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DIY Test Tube Potpourri Holder

There’s something about test tubes that I’ve always loved. Maybe it’s their clean, simple shape; maybe it’s their natural cork tops; maybe it’s just the hidden science-lover in me… I finally got my hands on some, and wanted to come up with a unique way to use them. I’ve often seen them used as spice holders in wooden spice racks – which I love – so I decided to do my own twist on that idea. What I came up with was a way to release different beautiful scents inside your home. Here’s how it’s done!

First, you make the test tube holder. You’ll need…

A piece of wood (about by 2”x15”)
5 glass test tubes with cork stoppers
A hammer
A drill
A spade bit (slightly larger than the diameter of your test tubes – mine was ¾ inch)
4 flat-head nails
Acrylic paint and paintbrush (optional)

Wood and test tubes

I was incredibly lucky to stumble upon an old piece of wood on the side of the road. If you haven’t experienced the same, you can always find some at a hardware store.

First, cut your wood into 3 pieces:  2”x4”, 2”x4”, and 2”x5”. Since I don’t own a saw, I took my wood to a hardware store and politely asked one of the workers to cut it for me. All it took was some charm and a smile. :)

Cut wood into 3 pieces

On the large piece of wood, mark where you’d like your 5 holes to be, then drill your holes. If you’re using old wood, use extra caution so that it doesn’t split. I made sure not to push so hard – I let the drill do all the work.

Drill 5 holes

Next, assemble the large piece of wood on top of the two smaller pieces using a hammer and nails. Again, if you’re using old wood, be extra cautious. You might have to get creative with your nail spacing — there were some wood cracks and old nails in the way for me.

A tip from our store display expert: Before hammering, first drill a tiny hole where you want each nail to be. Removing that small bit of wood makes all the difference when you’re dealing with old wood.

Hammer in 4 nails

You can now decorate if you’d like! I used white acrylic paint to make some simple line and dot designs. I think it would also be really cool to do some wood burnings here.


Now to create your own scent. Gather any scented objects of your choice… spices, dried flowers, essential oil. You can get as creative as you like! I used a vanilla bean in one – and I like the idea of letting some of the test tubes be purely decorative, too… maybe filling them with tiny gemstones.

Test tubes and dried flowers

After you fill your test tubes, arrange them in the holder. I find this to be incredibly fun because you can open and close the different corks based on whichever scents you’d like to release into the air, and change the contents of the test tubes as often as you’d like.

DIY Test Tube Holder

This would be an incredible gift for those home-décor-lovers in your life…

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meg -October 31, 2013, 9:06AM

This is beyond adorable!
Love the rustic wood look!

Cheyenne -October 31, 2013, 10:55AM
Shelley -October 31, 2013, 11:20AM

What a nice little centerpiece!

Megan -October 31, 2013, 11:58AM

This is super cute! I love it! Now where did you get the test tubes? :)

Ashley -October 31, 2013, 2:15PM

So cute! These are usually so expensive, so thanks for sharing a DIY! I’ve been on the look-out for test tubes, where did you find yours?

Amy -October 31, 2013, 2:47PM

Where did you get the test tubes? So cute!

Alexa Sonken {Invitations for Creatives} -October 31, 2013, 4:08PM
Alex Cardo @ Birthstones Online -January 5, 2014, 12:43PM

It is cute DIY idea. You are very creative! :-)

Katerina -January 6, 2014, 7:03AM

Have the same love for glass test tubes. The piece looks nice, I just wonder how strong is the smell? I guess the stronger one would be from additional essential oils.

rgunter -April 22, 2014, 5:07PM

saw something similar to this awhile back and have been wanting to do it myself. I finally will and will be using it (like the original product i saw) as a clever way to store daily vitamins for the week. though i’ll be adding alterations to this design to make it mountable on the wall

Libbie -November 8, 2015, 8:14PM

Love the rustic simplicity – thanks for the inspiration!

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