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DIY Reed Diffuser – Wellness Mama®

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I’m a big fan of diffusing essential oils in our home. And in fact, I’ve tried quite a few different diffusers over the years to make our home smell great. A DIY reed diffuser is one way to get the gentle scent and aromatherapy benefits in a stylish way.

Why Use an Essential Oil Reed Diffuser?

I’ve talked before about the dangers of fragrance oils, plug-in air fresheners, and other artificial scents. They can cause problems ranging from headaches and skin issues to breathing problems. And while they may scent the room, there are better ways to get the job done. I’ve found I no longer even like the artificial scents and I prefer how my house smells with essential oil blends.

I like my nebulizing diffusers and ultrasonic diffusers and we have several in different rooms. They can really pack a punch when it comes to scenting the air, plus there’s the added health benefits. A homemade reed diffuser though is a more subtle but elegant way to diffuse your favorite essential oils. A nice, scented glass jar enhances your home decor.

How to Make a DIY Reed Diffuser

To make a homemade reed diffuser you’ll need reed diffuser sticks, a glass bottle, base oil, and essential oils. You can also use alcohol instead of carrier oil. It can fit any style you want depending on which diffuser bottle you choose. Just be sure to choose one with a narrow opening. You can find bottles at thrift stores, craft stores, and even Amazon.

For the reeds you can use rattan reeds or bamboo skewers also work. If using skewers simply cut off the pointed end.

Choosing a Carrier Oil

I use 40-50 drops of essential oil per 1/2 cup of carrier oil. Since this homemade diffuser relies on evaporation to work the oil mixture needs to be strong. The carrier oil also needs to be thin or it won’t diffuse out of the reeds very well and they’ll get clogged. So heavier options like olive oil, jojoba, and virgin coconut oil won’t work.

Here are a few good options when making your own reed diffuser.

  • Fractionated coconut oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Safflower oil (although I don’t recommend eating this one)

If you prefer not to use a carrier oil, then vodka or rubbing alcohol will also work. Mix 1 Tablespoon of alcohol with 1/2 cup distilled water for the diffuser liquid.

DIY Essential Oil Blends

I get a lot of my essential oils from Plant Therapy and they have some really yummy smelling blends. Be sure to get Kid Safe ones if your kids will be around your DIY reed diffuser! Some essential oils are ok for kids to smell, but not to use topically, so do your own research. For example, lemongrass and ylang ylang are too harsh for little one’s skin, but they’re safe to diffuse.

You can find premade blends here, but I’ve also included some ideas below if you want to make your own DIY diffuser blends.

Thinner essential oils, like citrus oils, evaporate faster and are considered “top notes.” By including heavier, fixative essential oils (base or middle notes), it helps the scent last longer. You can see which oils are which here. Usually, the best blends contain a balance of all 3 notes.

How to Make Your DIY Reed Diffuser Smell Stronger

This DIY project won’t smell as strong as an electric diffuser, but there are a few tips for how to boost the scent.

  • Make sure the glass bottle you use has a narrow opening. Too wide and the oils will evaporate too quickly into the air.
  • Several times a week flip the reeds over.
  • Replace the reeds once a month or as they get clogged
  • Add more reeds to your DIY reed diffuser
  • Use several reed diffusers if your space is a little larger. Reed diffusers work best in smaller spaces.
DIY reed diffuser

DIY Reed Diffuser

This inviting smelling DIY diffuser uses reeds to disperse a subtle, essential oils scent. Use it to dress up your space and get the benefits of aromatherapy!



  • 40-50 drops essential oils (see above for recipe ideas)
  • ½ cup sweet almond oil (or distilled water)
  • 1 TBSP alcohol (optional, if not using carrier oil)


  • Place the essential oils and carrier oil into your glass jar. If using alcohol, then pour the water, essential oils, and alcohol into the jar instead.

  • Put the reeds into the jar opening. How many you use will depend on the size of your container.

  • Place the diffuser in an area away from kids and pets that could knock it over.


Refill the jar and change the reeds out every few weeks or as needed.

What are your favorite ways to add some scent to your space? Leave a comment and let us know!

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