Homemade Reed Diffuser DIY – How To Make Your Own

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Want to learn how to make a homemade reed diffuser? It sounds tricky, but I promise it’s so easy! The hardest part is picking what scents you want to use!

Now, I’m not really a crafty person, but 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! Much like most of my natural cleaning products to DIY to be honest!

reed diffuser DIY

My inspiration for this project came from my old bottle collection. Rather than just have them sitting gathering dust on a shelf, I wanted to use some of them in a practical way.

At the same time, I was also looking for a way to freshen my bathroom without going down the chemical air freshener route. Artificially scented products may not be the best for your health, so it’s something I try to avoid.

The smell of standard air fresheners and synthetic fragrances (especially the plugin ones) also makes me feel sick. And I don’t like using essential oil burners because of having a small child in the house. Therefore, a homemade reed diffuser put high out of reach of my little one felt like a good option. 

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

homemade reed diffuser

Homemade Reed Diffuser DIY

It worked so well that 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:


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

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

It’s really important to 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. This means the scent will be stronger when using a bottle or jar with a narrow opening.


To make your homemade reed diffuser, pour 60ml of sweet almond oil into your glass jar.

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.

Wipe down your jar with a cloth to remove any oils that might have dripped down the sides.

Add your reed sticks.

Then, after a few hours remove your reed sticks and place them back in the jar upside down. This helps the oils travel up the sticks.

Place in a spot away from children and pets and enjoy the lovely aroma!

Some Points to Note When Using A Homemade Reed Diffuser

make your own reed diffuser

It’s really important to bear in mind that the scent in this homemade reed diffuser isn’t anywhere near as strong as its shop-bought counterparts. Therefore, don’t expect a particularly strong fragrance.

For that reason, I find it best to place the diffuser in a small area, such as a small bathroom or WC, rather than trying to scent your whole living room. It’s a different experience to using a synthetic reed diffuser.

If you are struggling to smell anything from your diffuser, then some people also swear by adding vodka to their diffuser. Apparently, this helps the oils travel up the reeds. I didn’t have any vodka in the house so wasn’t able to try this. Do let me know if you do, and what effect it has!

Finally, if you find the essential oil smell starts to go a bit flat after a few days then don’t worry. Try taking the reed sticks out and placing them back in the liquid upside down.

I hope you enjoy making it! The essential oil diffuser would make such a lovely homemade gift, so it’s definitely one to keep in mind if you’re ever in need of any eco-friendly gift idea! Alternatively, if you need something stronger-scented, do check out my guide to eco-friendly air fresheners.

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

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  1. Love this homemade reed diffuser DIY guide!

    Your step-by-step instructions are super clear, which makes it seem doable even for someone like me who’s not very crafty.

    I’m curious if you have any favorite essential oil blends you’d recommend or any tips for making the scent last longer?

  2. Which is the best base oil to use? I’ve read in some forums that some oils’ molecules may be too thick and won’t wick.

  3. Hi Wendy

    I am allergic to almonds so wouldn’t be able to use the almond oil, please can you let me know what else I could use

    Many thanks


  4. 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.

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

  6. 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 :-(

  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. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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!!

    1. 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!

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

  11. This is awesome! Thank you so much for these tips. I really can’t wait to do it and make everything smell soooo good. I’m excited :)

  12. 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!


  13. 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

    1. 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?

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

  14. 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!

    1. I had thought that too about reed sticks, but a quick eBay search revealed otherwise, and they’re so cheap too! And yes, I’ve seen some diffusers in shops for around £20-£25 – crazy!!