Get Gellin and Smellin!

I needed an arts and craft project for my homeschooled nine-year old…not my son’s favorite subject! But when I let him feel like a scientist, it’s crazy fun.

I decided to LITERALLY put fall in the air!

Craft project…CHECK

Mad Scientist…CHECK

House that needs some smelly goods…CHECK

I decided to make jelly jars. Let me show you how fantastically easy these are to make, it’s a perfect project for kids and parents to do together.

P.S. I promised my son I would showcase his hard work on this post…incoming proud momma pics


Jars (mason jars or other assorted jars)

Essential Oils (whatever smells good to your nose)

Food Coloring

4 gelatin packets (I use knox unflavored gelatin)




In a small bowl, measure out 2 tablespoons of salt and add the 4 gelatin packets. Set aside.

Put 1 cup of water in a small pot.

Drop 15-20 droplets of essential oil into the water. This is definitely my son’s favorite step and the teacher/mom in me says, “counting and art”….. SUCCESS!

 I found a set of 4 oils and droppers at Michaels craft store and use them to make combinations like apple/vanilla, linen/vanilla, etc.

Next add food coloring in a color that goes with the scent. We made red cinnamon jars, green apple jars, and a cream-colored linen jar.

Bring the water to a boil over low heat and stir while heating.

When you reach a boil, remove from heat and SLOWLY stir in the salt and gelatin. If you stir too fast it will foam and be “not so pleasant”.

Stir gently until the salt and gelatin are dissolved, then add 1 cup of COLD water. It’s kind of like making jello :)

Stir to combine, then pour into jars.

1 batch will fill a pint size mason jar or several smaller jars. I like to use the mason jars because I can put the lids on and punch holes in cute designs on top.

These jars need to set for a couple of days to firm up to the “GEL” consistency. You can also set them in the fridge to speed up the process, but I have FARRRR too many hands in the fridge all day long and, frankly, I know they’ll spill!

Once they have gelled…place lids on and punch holes in the top, or cover the top of other jars with lace and adorn with ribbon.

He’s a proud scientist….

These make great “teacher” gifts for Halloween and Christmas, orange pumpkin jars or green pine jars are a hit every time!

For now, I’m going to go pull my son out of the pantry…he’s trying to find other things that would “smell” to create more jars. Seeing chocolate chips and cajun spice in his hands has me a little WORRIED!

Signing Off,

Modern Mrs. Cleaver

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Filed under Household, Kids In The Kitchen

10 Responses to Get Gellin and Smellin!

  1. Sara

    Awesome activity! I will be sharing this one with my coteacher! I am eager to try it!

  2. Love your tutorial! I’m sharing this w/my grandson. He’s 12-1/2 but think he’ll like this one too…He loves good smellin stuff :) Thanks

  3. Jenniffer

    Where can u get the gelitin packs i bought the stuff that u make jam and jelly with is that the right stuff.

  4. Sheryl Mehary

    How fun! Not just good for kids. I am 66 and plan to make some for Christmas gifts.
    Thank you!

  5. I’m excited to try this! I’m wondering, though, if it might be better to add essential oils AFTER boiling? It seems that may damage them.

    • modernmrscleaver

      I was new to this method when I made these… My son wanted to try it so away we went :) I will try adding the oil after boiling and see if there’s a difference.

  6. kimber

    I did this for Thanksgiving gifts for my mom and sister.. They smell great..

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