How to Make Your Own Scented Gel Jar

September 14, 2016

Make your own scented gel jar and freshen up any room of your home with this easy DIY!

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How to Make Your Own Scented Gel Jar

I think we’ve finally had our last major heatwave of the season!  The humidity broke just in time to start the week and what a beautiful week it’s been so far!  I started the week by purchasing a few small pots of mums.  I had already planted two large purple mums in the front and decided to add some fall color to our backyard, as well.  The bright, neon colors of summer are now transitioning to deep, richer fall colors.  I couldn’t be more excited for it!  

So today I wanted to share a scented gel jar project that could easily be customized for any time of year.  I love having a nice smelling home.  That isn’t hard to tell once you step inside.  There are candles, reed diffusers, and tart warmers all around the house!  I also like to change scents by the season.  And I especially love decor that’s not only pretty, but functional, too.  I’ve made these gel jars plenty of times before, but this was the first time that I added artificial leaves inside.  They give the gel jar a really pretty, fall touch!

How to Make Your Own Scented Gel Jar


  • 1 envelope Knox gelatin
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/8 tsp. rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 tsp. or more essential oil or candle scent
  • Food coloring
  • Small mason jar with vented lid
  • Silk leaves or flowers, optional


  1. Boil 1/2 cup of water.  Add gelatin and mix until dissolved.  
  2. Pour in the other 1/2 cup of water and stir.  
  3. Add alcohol, essential oil, and a few drops of food coloring (I used one drop of red and one drop of yellow to create a fall, orange color). Stir well to combine.  
  4. Carefully pour mixture into a jar.
  5. Place a silk flower or silk leaves into the center of the jar.
  6. Replace lid and allow gel to solidify in the fridge.
  7. Set jar in a cool area of your home and enjoy the fragrance!

How to Make Your Own Scented Gel Jar

If you choose to display your scented gel jar in a warm area, like a windowsill, you may begin to see the top liquefy over time.  You can resolve this issue by popping your jar into the refrigerator for a bit until it solidifies again.  These gel jars should stay fragrant for about a month.

With the holidays just a few months away (eek!), these would make great homemade gifts to give to friends and family.  Homemade gifts are always much more appreciated than something picked up at the store!  And these scented gel jars are a nice, safe alternative to candles.

How to Make Your Own Scented Gel Jar

Did you make your own scented gel jars inspired by this DIY?  Share it on social media with the hashtag #livinglavidadiy and make sure to tag me @lavidaholoka!


How do you like to keep your home smelling fresh?


  • Reply Sandi November 7, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    where do I find a candle scent?

    • Reply Jessica November 9, 2016 at 9:52 AM

      Hi Sandi. I get my candle scents on Amazon or Etsy. Just do a simple search for the scent you’re looking for and you should have plenty of options!

  • Reply Cindy May 26, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    Can I ask why the alcohol?

    • Reply Jessica May 26, 2017 at 10:05 AM

      Hi Cindy! The alcohol helps prevent bacteria and mold from developing in the jar.

  • Reply Nancy McCoy August 16, 2018 at 8:48 AM

    Hi, can I use soap colorant instead of food coloring? Also, can I use dried herbs or flowers instead of silk? Thank you!

    • Reply Jessica August 16, 2018 at 9:26 AM

      Yes, I would assume that soap or candle colorant would work just as well. You can definitely try to add dried herbs or flowers. I just wonder if they would float to the top of the jar. Let me know how that works for you! 🙂

  • Reply Connie August 16, 2018 at 12:39 PM

    I was wondering were you got the perforated tops, or did you make them yourself and how?

    • Reply Jessica August 16, 2018 at 1:12 PM

      Those, I believe, were from Christmas Tree Shop. I think I’ve seen them in craft stores, as well.

  • Reply Laurie August 20, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    How long do they last?

    • Reply Jessica August 20, 2018 at 8:38 PM

      Hi Laurie! They usually dry out in a month or two.

  • Reply Char September 6, 2018 at 7:31 PM

    If I were to make these for Christmas gifts how soon should I make them? Don’t wanna make them to early but far enough in advance to have them done.

    • Reply Jessica September 6, 2018 at 10:00 PM

      I would make these a week or two ahead of gifting them. The closer to Christmas, the better. They last about a month so you definitely don’t want to wait a while to gift them!

  • Reply Debie January 23, 2019 at 9:37 PM

    I have a Electric potpourri diffuser that liquid or gel potpourri can be used in it. Will this recipe work with this and a wax melt warmer?
    Thank you for your time.
    Debie Cole

    • Reply Jessica January 24, 2019 at 9:15 AM

      Hi Debie. I am honestly not sure if this would work in a wax melt warmer, but I would say no because of the alcohol in it. I recommend sticking to the jar.

  • Reply Dee September 4, 2020 at 3:40 PM

    Do you have scent recommendations for say Christmas, Easter, Valentines etc?

    • Reply Jessica September 5, 2020 at 10:42 AM

      Hi Dee! Yes! For Christmas, I always like to use scents like pine, orange, cinnamon, and clove. Scents that are warm and woodsy. For Valentine’s Day, I would recommend scents like vanilla and rose. And for Easter, I like springtime scents like lemon, lavender, and peppermint. Have fun playing around with different scent combinations!

  • Reply Faiza September 28, 2020 at 2:43 PM

    Can we replace alcohol

    • Reply Jessica September 28, 2020 at 7:06 PM

      Yup! Instead of rubbing alcohol, you could use vodka or tequila. The alcohol is there as a preservative. I wouldn’t skip it or else you might end up with a moldy jar.

  • Reply Faiza September 28, 2020 at 2:45 PM

    Can cover with net if not have hole lid

    • Reply Jessica September 28, 2020 at 7:01 PM

      Absolutely! You could use some kind of netting like cheesecloth to cover the jar.

  • Reply How to Make Stovetop Potpourri - Living La Vida Holoka October 5, 2020 at 6:06 PM

    […] How to Make Your Own Scented Gel Jar […]

  • Reply Christa Stromer August 15, 2021 at 6:36 PM

    Hi there, I’m late to the party… is this recipe for 1 jar and what size jars to you recommend.. I was thinking of using lace for the top and holding it in place with the ringer lid.. thanks so much

    • Reply Jessica August 16, 2021 at 2:31 PM

      Hi Christa! Yes, this is for one jar. It’s been a while since I’ve made these, but last time I did I used a 4 oz. jar. Just make sure it’s glass!

  • Reply Crystal G. April 18, 2022 at 9:01 PM

    I’m trying to get prepared for a craft fair in a few months and this is a wonderful idea cuz my partner makes candles… I know you said to do them like a week before the craft beer but what if you made them in bulk and froze them in the freezer until time for selling?

    • Reply Jessica April 19, 2022 at 7:20 AM

      Hi Crystal! I wouldn’t freeze them since the gelatin won’t do well in the freezer. Freezing it could actually ruin the gelatin. So I would store them in a cool place instead.

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