching Little House on the Prairie even though you hate that show.
- When you realize your molds are in the freezer, pull those bad boys out and pop them out of the soap molds or cookie cutters. I found it worked best if I pulled the edges of the cookie cutters away from the wax. They popped right out without breaking. Beeswax is pretty flexible, so I doubt you could break them unless you were being really rough!
- Using a skewer or some sort of metal rod, heat it up with a lighter or on the stove and poke a hole through a spot on the freshener. After letting it cool, thread some twine through the hole. Ta-da!
As you can see... this is where I thought I messed up. As soon as I poured the wax, it began to ooze out from underneath the molds!! I began freaking out thinking I had just wasted almost an entire pound of beeswax. However, within a couple of seconds, the wax that had remained inside the cutters solidified up, and I was able to fill them up to the top. As for the wax that landed around the molds, well, it can be reused! This is why the wax paper is so important. The wax peeled right off, and I put the remnants back in their wax pot to be used another time. So, really, there was no mess up at all.
These look so lovely! And smell even better. Overall, it only took about an hour to make them, and they are so worth it. They'll last a long time. I've hung them around the house, and it is smelling so nice. I used lavender essential oil. Though it is still late summer, these would be a great Christmas gift and so lovely if scented with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, and cloves. Mmmm (: