How To Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

Diffusing essential oils is a great way to freshen the air in your home, but ultrasonic diffusers can be expensive! So why not make your own diffuser and save a few bucks?! Homemade reed diffusers work great, and they’re inexpensive to make. This tutorial will show you step by step how to make your own reed diffuser!

How To Make Your Own Reed Diffuser: Reed diffusers are easy to make and work great to freshen the air in your home!

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Diffusing essential oils in a homemade reed diffuser will have your house smelling great in no time!

Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

Here’s what you need: (affiliate links below to the products I use and recommend)

  • small glass bottle with a narrow opening (I found mine at Michaels for $1.29 each)
  • bamboo skewers or rattan reeds
  • 1/4 C sweet almond oil
  • 1 t rubbing alcohol (must be at least 90% alcohol!)
  • 10-15 drops of essential oils for scent

NOTE: Rattan reeds are what come with reed diffusers you can buy in a store; they are recommended because they have large holes in the ends so that the oils can travel up the entire length of the reeds. Bamboo skewers (like for shish kebabs) work too, but the holes in bamboo are smaller than those in rattan, so it may just take a little longer for the scent to diffuse, and you may need to replace them more often.

How To Make Your Own Reed Diffuser: Much less expensive than buying one, and they work great! Your home will smell amazing in just a few hours!

Try to find glass jars with a narrow opening; the wider the opening the faster the oils will escape, and you don’t want to overwhelm your home with essential oils!

Pour 1/4 C of almond oil into the jar, using a funnel if necessary. Add a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol comes in different strengths, so make sure you use one that is at least 90% alcohol. The rubbing alcohol helps thin the oil out a bit so it can travel up the reeds better.

Stick a reed into the bottle and stir quickly to help mix the alcohol and oil. The oil may get a bit cloudy initially, but that’s ok, it will clear up after a few hours.

Once the alcohol is mixed into the oil, add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Add 5 or 6 reeds to the jar, and place it wherever you’d like! It’s that simple to make your own reed diffuser!

How To Make Your Own Reed Diffuser: Reed diffusers are cheap and easy to make, and they'll make your house smell wonderful!

After about two hours, flip the reeds over to get the other end submerged in oil. But after the initial flip, you only need to flip the reeds over once the scent starts to diminish (usually in 5-7 days). After a while the reeds will no longer smell at all, even if you flip them. That means they are completely saturated in oil and you’ll need to replace them.

I used Young Living’s Purification oil in one diffuser and Young Living’s Joy oil in the other. Purification is a great generic air freshener; it works to freshen air in an entire room when you diffuse it, or you can add a drop or two to your laundry machine as it runs for a fresh, clean scent in your clean clothes!

And I personally love the smell of Joy! That diffuser is set up in my craft room, because who wouldn’t want a little extra Joy while crafting!

How To Make Your Own Reed Diffuser: Reed diffusers are cheap and easy to make, and they'll make your house smell wonderful!

What essential oils would you use?

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Patricia Kirby says

    3 years ago

    Live in medieval stone cottage… beautifully renovated , including spare downstairs toilet which has no window ventilation but is adjacent to outside. I have noted that there is a stale ‘ old soil ‘ type smell despite being spotlessly clean, toilet, in perfect working order and no plumbing problems…. just this annoying stale smell. What can I use to place in this area to freshen up? I have read up on the reed diffusers and am going to use these in my home but would be so relieved if this technique would solve the toilet area problem. Your advice would be appreciated.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      3 years ago

      The reed diffusers could definitely help! The strength of essential oils varies depending on which smell you choose (things like lavender are more gentle, where things like Peppermint are much stronger scents), so just choose a strong one to add to your diffuser!

      One of my favorites for musty smells is Purification; I use it a lot if a load of laundry sat too long and smells like mildew, and it helps a lot!

  2. Katie says

    4 years ago

    I made a diffuser using bamboo skewers you can buy at the grocery store.
    These do not work.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      Yeah I tried the skewers from the grocery store and they don’t work as well. The holes in the bamboo skewers are much smaller so it’s harder for the oil and the scent to permeate through. The rattan reeds work really well though if you want to try those!

  3. Karen says

    5 years ago

    If u have pets, u do need to be careful as to what EO u choose. Although I love the scent of joy, I can’t use it because of my pets.

  4. Brooke says

    5 years ago

    Mine smell very heavily of rubbing alcohol! Did I add too much? Or not enough of the essential oils?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      You can add more essential oils if the smell isn’t coming through!

  5. Basmah says

    5 years ago

    I accidentally bought roasted almond oil. Will it work just as well?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      5 years ago

      Hmm, I haven’t tried it that way, but if the roasted almond oil is still pretty liquidy, it should work just fine!

  6. Melissa @ Wellness Appliances says

    6 years ago

    sweet almond oil is fine but I have used coconut oil and baby oil in my diffusers, it works fine too. Also, should the jars not be made of dark glasses, as so far I know sunshine effects EO and deteriorates the .quality

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      6 years ago

      Sunshine does deteriorate the quality, and I definitely store my oils in dark glass jars. But once I am “using them” I don’t worry about it so much. These diffusers are indoors, not in direct sunlight, and I think for the aromatherapy purposes of the oils, the sun won’t hurt them too much. But if you can find small glass jars that are dark, you can definitely use those instead if you want!

  7. Melissa says

    6 years ago

    I got excited and made several batches but have had no success. I used coconut oil and added the recommended amounts of oil and essential oils but you can only smell the fragrance if you hold it up to your nose. Help.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      6 years ago

      Bummer! Is your coconut oil liquid at room temperature? The coconut oil I use is more like a paste at room temperature, so that could be part of the issue. The more “liquidy” and thin the carrier oil, the better it will travel up the reeds. So for example, almond oil is more liquidy than olive oil, which is a little bit thick. If you need to thin out your oil a bit, you can try adding a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol to the mixture!

  8. Danielle says

    6 years ago

    Instead of almond oil can you use jojoba oil if we have that?

      • Rose says

        6 years ago

        Could you use other types of oil? Baby oil perhaps? Or something a bit cheaper? When the reeds are saturated, do you need to make a new oil mixture too or just replace the reeds? Thank you!!

        • Jessi Wohlwend says

          6 years ago

          You can try different oils if you want! The only thing to be careful of is to get an oil that’s thin enough to be soaked up by the reeds. Some oils are more liquid than others, so just try to find one that isn’t too thick! And you only need to replace the oil mixture once it runs out. It will slowly soak up the reeds and then evaporate into the air, but if there’s still oil there, you’re good to go, even if you are replacing the reeds!

  9. jenny @birdsandsoap says

    7 years ago

    So easy! I can’t wait to try it, I’ve been collecting small bottles to gift these over the holidays.

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