DIY hacks that will make your house smell amazing

YouTuber Melissa Maker teaches us how to add festive scents into our homes without breaking the bank.
January 1, 2020 1:00 p.m. EST
December 4, 2020 4:22 p.m. EST
Making your home smell great this holiday season doesn’t have to break the bank! Melissa Maker, star of the YouTube channel ‘Clean My Space’ shares some easy and affordable DIY tips to make your house smell amazing.

Why you should DIY

Doing it yourself means that you get to create the exact smells that you want in your home rather than buying pre-determined scents, and you know you’re using all natural products. It’s also way less expensive. There are things you can make yourself, and quick changes you can make that’ll move the odour needle.

Stovetop Pot Pourri

This is a great way to make your house smell incredible. If you find the air in your home is dry, this is also a great way to add some moisture to the air. The great thing about this is that you can use leftover cooking ingredients that you have around your kitchen. You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy anything. If you want a more hands-off alternative, you can use a crockpot instead of a stovetop.


  • Vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 sprigs of pine
  • Peppermint extract


  1. Fill your pot halfway with water.
  2. For the ‘Winter Spice’ blend, you’re going to add your 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 sprigs of pine, and 2 drops of peppermint extract to the water.
  3. Give the mixture a stir.
  4. Once you put it on your stovetop, you bring it to a boil, and once it’s at a boil, you lower the heat and let it simmer. You’ll have your whole home smelling amazing in no time.
  5. You can let the pot simmer for hours on end. You just need to continue adding liquid to prevent the ingredients inside from burning.

Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers are one of the best ways to add a powerful and natural scent to your home. Instead of going out to the mall and spending $50 on one, it’s so easy and quick to make your own.


  • A dark glass bottle. If you don’t have a dark glass bottle, you can always paint a clear bottle, but the darkness is key for the essential oils.
  • Rattan Reeds (6-10 per bottle, depending on the size of the glass bottle that you’re using)
  • Carrier oil (can be sweet almond oil, sapphire oil, mineral oil)
  • Carrying agent (can be cheap vodka, or rubbing alcohol with a minimum of 90% alcohol content)
  • Essential oils of your choice
  • For ‘Fresh Cut Tree Blend’ scent: 10 drops pine essential oil, 10 drops frankincense essential oil, 10 drops sweet orange essential oil


  1. Fill your bottle halfway with carrier oil. The carrier oil is there to help carry the essential oils up the reed.
  2. Then the fun part - you add your essential oils. You could do any combination you want, but the ‘Fresh Cut Tree’ blend provides the perfect holiday scent – made up of pine essential oil, frankincense essential oil, and sweet orange essential oil. We’re adding 30 drops total, so 10 of each. You can always double or triple any of these essential oil recipes if you want a stronger scent.
  3. Then, you’ll add about a teaspoon of your carrying agent to ease the oil up the reed. Cheap vodka works best, but you can also use rubbing alcohol (but it has to be at least 90% alcohol).
  4. Then you give it a swirl to mix all those ingredients together and put your reeds in the bottle. I suggest adding 6-10 reeds depending on bottle size. The more reeds you add, the more it’ll soak up the liquid and use it faster, but the stronger the scent will be.
  5. Let the reeds sit in the liquid overnight, the next morning flip them over and the reeds will be well saturated. Because the mixture can separate, you should just swirl the bottle once a week to mix everything together.

Gel Air Freshener

This is actually a great all-natural way to add your favourite fragrance to your home, and there are so many fun ways to customize it for any room. To make these more of a décor item, you can add in some sprigs or leaves to the freshener to give it a fun look. You can add sparkles, small toys, pine needles, or even food colouring to make these gel air fresheners match the season, home and occasion. They are enough to scent an average-sized room, but you can always double or triple your essential oil quantities if you want a stronger scent.


  • 2 envelopes of unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Essential oils of your choice
  • For ‘Holiday Citrus & Spice’ scent: 5 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil, 5 drops clove bud essential oil, 5 drops sweet orange essential oil, 5 drops vanilla essential oil
  • For ‘Baked Gingerbread’ scent: 5 drops Ginger Essential Oil, 5 drops Cinnamon essential oil, 5 drops Clove essential oil, 5 drops nutmeg essential oil


  1. Heat ¾ cup of water over medium-high heat.
  2. Add a tablespoon of salt and stir until the salt is dissolved.
  3. Stir in your 2 envelopes of unflavoured gelatin.
  4. Remove the water from the heat, and add your remaining ¼ of water.
  5. Pour that into individual containers.
  6. Add your essential oil combination of choice.
  7. Let air fresheners cool, cover with lid, and place around your house as needed.
  8. If you don’t have jars in your home, you can actually use a cookie tray or ice cube molds and fill them with the gel mixture. When they’ve cooled overnight and solidified, you can just put the gel freshener onto a small plate and place them throughout your house as needed.

Room Spray

A staple for any household, this room spray is super easy. For this time of year, woody essential oils like fox & fur, cypress and thyme are great to add in. Vanilla, cinnamon and clove are also great scents to add into the mix for any of these DIY options. If you have guests staying over, you could even make a few variations of these scents and leave them in your guest room so they can choose which scent they’d like to spray while they’re staying over.


  • Spray bottle
  • Carrying agent (rubbing alcohol or vodka)
  • Essential Oils of your choice
  • For ‘Winter Walk’ scent: 5 drops grapefruit essential oil, 5 drops orange essential oil, 5 drops frankincense essential oil, 5 drops spearmint essential oil


  1. Fill your spray bottle with equal parts water and rubbing alcohol or vodka. 1 or 2 cups total for this base is perfect.
  2. Add up to 20 essential oil drops per cup of liquid.
  3. Close the gap, give it a swirl, and it’s ready to use to freshen up any room in your home.


This DIY hack is not only about adding good scents into your home, but eliminating the bad ones. These are such an easy and inexpensive thing to tuck into little corners, drawers, cupboards, and deal with small areas within your home that might have a certain unwanted smell.Coffee grinds, baking soda and activated charcoal all work well to absorb odours in the air. You can buy organza bags fill them with baking soda or activated charcoal. These sachets will absorb odour without being a total eye sore.You can also fill coffee in a parmesan shaker or chili flake shaker from the dollar store. 10 of these would be cheaper than buying 1 candle. You just shake it every so often and mix it together to reactivate it all. Put a little cheese cloth over the top, and put the cap on over it. It won’t smell like coffee, but it will absorb those odours.But of course, if an unwanted smell keeps coming back, this isn’t something you want to keep trying to mask – it’s something you need to clean.