DIY Reed Diffuser: Create Your Own Simple Step-by-Step Guide

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding a moment of tranquility is essential. A reed diffuser can transform any room into a fragrant oasis, providing a steady release of soothing aromas. While store-bought reed diffusers can be expensive, making your own is not only cost-effective but also allows you to customize the scent to your liking. This guide will walk you through the process of creating a DIY reed diffuser, helping you save money and bring a personal touch to your home’s ambiance.

Why Choose a Reed Diffuser?

Reed diffusers are a popular choice for home fragrance because they are low-maintenance, long-lasting, and do not require electricity or heat. They work through a simple mechanism: reeds soaked in a fragrance oil absorb the scent and release it into the air. This method ensures a consistent and subtle fragrance that can last for several weeks, depending on the size of the diffuser and the quality of the oil.

Materials Needed for a DIY Reed Diffuser

To start, gather the necessary materials. You’ll need a glass bottle or container, preferably with a narrow opening to slow the evaporation rate. Recycled glass bottles, small vases, or even decorative jars work well. The next essential items are the reeds or rattan sticks, which will be the medium through which the fragrance oil is diffused. Natural rattan reeds are preferred for their ability to absorb and disperse oils effectively.

Next, choose a base oil. A carrier oil like almond oil, safflower oil, or fractionated coconut oil is essential because these oils are light and have little to no scent, making them ideal for diffusers. For the fragrance, you’ll need essential oils, which provide the scent. You can choose single essential oils or create your own blend to customize the aroma.

Additionally, a small amount of alcohol, such as vodka, is required to thin the oil so it travels up the reeds more easily. You will also need a measuring cup and funnel for accurate measurements and easy pouring, as well as a stirring stick or spoon to mix the oils thoroughly.

Reed Diffuser Base Oil

reed diffuser base note

For the base oil, I am using a 1000ml reed diffuser base oil that is both colorless and odorless. This high-quality solvent serves as an excellent base for creating custom reed diffusers. Its neutral properties allow me to add various essential oils or fragrance blends to suit different preferences and atmospheres throughout my home. I can make several unique diffusers tailored for specific rooms, such as refreshing and calming scents for the bathrooms, warm and inviting aromas for the living room, and soothing, relaxing fragrances for the bedrooms. This flexibility ensures that each area of my home has a pleasant and personalized ambiance.

A 1000ml bottle of base reed oil typically costs about $6 (approximately RM30). For higher quality options, the price can go up to $20 or more (over RM100).

Essential Oils

essential oils

For the essential oils, I invested in small quantities, specifically 10ml bottles for each fragrance. I selected a variety of five different scents to start with, including Lavender, Eucalyptus, Rose Geranium, Orange, and Ylang Ylang. These diverse and high-quality essential oils allow me to experiment with and create unique blends for my reed diffusers.

Lavender offers a calming and relaxing aroma, perfect for creating a serene environment. Eucalyptus provides a refreshing and invigorating scent, ideal for areas where you want to feel energized and revitalized. Rose Geranium brings a floral and slightly sweet fragrance, adding a touch of elegance and warmth to any room. Orange essential oil delivers a bright, citrusy aroma that can uplift the mood and create a cheerful atmosphere. Ylang Ylang, with its exotic and sweet scent, can create a soothing and romantic ambiance.

With these essential oils, I can mix and match to craft personalized scents tailored to each space in my home, ensuring a pleasant and inviting atmosphere throughout.

The prices of essential oils can vary based on the bottle size and quality. Branded essential oils can cost upwards of $20, but I prefer the smaller 10ml bottles, which cost about $2 (around RM13), making them quite affordable in my opinion. Depending on your usage, you can also opt for larger sizes like 50ml and 100ml, which typically cost around $10 and above (over RM50).

Empty Bottles For DIY Reed Diffuser

DIY Reed Diffuser Bottles
Reed Diffuser Bottles

Regarding bottles, I opted for the 50ml size because it perfectly suits my needs. Larger bottles would require more base oil and essential oils, leading to higher costs. By choosing the 50ml bottles, I can control the amount of ingredients I use, ensuring cost-effectiveness without compromising on quality.

This size allows me to manage my resources efficiently, making it an ideal choice for my requirements. Additionally, the smaller bottles are more convenient to handle and store, enhancing their practicality for my purposes. Bottles come in various sizes and colors, including coffee, transparent, or black.

The 50ml bottle is available at an affordable price of approximately $1. As you opt for larger sizes or more intricate and aesthetically pleasing designs, the cost will proportionally increase. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make, depending on your preferences and budget.

Reed Sticks

DIY Reed Diffuser Reed Sticks

And finally, you’ll need reed sticks. You can choose from a variety of colors, including black, white, or wooden. Personally, I prefer black reed sticks because they add a touch of luxury and sophistication to any space. When placed in my bedroom or washroom, the black reeds not only complement the decor but also create an elegant and refined atmosphere.

Their sleek appearance enhances the overall aesthetic, making the room feel more stylish and inviting. Whether you prefer the classic look of wooden reeds or the modern appeal of black or white, there’s a perfect option to match your personal taste and decor.

Reed sticks are cheap and only cost around $5 for 100 sticks.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a DIY Reed Diffuser

Once you have all the materials, you can start making your reed diffuser. First, ensure your glass bottle is clean and dry, as any residue or moisture can affect the quality and longevity of your diffuser. In a measuring cup, combine a quarter cup of your chosen base oil with two to three tablespoons of alcohol. The alcohol helps to thin the oil, enabling it to travel up the reeds more effectively.

Add 20 to 30 drops of essential oil to the base oil and alcohol mixture. The number of drops can be adjusted depending on how strong you want the fragrance to be. Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure the essential oils are evenly distributed. Using a funnel, carefully pour the mixture into your glass bottle.

Fill it about halfway to allow room for the reeds to be inserted. Place five to ten reeds into the bottle, ensuring they are submerged in the oil. The number of reeds can be adjusted based on the size of the bottle and the desired intensity of the fragrance. More reeds will release a stronger scent, but the oil will also evaporate more faster. After a few hours, flip the reeds to help saturate them with the oil, kickstarting the diffusion. For ongoing maintenance, flip the reeds every few days to refresh the scent.

Customizing Your Reed Diffuser

One of the joys of making your own reed diffuser is the ability to customize the scent. Popular essential oil blends include a relaxation blend of lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood; an energizing blend of citrus oils like lemon, orange, and grapefruit with a hint of peppermint; a holiday blend of pine, cinnamon, and clove for a festive aroma; and a fresh and clean blend of eucalyptus, tea tree, and lemon. Experiment with different combinations to find the perfect scent for your space. Additionally, you can personalize the look of your diffuser by decorating the bottle with ribbons, labels, or paint.

Tips for Maximizing Your Reed Diffuser’s Lifespan

To get the most out of your DIY reed diffuser, consider its location. Place your diffuser in a high-traffic area where air circulates well, such as near a doorway or window, to help disperse the scent more effectively. Keep your diffuser out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, as these can cause the oils to evaporate faster. Flip the reeds every few days to refresh the scent and keep it consistent. Over time, reeds can become saturated and less effective, so replace them every one to two months to maintain optimal fragrance diffusion. Refill the bottle with more oil mixture when the level gets low, ensuring the bottle is at least half full to keep the reeds saturated and effective.

Cost Savings of DIY Reed Diffusers

Making your own reed diffuser is not only fun and creative but also leads to significant cost savings. Store-bought diffusers can range from $20 to $50, depending on the brand and size, while a DIY diffuser using readily available materials can cost as little as $5 to $10. By using recycled bottles or jars, you save on the cost of purchasing a new container.

Purchasing base oils and essential oils in bulk can reduce the cost per diffuser significantly. Additionally, these ingredients can be used for other DIY projects, further stretching your investment. Creating your own essential oil blends means you can tailor the scent to your preferences without the markup of specialty blends sold in stores.

Environmental Benefits

In addition to saving money, DIY reed diffusers have environmental benefits. By reusing glass bottles and reducing the need for commercial packaging, you contribute to less waste. Furthermore, choosing natural essential oils over synthetic fragrances supports a healthier home environment and reduces exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While making a reed diffuser is straightforward, you may encounter some issues. If the fragrance is not strong enough, add more essential oil to the mixture or flip the reeds more frequently, ensuring the reeds are fully saturated with oil. If the oil is not traveling up the reeds, it could be because the oil mixture is too thick.

Ensure you have added enough alcohol to thin the oil. Using high-quality rattan reeds can also improve absorption. If the oil is evaporating too fast, check the location of your diffuser. Move it away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Using a bottle with a narrower opening can also slow down evaporation.


Creating a DIY reed diffuser is a simple, cost-effective way to enhance your home’s ambiance with your favorite scents. With just a few basic materials and some creativity, you can enjoy a personalized fragrance experience that rivals store-bought options. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of crafting something unique and beneficial for your living space.

So, gather your supplies, choose your favorite essential oils, and embark on the journey of making your own reed diffuser. Whether you’re looking to create a calming atmosphere, invigorate your senses, or celebrate the season with a festive blend, a DIY reed diffuser is a versatile and rewarding project that brings lasting benefits to your home.

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