make your own reed diffuser

Homemade Reed Diffuser DIY

reed diffuser DIY

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Now, I’m not really crafty, but I’ve got a great DIY for you today.  This homemade reed diffuser tutorial is so simple it’s basically foolproof!  If you can add some liquid to a bottle then this is the DIY for you!

I have a small old bottle collection, and I wanted to use some of them in a practical way, rather than just have them gathering dust on a shelf.  At the same time I was also looking for a way to freshen my bathroom without going down the chemical air freshener route because the smell of standard air fresheners and synthetic fragrances (especially the plug in ones) makes me feel sick, and I don’t like using essential oil burners because of having a small child in the house.

I came up with this idea for a homemade reed diffuser because it had the dual purpose of practically using my bottles, and it scents my bathroom in an environmentally friendly and natural way without the use of chemicals or synthetic fragrances.  Win!

It worked so well I thought I’d share my technique, because I’m good like that!  Here’s how you can make your own homemade reed diffuser for pennies, in minutes, and with only a few ingredients:

homemade reed diffuser

Homemade Reed Diffuser DIY

Homemade Reed Diffuser DIY


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serves 1 Jar

Homemade Reed Diffuser DIY

Make your own environmentally friendly and delicious smelling homemade reed diffuser using only a few simple ingredients in minutes.


  • Clean glass jar (preferably with a narrow mouth)
  • 60ml of sweet almond oil
  • 30 drops of essential oil of your choice.
  • A handful of reed sticks


  1. Pour 60ml of sweet almond oil into your glass jar
  2. Add your essential oil(s). I used 10 drops of rosemary oil and 20 drops of grapefruit oil as I wanted a clean citrus smell for my bathroom.
  3. Wipe down your jar with a cloth to remove any oils that might have dripped down the sides.
  4. Add your reed sticks.
  5. After a few hours remove your reed sticks and place in upside down to help the oils travel up the sticks.
  6. Place in a spot away from children and pets and enjoy the lovely aroma!

Homemade Reed Diffuser Notes

make your own reed diffuser

I bought my sweet almond oil, essential oils (rosemary and grapefruit) and reed sticks from eBay.  I’ve got plenty left of each to make heaps of reed diffusers!

Use a bottle or jar with a narrow opening as the oil will evaporate at a slower rate than a jar with a wide opening.

If the smell starts to go a bit flat try taking the reed sticks out and placing them back in the liquid upside down.

The scent in this homemade reed diffuser isn’t as strong as its shop bought counterparts, so don’t expect a really strong fragrance.  For that reason I find it best to place the diffuser in a small area, such as a bathroom, rather than trying to scent your living room.

Some people also swear by adding vodka to their diffuser as they say it helps the oils travel up the reeds.  I didn’t have any vodka in the house so wasn’t able to try this.  Let me know if you do!

I hope you enjoy making!  The diffuser would make such a lovely homemade gift, so definitely one to keep in mind if you’re ever in need of any eco friendly gift ideas!

ps: if you like this try my homemade beeswax candle DIY!


  1. What a fantastic idea – I’ve learned something new! I thought reed sticks were things that were only available to manufacturers; who knew you could make your own. Some of them are so expensive to buy – thanks Wendy!

  2. Ladies or gents,
    I need help finding some kind of woodsy scents in essential oils. We have a cabin in northern Az. and I love using these. I usually buy them at Pier 1, but they can be very pricey. Any ideas? Thanks

    • Sorry Arcie, I’m in the UK so not sure what to suggest. I found my oils quite cheaply on eBay – might be a good place to search? Unless any other US readers can help with some other good suggestions?

    • Check out Young Living Essential Oils. Sandalwood is a great one men tend to like. They have a HUGE variety of individual oils & blends.

  3. hatti | isthisfood
    September 29, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    hi Wendy,

    What a brilliant site you have here! I can’t wait to explore more of it.

    These homemade reed diffusers are a great idea and perfect for gifts too. As soon as my current (shop bought) diffuser runs out, I know what I’ll be using the empty bottle for – thank you!


  4. Hey I tried making this but my oil turned rancid in a week. I live in a really humid and hot place so is there any way to prevent the oils from turning rancid? I tried making it with safflower oil as the base, almond oil, and water too. But in all three I faced the same problem. I added a splash of vodka to it to help the oils wick up easily. Should I try isopropyl instead? And would adding a little vitamin e for a preservative help? But i don’t know how that would be. The reeds also turned black on the edges. Please help!!

    • Sorry to hear this Ananya. I live in Scotland so don’t have a problem with heat or humidity. I would suggest using less reeds and perhaps using a slightly wider jar to allow a bit more air to circulate. I’m not sure what scent you’re using but you could also try using essential oils that have disinfectant properties – like lavender? Just an idea!

      • Have you tried baby oil or mineral oil? I suspect it will be more stable. Jojoba oil might work as well, but more costly.

  5. Mandy Cockerill
    April 4, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Hi loved the recipe and it smells great. I cheated a little bit with regards using proper reeds. I had s bunch of bbq skewers which I cut down. These seem to be just as good.

  6. Arcie, not sure if you have already had a go at making your diffuser but you could try sandalwood oil, it has a slightly musky scent. I’m just about to make mine with Patchouli oil, I also use this as a perfume so have a large supply?

  7. Hi Wendy I love your homemade diffuser, just one question what size reeds did you use? The bottles I have are like the ones you used, my dad has been collecting them for years so I have plenty to choose from !

  8. I’ve had a go with almond oil and eucalyptus with rattan reeds. Couldn’t smell a thing!
    1/4 cup of almond oil, 30 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and vodka splash and nothing! Added 30 more drops, nothing!
    I can smell the bottle, but flipping the reeds and wishing it to work, can’t smell anything. Anything you can tell I’m doing wrong?
    Gutted as I purchased a head of oils, essential oils and bottles ,reeds and it didn’t work for me :-(

  9. I would like to make reed diffuser with Sandalwood and Patchouli. Could you advise me the ratio of drops for each oil please

  10. Hi like Claire I have used essential oil blends in a full 10ml. It doesn’t fill a small with with scent yet the artificial fragrance I use does. Is it just a case that essential oils are poor for reed diffusers? I have a diffuser base which says you don’t need to use alcohol. Any advice appreciated.


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