DIY Diffuser Ornaments (or buy one! – details inside)

Essential oils have so many uses – helping with aches and discomfort, soothing skin irritations, and soothing digestive discomfort to name a few – on top of adding a pleasant scent to the air and setting the mood. Because essential oils are volatile organic compounds, sensitivities/allergies to them are uncommon. This time of year, a lot of people rush to get trees of all kinds (real, fake but look real, very fake, and then the wire with lights to show off ornaments) to decorate for the holidays. A lot of people I know adore the scent of a real tree, but are allergic to them! However, since allergies to essential oils are rare, you can use a diffuser ornament (or several) on a fake tree to get the best of both worlds! I also use a diffuser ornament on my real tree to add extra holiday scent.

finished both 2 signed

The finished products!

Making diffuser ornaments is surprisingly easy to do, and requires very few tools. If you don’t want to make your own ornament, then I am offering 10 ornaments for sale (see below for details). Just make sure you order an ornament before December 11th if you want it before Christmas because I need time to make them and have them dry before the USPS shipping deadline of the 14th! (These are only for purchase in the United States, sorry for any inconvenience.)

DIY Diffuser Ornament

What You Need

  • porous clay (air dry or oven bake)
  • plastic wrap
  • a small dish of water
  • a straw or similar to punch a hole for the ribbon
  • ribbon or string for hanging
  • optional: paint, paintbrushes, and a rinse water cup

What I Used

I used Amaco Air Dry Modeling Clay (in Terra Cotta), Saran wrap, a small beer tasting glass we got from a beer and chili festival, some clay cutters (metal cookie cutters that are smaller), a toothpick, and a straw. For paint, I went to Walmart and got some craft acrylic paints to save time (I’m an acrylic painter, but didn’t want to mix a bunch of colors) and just used the brushes I already have.


First, setup your work area. Clay is messy and you will get your hands covered in clay! Be sure you have everything you need where you can get to it easily so you won’t cover everything in clay!

Then, take a small clump of clay off the larger block. You can use your hand or a proper clay cutter to remove it. Be sure you reseal the large clay block so it won’t dry out! Knead the clay to make it easier to work with, adding a little water if necessary to make it more pliable.

kneading clay signed

To make a round or square ornament like I did, start by rolling the clay between your hands to form a ball. Place the ball on the Saran wrap and press it flat with your hand. You can use a cylindrical object (that you don’t mind getting covered in clay) to roll it out, or you can just shape it with your hand. Periodically loosen it from the Saran wrap so it’s easy to work with. The edges will crack, do not panic!

Once you get it close to the shape you would like it to be, use a wet finger to finish shaping it. Wet your finger and run it around the edges until they are smooth and the shape you want. Use a wet finger to smooth out the rest of the ornament.

smoothing edges signed

Use the straw (or a similar object) to punch out a hole for the string. Keep in mind that air-dry clay shrinks quite a bit when it dries, so make sure that the hole is bigger than you think it needs to be.

If you want to decorate it with shapes or writing, use a sharp object (like a toothpick) to draw the shape/word. To use the toothpick, drag it over the clay in the shape you would like (with minimal pressure). As you move the toothpick, clay will build up on the toothpick – use your fingers to remove it so your line stays clear. Once you’re done writing, use a damp finger (not sopping wet) to smooth the edges of the lines.

writing signed

When you’re done shaping your ornament, follow the directions to dry/bake it. For the air dry clay I was using, it needs to sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours. If you’re using air dry clay, you will know it’s fully dry because it will be lighter in color, and the temperature of the surrounding room (if it’s cold/cool, it’s still drying). Do not check it until the instructed amount of time has passed!

If you do not want to paint it, just add the string and you’re ready to use it!

To paint it, get your paints ready. If you’re using acrylics (what I recommend and what is recommended on several clays), keep in mind that small daubs dry quickly, so only get out one or two colors at a time. You can use wax paper, pallet paper, a non-porous plate, a plastic pallet, or a paper plate to put your paint on. Be sure you get out your rinse water and brushes. Then, put your first two colors on your pallet in very small amounts. The ornaments aren’t huge, and acrylic paint will spread more than you expect. If you want to do multiple layers, give the paint several minutes to dry before layering (they dry quickly, but relative humidity impacts dry time quite a lot – they will be visibly dry when they’re ready for another layer). Rinse your brush between colors to keep the colors pure.

painting signed

If you want to paint the entire front, be sure to leave the back free from all paint! Essential oils will not absorb/diffuse on paint!

Let the ornament dry thoroughly. I would recommend at least 12 hours of dry time to make sure it’s completely dry. Add string, and you’re done!

To Use as a Diffuser

Place the ornament on a cloth, paper towel, or other surface you don’t mind getting essential oils on. Be sure the place the absorbent surface up!

Drop one or two drops of your chosen oil onto the ornament.

add oil signed

Allow the drops to fully absorb (the clay will look wet with the oils, then dry back out). Then hang and enjoy! I chose to put Holiday Joy on my ornaments to add a cheerful burst of holiday spices to my tree!

oil absorbing signed

I’d love to see your DIY ornaments! If you post your creations on social media, please use the hashtag #FLSSdiy so I can find the pictures!

To Buy

If DIY just isn’t your thing (it is so not for everyone), I am offering a small number of ornaments for sale. These ornaments are made to order. Because of this, if you want to get them by Christmas, I need the orders placed no later than December 11th! This gives me time to make them and ship them before the December 14th shipping deadline.

I am only selling a total of ten ornaments this year, limit of one per household! Ornaments are only available for addresses in the United States.

Each ornament is $8 (price includes standard shipping). You will receive a Paypal invoice, which must be paid within 12 hours. If you do not pay in 12 hours, I will reopen your ornament spot to another customer.

(If you need help getting essential oils to diffuser, please let me know in the contact form and I can help you with that as well!)

Ornament options

  • Design: snowflake stamp, name/date, hand-drawn snowman
  • Painted or unpainted
  • Paint colors (pick up to two): light blue metallic, silver glitter (clear paint with silver colored glitter flakes), green, red, dark blue
  • Glitter coat (like Bulfer ornament) or no glitter coat
  • Ribbon or no ribbon (white ribbon only as seen in pictures)
  • Bow (like snowflake ornament pictures) or no bow (like the Bulfer ornament)

To Order

Fill out the contact form. Be sure to include:

  • The email address to send the Paypal invoice to
  • Your full name (so I can address your package properly)
  • Your full mailing address (where I will be shipping the ornament)
  • The design options you have selected (from the above list)

Did you make the ornament? What oils will you be diffusing with them? What are you favorite holiday diffuser blends? Comment below to let me know!

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