DIY Essential Oils Pendant Diffuser

pendant diffuser

There are several ways to experience the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. I have posted about many of them before (see “Essential Oils…How Do I Use Them?“), but today I’ve discovered something new that you might not have heard of before.

I first heard about it from my sister Dori who has elementary-aged school children. Since schools are very picky about what they allow children to have in school with them, she was looking for a way for her kids to benefit from the essential oil blend for ADHD, Jeddy’s Blend, throughout the day without having to take a bottle with them.

That’s when she decided to try a terra cotta pendant diffuser that they could wear around their necks. Terra cotta is known for its absorbent and porous properties, and you literally only need to add a drop of your favorite essential oils to enjoy the therapeutic benefits for days!

She purchased her diffuser pendants for $7.99 each and was limited to 1 or 2 somewhat obscure designs. I figured I could make a pendant for MUCH less money and create a few fun designs of my own. Plus, I’ve actually been wanting to try out the new air-day clays (no baking necessary!) and this presented the perfect opportunity.

pendant diffuser

DIY Pendant Diffuser

Materials needed:


pendant diffuser

Break off a piece of terra cotta clay and work it with your hands until pliable.

pendant diffuser

Use the rolling pin to roll out the clay until it’s 1/8 inch thick.

pendant diffuser

pendant diffuser

Take your cutting tool and press firmly into the clay to make the pendant.

pendant diffuser

Remove the excess clay and stamp your design into the clay pendant.

pendant diffuser

Once you have stamped the pendants, make a hole in the pendant. Make sure the hole is big enough to fit your leather shoelace through. Allow to dry according to the directions.

pendant diffuser

Cut your leather laces to the desired length and lace through the hole in your pendant. Put one drop of your preferred essential oil onto the pendant and allow to soak in before putting on.

pendant diffuser

That’s it! Now you can enjoy the benefits of essential oils throughout the day! If the scent begins to fade, just add another drop to the pendant. Remember that a little essential oil goes a long way. One drop is plenty.

Ideas for using your pendant diffuser:

  • For school-aged children who suffer from ADHD, apply Jeddy’s Blend, an essential oil blend made especially for ADHD, to the diffuser and let them wear it to school around their neck.
  • I personally like to apply the essential oil blends Bliss or Zen to my pendant and wear it around my neck when I’m feeling anxious or having a stressful day. Holding the pendant to my nose and breathing deeply calms me down and helps me feel more balanced.
  • Try Wild Orange or Peppermint for when you need a quick pick-me-up!
  • Give Lavender a try when winding down at night.

A few more helpful hints:

  • Only use single essential oils or essential oil blends WITHOUT carrier oils. Carrier oils will not evaporate rapidly, and may clog the pores of the clay.
  • If you want to change the oil on the diffuser, wait until most of the original scent has evaporated (usually 2 or 3 days), then apply the next one.
  • When applying the essential oil to your pendant, lay it down flat on a table and drip one drop onto the top (front) of the clay.
  • Make sure the oil is fully absorbed into the terra cotta before using so it won’t stain clothing.
  • Besides wearing around your neck, you can also hang them on doorknobs, lamps, light fixtures, bedposts…even in your car.
pendant diffuser

Photos by Anna Gleave


The best thing about these little charmers is that you can always have your favorite essential oil right with you without having to tote around a bottle. Just grab your pendant and breathe deeply!


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  1. says

    You’re projects are always so beautiful! What a great idea! My son struggles in school with ADD and I never thought about doing something like this! Does it work to put on a cat’s collar too? He’s been sneezing all week!

      • LOUANNE THOMAS says

        Thank you so much for this information I had no idea that this would be an issue for cats. How “too near” is too near?
        I just LOVE your projects and I especially love your backstory. You are to be admired for your courage and strength. My story is not as successful as my lovely adult daughter ended up overdosing on prescription drugs. A horrible ending for an amazing woman, unfortunately mine is not a unique story too many deaths from prescription drugs.
        My daughter, Molly, blended magnificent oils and practiced spiritual phytoescensing with great client results. Dr. Bruce Berkosky was her teacher.
        Thanks, again, Jill

    • Tara says

      Please, no EO’s around the feline friends. They lack the liver enzyme to process them and rid them out of their body. If you do use them (I use them in cleaners) ventilation is very important. Make sure they have a room they can go to so they can get away from it and take a 72 hour break between uses. I usually turn off the heat/air and open a window in the bedroom where she can sit and get fresh air. It’s not a strict no-no to use EO’s but us cat moms have to take extra precautions. :)

  2. Julie says

    Great idea! Is there a reason why the tie needs to be leather or can any other material be used? I plan to use it around the house and would prefer to use something else to hang it with.

    • Susa says

      Pretty ribbon….twine…leather seems to be the ‘in’ thing to use with pendants right now.

    • cathy says

      I used this product and they broke way to easy as far as I am concerned…I would like to use real terracotta clay but have not had luck finding it. I think I need to find a pottery class and ask some questions…I think real terracotta needs fired…but love the idea and love your website…have any ideas what to do with all this clay I have now. :/

      • KymberLynn says

        You can simply go to a Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and purchase an oven bake terra cotta polymer clay. It will be a little sturdier than the air dry clay. I use this for the pendants I make all the time.

  3. Cherie says

    What a great craft for teens too – thinking my eldest would enjoy making these for her friends and gifting some essential oil along with it – thanks!

  4. Constance says

    Hi Jillee,
    thanks for that wonderful post.
    But I was thinking about a “cheaper” or “I have all the materials on hand”-version of the clay, as I didn’t wanna buy it extra for that project.

    I remembered “Salzteig” from my kindergarden days (translation: “salty dough”). I don’t know whether you know about that in the US.
    You take 1,5cups flour, half a cup cornstarch/potato starch, 1cup salt, 1 cup water, 1 to 3 T oil. (You can also leave out the starch and oil, but the dough will be more brittle)
    Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the wet ones and mix with a handheld mixer until crumbly. Then knead into a ball using your hands. Now you can roll it out and make your pendants. The dough shapes need to dry for one to two days and then need to be baked in the oven at 300F for approx. one hour (time depends on how thick the pendants are, for each 5millimetres thickness you count an hour of baking time)
    The dough is white but/and can be painted.

    As the porous surface draws humidity from the air, it will get drier/more brittle over time, therefore it should best be sealed with clear paint.
    The same probably applies to your clay, Jillee.

    The biggest tradeoff in availability of the material is probably the time it takes to dry. However I like it because I all got it at home, I like the colour better and I produce no extra carbon footprint by ordering clay and keep some bucks :)

      • Constance says

        just realized that sealing with clear paint would make them obsolete, as the clay won’t be able to absorb the oils anymore, either. So, be prepared as clay gets drier over time, that at one point it might break.
        I am curious whether that would be the case with Jille’s clay, too.

      • donna says

        You can paint these (I make and sell them). Just don’t paint the back so there is somewhere to add the oil. They do work and mine are getting great reviews. If painted, you just need to really wait until the oil is absorbed and no longer noticably wet on the pendant in case there is a skin sensitivity. I have psoriasis and have had no problems at all. Just make sure you use pure essential oil without any carrier oils – they will clog and quit working. However, you can clean them, but it’s a little difficult to do.

      • Amy says

        What do you paint them with? I’d LOVE to make some of these for myself and kids, as well as for others. Is there a good clear paint to use?

      • donna says

        I use acrylic craft paints (the little 2 ounce bottles that come in a wide variety of colors) – only on sides and front. Then seal with mod podge. The mod podge gives them a good shine. Many have sold since Christmas and not one complaint about any of them.

    • KymberLynn says

      That idea won’t really work in my opinion for this project. It is the sealer that is the issue. You could use that DIY dough/clay but if you apply the sealer to it the porous surface will be sealed. No oils will penetrate and it would not work for diffusing essential oils. It would probably make a cute necklace but I don’t believe it would diffuse oils.

  5. says

    I love this idea! I can’t wait to try it. My son has adhd. This might be helpful. I also like to smell lavender to help me sleep at night. Maybe I could make one to hang near my bed or put on my nightstand. The wheels are turning.