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How to Make Aroma Beads 101


Making Aroma Beads

  • Materials Needed:
  • Aroma Beads
  • Candle dye, mica or pigment colors
  • Large Container (NO PLASTIC BAGS) Bags will waste your oil and taint the other bags.
    HDPE plastic container or a glass container will work. We like using the HDPE plastic. 
    Glass mason jars can get very heavy after a while. Dollar store containers work well, as do the
    Glad plastic containers.
  • You can clean them out and dishwasher them when done, as long as they are not the crunchy
    plastic. They will melt in the dishwasher!
    Make sure you have enough room so the beads can move freely while mixing/shaking them.

This is based on using 1 pound of aroma beads. 

Use 1.5 oz to oz of oil and put it in a glass container or heavy plastic.  You can add more oil later
or if needed. We have gone as high as 2.5 oz per pound.  An oil that is not strong will not get stronger because you add more oil!  Some fragrances are just not as strong. Using too much oil can compromise the strength of the plastic!

(LESS IS BEST when starting out.  (2 TBLS of oil is equal to about 1 ounce, but you
SHOULD use a digital scale for exactness.
  Do NOT depend on this measurement!  

Oils are by weight, NOT volume!

You can always add more oil but you can't take it away.) 
If you use too much oil you will become frustrated because the oil will not soak up
quick enough and you will have to add additional beads. If you don't have any more,
it may be even more frustrating. Sooner or later they will dry.  You can always add more fragrance, but you cannot take it away! 

We suggest you use about (1.5 - 2 oz) of oil per pound of beads.  This is ABOUT 2-3 TBLS. 
You SHOULD however, use a digital scale.  TBLS are not accurate.

Just be careful not to add too much.  You can add additional oil if you feel the need,
however, adding more oil is not going to make the beads smell longer or stronger,
it just makes it take longer to absorb.  Some fragrance oils absorb faster than others. 
Not all fragrances are equal! 
Pink Sugar Type is light and will not be as strong or last as long as lets say Mulberry
or one of the stronger fragrances.

Using Pigment Powders & Mica Powder:
Using pigment powder and mica is a cleaner way to go these days.  No muss no fuss. 
Cleans up 90% of the time with a bleach wipe, depending on the powders. 
PLEASE use in a ventilated are and do NOT breath in the powders.
You can use a paint mask to keep from breathing in particles.

Our containers come with a small measuring spoon, for your ease in measuring.  Just put in a spoon
or two of the pigment or mica to color.  Do not use too much, as it will take longer to cook and compromise the strength of the plastic!. 
Using too much mica in or the beads or afterwards can weaken the plastic so be cautious.
Being crazy with mica does not make it prettier, it just makes it look unprofessional!

Just swish the color in the oil until it looks dissolved.  You can also use the flat end of a chop stick
to mix any that may occasionally clump. IT will still mix in, even if you do not. 
Add the beads and you are ready to go.  The container can have a bit of  residue afterwards,
but just wipe clean or wash out when complete or use the same container per fragrance/color.

Essential Oils:

If using Essential oils, BE careful.  They absorb twice as fast as fragrance oils and sometimes
a carrier will help the oil flow better.  You can also use cyclomethicone to help smooth out the oils or when using essential oils ONLY. We personally use 1.5 to 1.8 ounces of oil per pound of beads.  
I do NOT suggest using E/O's.  They do not last as long and can be difficult to work with on beads.

  • Vanilla based or leather based fragrances WILL take longer to dry,
    as will cold or rainy weather. **
  • Drop 1 to 10 drops of color (or to your color liking) (1-2 supplied spoons of pigment) in to the oil
    swish the color until mixed. 
    You may add more color as needed.  You may also add additional color after the beads are dry. 
    This will give the beads a variegated look. Mix the color well within the oil.
  • (See our color mixing page)
  • 1 drop of blue will make a pretty sky blue
  • 8-10 drops of pink/red will make a solid red
  • 4-5 drops will make a good strong yellow. 8 for (darker, bright yellow, but not needed)
  • 3*4 drops of green to make a nice green color
  • 1-2 drops of orange with make a pretty pale orange. Use more for a brighter orange or
    add pigment.
    (Be care not to add too much or it can become more of a pumpkin)
  • For a clove color, add 5 drops of red and 3 -4 drops of brown/mocha
  • 15-20 drops of black to make a true, solid black

You CANNOT use food coloring or skin safe dye. It will bead up in the oil
and come off on your hands or whatever it touches.  I have also tried Rit dye. 
It makes a huge mess and will get all over the place so you should stay away from it.
To obtain a very pale color, you can use mica powder to dye.
Mica will give a different look to the coloring of your beads. 

Add MICA right to the oil and swish. It is easier than adding afterwards.  
Not too much or they cook poorly!

  • Slowly add the beads to the glass jar. 
  • You may lightly swish to start the color process.  
  • Shake the beads when all has been added to disperse the color and oil throughout.  
  • The beads should be wet throughout. 

Vigorously shake beads for a minute or two to be sure they are all mixed.
Depending on the weight of the fragrance oil, your beads could take from
a few hours to a day or two before the beads are complete.
If it is not soaking up as fast as you would like, you can add additional beads. 
Be sure you buy your beads from a reputable company.  

Ask the company if they test their beads from fragrance to baking.
If they do not, DO NOT USE THEM!
Some beads are not absorbing and you could be hoaxed in to buying them.
* For example, the beads in beanie babies WILL NOT WORK!  Beads that stay whit will NOT melt.  
There are numerous types of beads out there.  Choose wisely.
* NOTE:  Every time you walk by your beads, pick up the container and shake them. 
Essential oils do work differently. DO NOT leave them stand for very long,
as they normally cure very quickly. Citrus oils will also usually cure quicker.
Orange Sherbet /Dreamsicle, Lemon and any citrus fragrances can clump. 
Just break apart with you hands.  It will not stay so don't panic!
Citrus cure quickly.
When the beads are done, they should be dry to the touch and the jar should
shake clean of beads on the sides.  There may be a  bit of residue at the bottom of jar,
but that is okay.  Throw in a few unscented beads and shake in the jar. 
Add them to your beads. 
Most oils will cure within a 24 hours or less, Some heavier oils may day 2-3 days to absorb. 
* NOTE: Cure your beads at least 4-5 additional days before packaging or melting  
for air fresheners.  (SEE Making Air Freshener Ornaments)
The less the time you let them sit, the less time they will keep their smell!

There are many possibilities. Mix and match scents with different colors. 
You can add herbs, dried flowers, corn cobs, colored stones, rocks and cut glass.  (If adding stones and such, These are not for melting.)
Use your imagination.  After a while you will become proficient at making your beads. 

Sell them by the ounce or by the pound.  They are great for profit and fundraisers. 
Put them in a fancy dish or organza bags.

Good luck and have fun!

There are many recipes out there and people who will tell you an incorrect way
to make them because they want to keep you from making money and succeeding! 
Don't listen to them.  Create your own new style and experiment with colors
and oils to produce your own style!

WHEN STARTING OUT: If using for ornaments, read our section on making aroma bead ornaments.  This will give you additional information.  It is in our recipe section.