Poetic Air Freshener Craft Activity

Make your own air freshener

Hands-on projects help bring poetry to life for young children. In the poem “The Armpit of Doom,” the speaker is experiencing the horrible sights and smells of her brother’s disgusting, stinky bedroom. Have you ever smelled something so bad that it literally makes you want to vomit? All you want to do is smell something good to erase that odor from your mind! In this project, we’ll create homemade air fresheners that you can keep for your own self-defense, or give to that stinky-room person in your life as a special gift from you to them. They may not appreciate it… but everyone else will!

What You’ll Need

Homemade air freshener supplies

  • canning jar with lid and ring (any size)
  • craft paper
  • pin, paper clip, or anything that will poke small holes in the paper (pin works best)
  • school glue
  • baking soda
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • essential oil (any scent- lavender, tea tree, peppermint, lemon, etc.)


Read this poem together:

The Armpit of Doom

Today I walked into my big brother’s room,
and that’s when I saw it: The Armpit of Doom.
I wasn’t expecting The Armpit at all.
I shrieked and fell backward and grabbed for the wall.
The Armpit was smelly. The Armpit was hairy.
The Armpit was truly disgusting and scary.
I wanted to vomit. I wanted to cry.
I wanted to flee from its all-seeing eye.
My skin started crawling with goosebumps and chills.
My brain began screaming to head for the hills.
I tried to escape but I knew I could not.
In horror, I found I was glued to the spot.
“Will somebody help me!?” I started to shout,
till fumes overcame me and made me pass out.
And that’s why I’m here in this hospital room;
it’s all on account of The Armpit of Doom.
I’m still feeling shaken. I’m queasy and pale,
but lucky I lived and can tell you my tale.
So take my advice… If you ever go near
your big brothers room, bring a whole lot of gear:
A gas mask and goggles, a helmet and shield,
or maybe a space suit that’s perfectly sealed.
And then, only then, when you’re fully prepared,
step in very slowly and hope you’ll be spared.
But, if you’re afraid of the Armpit of Doom,
stay far, far away from your big brother’s room.

–Kenn Nesbitt

Talk about what smells they think are horrible… rotten eggs, sweaty gym socks, cat food, dog breath? The possibilities are endless. Ask them if they have a room in their house that could use some freshening up!

  1. Put glue around the edge of the lidChoose a jar and craft paper.
  2. Turn the jar over on the piece of craft paper, so the opening is facing down.
  3. Use the pencil to trace the circle onto the paper.
  4. Remove the jar and cut along the drawing so that you end up with a circle of craft paper the size of the jar’s opening. Set aside.
  5. Fill the jar ¾ full of baking soda.
  6. Drop in 8 – 10 drops of your chosen essential oil.
  7. Screw the lid and ring on the jar. NOT THE PAPER. Shake the baking soda and oil up until it seems well-mixed. Then remove the lid and ring.
  8. Squeeze a line of glue along the rim of the edge of the paper circle. Carefully glue the round of cut craft paper onto the top of the jar, then screw the jar ring back on over the paper. Discard the jar lid.
  9. With the pin (or other device), carefully poke holes in the top of the craft paper until you can smell the scent through the jar.
  10. Place your freshener in a particularly odoriferous spot, and enjoy the breath of fresh air!

Kids make your own air freshener

If you’d like to give this as a gift, you could can copy the poem on to a card or piece of paper. Or, you could try writing your own poem like “The Armpit of Doom” using one of the poetry lessons on this web site! Wrap the gift and give it to that stinky… I mean special… someone! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.