Like the look (and smell!) of those cute hanging car air fresheners? Here’s how to make a car air freshener, one that has no toxic ingredients, that can be any shape and color that you want, and that emits your absolute favorite scent for your driving pleasure.
The secret to this project is wool felt. Wool felt is a little thicker and stiffer than recycled plastic felt, which means that it will hold a simple shape well without curling when it’s hung. Wool felt also comes in a ton of amazing colors, so you’ll have a LOT of options for your air freshener.
How to Make a Car Air Freshener from Felt and Essential Oils
1. Cut it out! Cut out a simple shape, about 4″ tall, from wool felt. I used my Cricut to cut out a basic tree shape (but not THAT tree shape!) from paper, and then used that as a template to cut the same shape from felt.
2. Make it smelly! Drop several drops of your favorite combination of essential oils right onto the wool shape. Essential oils are a natural source of scent, and you can always benefit from aromatherapy in your car–for instance, I always include peppermint essential oil in my mix of scents, both because I find it a comforting scent and because it helps keep me awake on long drives. You’ll want the scent to be too strong at first, because much of that will evaporate very quickly, so don’t be afraid to have a heavy hand with the oils.
You’ll also notice as you apply the oils that you can see them on the surface of the shape. Just set the wool shape aside for about a day, and the oils will soak into the middle of that nice, thick wool; you’ll no longer be able to see them on the surface, but if you press on the shape where you applied the oils, you’ll find that you still get a little oil on your finger. That’s the secret to how the air freshener is going to stay active for several weeks!
3. Hang it up! Using a small hole punch, punch a hole for hanging near the top of your shape. Thread a piece of twine through the hole and tie it into a loop; your car air freshener is now ready to hang. Don’t hang it on your rear view mirror, though, because I want you to be able to see to drive without something dangling in your face; a good place to hang a car air freshener is on one of the hooks in the back seat, those ones where you can also hang your dry cleaning.
The bad news is that the scent of your car air freshener will die down over time, of course, although you can expect it to last for several weeks. But the good news is that when the scent does expire, you can replace it with an all new scent combination!
My favorite combination of essential oil scents for my car is peppermint and rosemary, although my older daughter prefers vanilla and citrus on her own kid-made air freshener, which hangs right above her seat. What essential oil scents would YOU choose?