How To Make Your Own DIY Reed Diffuser

diy diffuser

As I sit here typing…my diffuser is silently dispersing scented vapor into the air of my office. There is just something about diffusing essential oils into your environment that feels (and smells) good!

The problem is…not everyone can get their hands on a diffuser. It’s not like they sell them at Walmart and depending on the brand you buy, they can be pricey. Although I have seen them as low as $40, this little number is called “The Whisper” and it set me back almost $90.  It was a Christmas present to myself. :-)


diy diffuser

So how do you diffuse the magic of essential oils into your home if you don’t own one of these contraptions? How about making your own old fashioned reed diffuser?

The process is so simple you probably have everything you need right now in your kitchen and you don’t have to worry about an open flame, hot wax, chemicals or electrical cords!


diy diffuser

How To Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

What you’ll need:

  • glass bottle or vase with a small neck opening (I used an empty red wine vinegar bottle)
  • diffuser reeds (or bamboo skewers, which is what I used)
  • carrier oil + essential oils -OR- scented reed diffuser oil
  • washi tape for decoration (optional)

Make sure your reeds or skewers stick out several inches from the top of the container for maximum scent.

Pour your choice of scented oil into the container until it is about 75% full, then stick the reeds or bamboo skewers inside. I went the essential oils route and added fractionated coconut oil to the bottle first, then 20 to 30 drops of both Lavender and Lemon (my favorite scent combo!) You could also use almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil…or any other type of carrier oil you like.

After about an hour, flip the reeds over to saturate the top part of the reeds that stick out above the oil level. This helps to speed up the process of the oil soaking up from the bottom diffusing through the entire reed.


diy diffuser

After you have flipped the reeds/skewers and they have dried for a few minutes, you can decorate with little washi tape flags if you desire. I think they look so bright and fun with their little flags. :-)


diy diffuser

Place the finished reed diffuser somewhere in your home where it won’t be knocked over by children or pets. Within 24 hours you will begin to notice a lovely light fragrance beginning to perfume your room.

Rotate the ends of the reeds or skewers once a week to refresh and prolong the fragrance.

 diy diffuser


Do you a diffuse?


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  1. says

    A few days ago I stuck bamboo skewers into my essential oil – sniff, sniff – nothing! I’m missing the carrier oil! Love the washi tape decoration! Thank you for letting me know what I’m doing wrong.

  2. Michael says

    If you “make your own DIY” thing, does that mean you get somebody else to do it?

    This message has been a public service message from your local Department of Redundancy Department’s Message Department.

    ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

    • ashley says

      The oil she pictured in the tallest bottle called “fractionated coconut oil” by DoTerra. It is considered a carrier oil in that it is a pure oil that carries whatever essential oils you use. People use the oil to when they need to dilute an essential oil a little bit (especially since DoTerra’s oils are so pure that some of the stronger ones need to be matched with a carrier oil). They use carrier oils to help make just one drop of oil reach over a large part of the body. It is not the same as just regular coconut oil, even pure coconut oil that you would buy at a health food store, which would be solid in your diffuser, unless your house was quite warm (I believe around 75 degrees is when it becomes liquid). Hope that helps.

    • Trish says

      Carrier oils can be any light oil i.e. almond, grapeseed, jojoba as well as the fractionated coconut oil. Most of these you can find in your grocery store (market) or health food stores.


    I love this and just when I was thinking about creating a diffuser to use up the many little bottles of lovely oils that were my daughter’s.
    The only thing that I want to ask of you is to not give Walmart any recognition. There are many horror stories about their employee practices and also the origin of their products. I am on a very limited income (social security) but I make a practice of shopping locally or do without. Please do not take this comment as a negative because I LOVE your wonderful blog and look forward to receiving it. I have turned a few friends onto you and they also LOVE receiving your wisdom. Thank you so much.

  4. Kim C says

    I actually got mine from Walmart for around $12. It came with the vase, the reeds and the oil. Target has them too.
    I’ve thought of getting another for the back of the house, but this would be way cheaper. What kind of oil did you use for the carrier oil?

    LOVE your blog by the way!

  5. Carol says

    Thank you so much for all of your great DIY! My savings are adding up. I just mixed up two diffusers. Now…for your next trick…how about those pricey wax tarts. I have tried numerous companies and am disappointed. My favorite has been from a crafter so it’s doable :)

    • Jessica says

      Carol, I have been wondering about making my own wax tarts too. As far as I have read online, you can melt wax, mix in some essential oils and then poor into ice cubes or a small mold. But I would love to see Jillee do this. She makes it so simple!

  6. cty says

    OK– so these have never really worked out for me. I thought I got the concept– but I never smell the scent–not even in my tiny powder room. Maybe because the scented oils vary greatly one to another; I’ll have to try essential oils. If olive oil is used as a carrier will it go rancid? Also once all the scent is gone, can I simply add more drops of essential oils or should I start with a fresh carrier oil?

    Off topic–going through a kitchen re-do. Installing the new sink today & I bought the Moen Motion Sense faucet–how is yours working out. Do you say–where has this been all my life or that’s a fun gadget?

    • Rob says

      You would have to use essential oils to get a good result, the scented oils that you buy are usually just a very small amount of essential oil in a carrier oil already. Also I think that the the oil would evaporate before you would need to think of adding more essential oil. I use the reed diffusers all the time, I haven’t made my own yet, but this is on my “to do” list now.

  7. Tessa says

    Oooh! I can’t wait to try this! What other oils could you use as your carrier?
    On another not, Jillee, I’ve been reading a lot about Thieves Oil and found numerous recipes to make your own. I’m considering it but wondered if you had ever tried it and does it really work the way they claim? Interestingly enough, one of the ideas was to put it in a diffuser (and I really wasn’t sure what that was) so now you’ve helped me out in that regard!

    • Mindy Jefferson says

      I believe almond oil, olive oil, sunflower oil is a carrier oil. There are many you could use. It is an unscented oil you can use with essentila oil. Essential oil is very strong when not diltued with a carrier.

    • Trish says

      The EO’s I use for my Thieves oil blend are Eucalyptus, Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, & Rosemary. I bought a .5oz bottle of each and combined them into a larger dropper bottle. I use it mostly as a room freshener & sanitizer spray. I fill a small spray bottle with vodka (the cheap store brand stuff) add a few droppers of the EO blend; just remember to shake it before each use.
      I use vodka because it dries faster than water and since I used it on my keyboard and phone at work and this evaporates much quicker.

  8. says

    Thanks so much for sharing! Do you mind adding where you found the Do Terra oil? Also, might be a good idea to add that the Washi tape would have to be removed prior to rotating the reeds. :)

    Can’t wait to try this!

  9. STACEY says

    Not to be a downer, but I’ve had poor results with diffusers. Started using wax tart (cubes) and using them in a melter by Scentsy that plugs into an outlet and using a 5 or 7 watt bulb. My favorite flavor is Camucamu. By the way, the bulbs last a long time (as i leave my scentsy on about 12 hours or more a day). My favorite place to use it, is in the bathroom. The scent lasts about a week or two depending on the scent and how long it’s on. It is so easy to use. When refreshing the wax, you can add more (if there’s room) or use toilet tissue or a paper towel and wipe it out and change scents. Anyway, LOVE YOUR BLOG AND ALL IT ENTAILS. BLESSINGS,

  10. says

    Hello! I just wanted to tell you that I chose…a few of your posts actually to be featured in my Top 15 Best pampering/beauty DIY projects. If you’d like to see the post and grab a featured button feel free to head on over to my site

    I gushed about your creativity like a high school girl with her first crush. Seriously, you are so talented. Anyways, I Just wanted to let you know you were featured and where you could see the post…Happy Thursday!

  11. Sabrina Kleber says

    Hi Jillee,
    I just wanted to say thank you for all of the great posts everyday! I don’t know how you have the time/ energy but I really appreciate it. You have, single handedly, saved me soo much time. I have four children and feel like my time is spread so thin! THANK YOU!!!

  12. Diane H. says

    I thought you may also be interested that instead of using a carrier oil, you can use vodka and the essential oils to make the scent last longer. Also, you can color the oil & reeds by adding a few drops of food coloring. The color will travel up the reeds just as the oil will. It’s a great way to see your diffuser working. Only add a few drops though. Adding too much color can slow the diffusion process or clog the reeds. Use no more than 5 drops per 8 oz.

  13. LINDA E says

    What do you call that contraption that you have? I would much prefer to have one of those. I love your site & newsletters! I have tried many of your recipes & diy’s. Love them!! I’m getting ready to make the lotion bars & the body butter. Thank you so much for your research & written words!!!

  14. Linda says

    Hi Jillie, Just wondering if you have ever posted or know of a way to make your own “Swiffer” sheets, they are so expensive! My daughter wondered if used dryer sheets or paper towels would work as the base and then maybe spray with a dust magnet-type spray like pledge?
    I know if it can be done that you will know how.
    Thanks for your info, love it everyday…

  15. PJ says

    I am going to try this in our new house. I want to tell you that you have inspired me to go green and minimize and what way to do it best by starting on a clean slate in a brand new home!!! Thank you!

  16. tuan says

    I’ve been playing with diy diffuser of all kinds.
    For reed diffuser specifically. This is what I ended up with.

    80% Essential oil (Fragance oil works too and cheaper)
    10% Carrier oil (Fractioned Coconut oil is the best choice. It does not go bad.)
    10% perfumer’s alcohol (or pure ethanol alcohol 96%(?)).

    The main function of carrier oil is to keep your blend from disappearing within a week.

    The perfumer’s alcohol is to help disperse the scent.

    You do not need to flip the reeds, ever.

    I’ve several bottles for more than a month now and they still throw scent and I hardly notice them draining. The scent might have gotten slightly weaker or I’ve gotten used to it and not noticing.

    You can tweak the percentage depending on how much scent throw you like.
    More carrier oil = less scent throw
    More perfumer’s alcohol = more scent throw

    If you’re just eyeballing the mix, you can gauge roughly,
    70-80% essential/fragrance oil
    20-30% carrier oil/perfumer’s alcohol

    Also. DONOT use other alcohol, even 60% alcohol will ruin the blend.

  17. Kim says

    I have tried two different combos for reed diffusers. On bottle I used mineral oil as the carrier oil and essential oils. In the other I used mineral oil, essential oil, and a little vodka. Neither one seems to be working. :( Any ideas? Maybe I am not using enough essential oil…

  18. April says

    Hi Jillee,
    This doesn’t go with this topic, BUT I just had to finally write you and say something. I am a “Green” mom and limit my use of microwaves etc… BUT that being said, I DO NOT care if anyone else uses a microwave or chemicals for their family or themselves. It is none of my business. I get so tired of reading comments from people bashing you for one thing or another. I ust want to say THANK YOU for what you do provide. I may not make or even agree with every single post, but I do LOVE that you make these posts and I check with YOURS first before I search google for any DIY projects I make. You have become a true source for me and I AM GRATEFUL! I’m sure there are many more of us out here/there that do not bash but simply do not take the time to reply and give our thanks either. So I wanted to take this time out of my busy 4 child rearing day to give THANKS! PLease, be true to yourself and keep up the GREAT work!!!!
    ps, and hit delete on those bad comments, you don’t even need to read them!

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  21. Jessica says

    This is super cute! I have been using a humidifier as a diffuser by putting my EOs on a cotton ball a and poking the cotton ball in the grate where the mist comes. This diy diffuser seems easier, esp on muggy days.


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