DIY reed diffusers are the perfect craft for a beginner looking to make a big impact on their home or apartment. Not only is it a beautiful decoration, but a reed diffuser will fill your room with any number of gorgeous, natural scents thanks to essential oils.
You see reed diffusers in almost every store nowadays, but like their cousins the candles, reed diffusers can be pricey. It’s silly to pay a premium for these items when making one at home is so simple! If you want to learn the easiest method to make a homemade reed diffuser, I’ve got some great tips for you.
In this guide, we will briefly talk about the history of reed diffusers to give you an appreciation for them before moving into the quick and easy method of making your own DIY reed diffuser.
History of reed diffusers
The history of reed diffusers has a lot to do with the history of fragrance itself. For as long as humans have had civilization, they have been making things smell good! Thanks to the Silk Road, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures brought spices, incense, flowers, and more to the West, allowing them to play with scent, too.
It was in the middle ages that steam diffusers first came to be, when the scientists of the time came up with the method to distill liquids and extract oils from plants. It’s thought that reed diffusers themselves are only a few centuries old.
Aromatherapy has long been considered to have special powers. Chinese medicine in particular seems almost synonymous with aromatherapy. Bergamot and lavender, for example, was traditionally used to inspire balance and calm in patients, while lemongrass was considered to invigorate.
Even though we now live in a more modern age, aromatherapy can still be a part of our lives. There’s no denying the right scent will put us at ease or make us feel more awake. Using a homemade reed diffuser to inspire different emotions is a great way to incorporate this ancient wisdom into your every day!
And just FYI, we’ve also applied the same ideas to laundry in our DIY laundry scent booster article. Check it out of you’re looking for some of those lovely scents in the laundry room and closets as well.
Ingredients for homemade reed diffusers
To make your own DIY reed diffuser, there’s actually a very small list of ingredients for you to acquire. The materials for a homemade reed diffuser are:
- Glass bottle or base for oil
- Rattan reeds
- Carrier oil (almond oil, safflower, or other neutral oil)
- Essential oils
If you don’t want to pick up a carrier oil, a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol or water and vodka will work, as well.
How to make a DIY reed diffuser
Choosing a container
Picking out what container you will use for your homemade reed diffuser is all about personal style, but there are a few things to consider. To be a good reed diffuser base, the bottle will need to be large enough to hold a quarter cup of your mixture.
You also want to choose a reed diffuser base that has a narrow opening. This will cause your reed diffuser sticks to fan out more narrowly and attractively. A wider mouth will cause them to spread a lot, and your homemade reed diffuser will look sparse and patchy.
Choosing essential oils
Do some research on where to buy quality essential oils. The FDA does not currently certify essential oils, so brands are free to make whatever claims they like – and fill their products with things that might not be so good for you and your pets to be breathing in.
The following brands have been independently tested and are widely considered to be high quality and free from harmful ingredients:
- Plant Therapy
- Aura Cacia
- Now Foods
- Rocky Mountain Oils
As much as you can, stay away from any store brands or discount oils. You may think $3.99 is a bargain, but after-market retailers do not ensure quality or product freshness. Sad but true!
If you’re able to find a local seller who makes pure essential oils, that’s also a wonderful option to explore. Small businesses are always my top choice when it comes to buying quality ingredients I can trust.
Once you know what essential oil combination you’d like to use, you want to mix about 25-30 drops total into your carrier oil or alcohol mixture.
For the carrier oil, measure out a quarter cup. Mix the essential oils into the carrier, achieving a nice, even blend, then pour it into your decorative diffuser base.
For an alcohol blend, pour out a quarter cup of water and add a splash of either rubbing alcohol, perfumer’s alcohol, or vodka. Add your essential oils to this mixture, then blend it together by stirring. Pour the mixture into your decorative base.
Trimming the reeds
This step is going to come down to a bit of personal preference. When you buy your reed diffuser sticks in the store, you want to select sticks that will be long enough to rise high above your diffuser base. This will promote a better scent throw.
However, if you don’t like the look, simply trim them down a bit until they suit your preference. This is also a necessary step if you plan to display your homemade reed diffuser on a shelf or bookcase. Ensure a good fit so the scent has room to travel.
An alternative to rattan reeds is bamboo skewers. These will be more widely available in stores, but scent won’t travel up bamboo as well as rattan.
Place the reeds into your decorative base, dipping them into the oils. Rotate the reed diffuser sticks and dip the other end into the oil. Leave them in place after both ends have been saturated in your oils.
And that’s it!
Genuinely, now you’re done!
It’s really that easy to make a gorgeous, effective reed diffuser to add style and fragrance to your home. Next, we’ll provide some helpful tips on how to display your homemade reed diffuser as well as how to take care of it.
Homemade reed diffusers – tips for use
Taking care of a reed diffuser properly is key to making sure you get the most fragrance out of your homemade diffuser. It’s not hard at all! You just need to pay it a little attention every now and then.
Maintain your reed diffuser by flipping the reeds every few days. Once a week, swirl the oil around in the jar or base to make sure everything is still well-mixed. When you notice your scent is beginning to fade significantly, wash your diffuser base with soap and water, then leave it to dry completely before you refill it.
And, if you’re looking for a new, fresh scent, we’ve created some great ideas for reed diffuser oil refill recipes.
Consider putting a coaster beneath the diffuser to catch any small leaks or spills that might occur. Your homemade reed diffuser is so beautiful, and it deserves to be on display with your other beautiful items, but remember that diffusers can be messy!
How to make a reed diffuser smell stronger
You’ve put so much love into your little diffuser, which means you’d actually like to smell it when you’re in the same room, right?
A larger space will require more reeds. For a living room or bedroom, put in about 6-8 reeds. For a bathroom or other small space, only 3 or 4 will be fine. Experiment with how you like the strength of the fragrance.
Make sure you’re setting your reed diffuser up for success by finding the best location. Reed diffusers rely on air flow to throw scent, so make sure its in a high-traffic area like an entry way or hallway. Putting your diffuser on a shelf that you walk by frequently will help circulate the scent.
DIY reed diffusers – wrap up
Reed diffusers are enjoying some serious popularity right now! While there’s nothing wrong with a candle, a beautiful glass bottle with some rattan reeds peeking out is the height of trend – a modern yet natural decoration.
Not only that, but making your own DIY reed diffuser allows you to be totally in control of its appearance – and its wonderful scent! My personal favorite is a blend of bergamot and orange, which reminds me of the spicy goodness of my favorite morning tea. Spearmint and basil is also a great herbal combination, perfect for meditative moments in my bedroom.
The joy of crafting doesn’t stop at making your own homemade diffuser. You’ll never get tired of thinking up different scent combinations. Experiment with different essential oil blends, and let us know in the comments what you come up with!