Spruce up your interior spaces with this easy-to-make and all-natural DIY Reed Diffusers. This is an inexpensive and fun way to craft some amazing aromatherapy by using your favourite essential oils to create personalised scents that will have your spaces smelling fresh and luxurious.
When it comes to the 5 senses, my sense of smell is the most acute. Nothing gets me quicker than a pleasant fragrance that just caresses my nostrils and envelopes me. I am a total sucker for clean fresh scents which are very subtle yet memorable.
As a matter of fact, the first time I met my now-husband, the thing that really made an impression on me was how wonderful he smelled. I was immediately drawn to his scent because it wasn’t just about the perfume he was wearing; he just smelled like everything I liked: crisp, fresh, a little musky, a little mysterious, and some other scent I couldn’t quite place my finger on. I mentally ran through my catalogue of known scents, but I couldn’t place the fresh, yet extremely comforting fragrance emanating from him; I was hooked y’all! The rest is history.
This love for everything that smells nice extends to spaces where I get to be; and top of the list of such spaces is my home. My home is my sanctuary and nothing pleases me more than walking in and having that fresh, clean delicious smell welcome me.
Over the past years, I’ve used a wide array of store-bought items to ensure that my home always smelled nice. If you were to drop into my home at any time, chances are that you would find a diffuser humming away or a candle burning. But on my new quest to have a ‘cleaner’ lifestyle by using more natural products in all aspects of my everyday life, I have been dabbling in essential oils a fair amount of time; and I am getting to know more and more how to balance my oils, to create very personalised scents which are sustained but subtle. And in that light, I have learnt how to diffuse my essential oils (combinations) in a safe and natural way for a homey, fresh-smelling home. Crafting my own essential oil reed diffusers has been such an elegant and cost-saving way to create some amazing aromatherapy for my home, free of headache-inducing artificial fragrances.
Reed diffusers are a stylish fragrance system where reeds that sit in a carrier solvent are used to continually disperse a luxurious scent held within that solvent, all of that, contained in a decorative bottle. Thanks to capillarity, the oil travels up through wooden rods, to distribute your choice of scent from their tips to the surrounding space. Requiring no electricity or heat source, they are a great alternative to fragranced candles and plugins and are my favourite way to introduce fragrance into my home.
DIY reed diffusers are both inexpensive and fun to make! You can make your own diffuser with the perfect scent that reflects you and your home. I make these regularly to keep the house smelling amazing; and unlike most (if not all) store-bought alternatives, they are free from preservatives and potentially harmful chemicals. When I welcome people into my home they are always taken by the very unique and comfy scents wafting from my diffusers and I get tons of questions on how to make them. But get this, they are always shocked at how easy it is! Of all my DIY projects which I offer as gifts, these diffusers have received the most acclaim. Everyone I have given one to has called me back thanking me profusely and has been exceptionally pleased with their diffuser(s).
Uses for Reed Diffusers
⊕ Home Fragrance – Obviously. They are perfect for every room especially the home office, powder room, and guest rooms.
⊕ Gifts – Think teachers, Mother’s Day, Birthdays, and favours for Bridal or Baby showers.
⊕ Entertainment – Girls Craft Night, Girls Birthday Party, Team Building Activity
You need just 4 items to make your own diffuser reeds and have an all-natural aromatherapy reed diffuser for a fraction of what they cost in the store.
Rattan reeds are ideal for drawing up and diffusing essential oils. Some say you can use bamboo skewers, but I don’t think they will work as well. But if you would like to try them out, just trim off the pointy ends before use. As long as they have large holes at the ends, oils will soak up the bamboo allowing the oils to travel upwards and give that room a delightful fragrance.
Glass or ceramic container with a narrow neck. The smaller the neck of the bottle, the slower the liquid will evaporate, because you want the oils to saturate into the sticks, not into the air. I’m constantly in and out of thrift stores, and they are a perfect place to hunt for your glass container for your DIY reed diffuser! Empty perfume bottles would work just fine as well.
Any essential oil(s) of your choice. My personal favourites are ylang-ylang, lavender, jasmine, and citrus oils like lemon, bergamot, orange, and grapefruit. If you are making more than one homemade reed diffuser, add a splash of variety by using different essential oil blends per diffuser.
An unscented light carrier oil as your “base”. Sweet almond oil or safflower oil are my best options. Lately I've begun using fractionated coconut oil and I've had some pretty good results.
Alcohol is an optional ingredient in my opinion. Many reed diffuser oil recipes recommend including alcohol to thin the oils and help your diffuser oil to be drawn up the reeds. I have gotten great results without using alcohol and would recommend giving it a shot first without using any alcohol. If you find that the oil is not getting drawn up the reeds or not getting drawn up at the speed at which you would like then try adding a splash of alcohol or vodka to help the wicking process.
Once you place reeds in the jar, give the oil some time to travel up and get fully absorbed into the reeds before you start really smelling the scent. When the scent starts to lessen, simply flip the reeds upside down, and the scent will be renewed. I also do this when I am expecting company just to freshen up the air and revive the space. Overtime the reeds will become clogged with dust and stop working. When this happens, simply swap them out for some fresh reeds and keep your diffuser smelling great! Just an important word of caution, if you have small children and/or pets, keep the reed diffuser out of their reach!!!
♦ To make diffuser oil all you need to do is combine 1/2 cup of base oil and add 30 – 50 drops essential oil(s) of your choice in a glass measuring cup and mix.
♦ If your carrier oil is a bit thick, add in 2 tbsps of alcohol (vodka works great too) to the measuring cup and stir until well mixed with the oils. The alcohol is to help thin out the oils and help oils travel up reeds. But if you are using a light carrier oil (almond, apricot kernel, fractionated coconut, safflower oils) this step can be skipped.
♦ Next, use a funnel and pour oil into the diffuser container and bundle between 5-10 reeds and insert them into the neck of the vase. The oil takes a few hours to travel through the reeds so after around an hour or so, you want to flip the reeds over to make it easier for the reed to fully absorb the fragrance.
Top Tip: The fewer reeds you use the less scent you will produce. Reed count combined with how much essential oil you have added to the mixture will determine how fragrant your diffuser is, so adjust according to your likeness.
So, if you’re looking to fill your home with delightful scents that will waft gently around your home but want to avoid the smoke that comes with candles, then making your own homemade reed diffuser is the way to go. I love combining 2 or more essential oils for each room to be unique, with its own irresistible aroma and inviting atmosphere. My 3 favourite essential oil combinations are:
⊕ Sweet orange or orange blossom oil and some peppermint oil. It’s fresh and vibrant and smells so good!!!
⊕ Pine & lavender – for a relaxing, clean, and natural aroma
⊕ Grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime or bergamot – for a fresh citrusy and lively aroma
And as a bonus essential oil blend, rose, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood for a romantic mood,
Some other beautiful essential oil blends which could reflect the season or your mood include lemon/clove for a warm and inviting scent, cinnamon/ginger/wild orange and/or cardamon if you like a spicy scent, lavender/chamomile/bergamot to help you beat insomnia, or grapefruit/lime/rosemary/peppermint for a refreshing and energizing scent, perfect when the weather is warm and summery.
The combinations are unlimited so do not hesitate to get creative and experiment with different essential oil blends until you find the one(s) that truly represents your personality. You can then increase your batches and keep them in sealed containers (like a canning jar) to save prep time later on. Or you can simply choose to stick to just one fragrance such as lavender or jasmine which is always a safe bet.
A DIY essential oil reed diffuser is an excellent way to freshen the house without any icky toxins or chemicals. And as mentioned above these make for the perfect personalised gift to a loved one on any occasion. If you are making these as gifts, you could choose an oil or a blend that resonates with the season or the receiver’s personality, and then just wrap or glue some ribbon to the rim, neck or base of the container to give it that wow factor! Your mama, friend or that special someone is sure to love it. And as a very important reminder: Make sure your DIY reed diffuser is out of reach of little hands and paws, as the container can tip over and the oils can spill. Some oils are toxic for little children and pets so please be careful.
This is a diffuser I will definitely continue to make for years to come. So what about you? Comment below if this is a DIY you would like to try, or if you’ve already crafted one of these, please share some of your favourite fragrance combinations.