DIY Reed Diffuser

When to Use a DIY Reed Diffuser

If you were to knock on my door to borrow a cup of sugar or more likely an essential oil, chances are you would find an essential oil candle lighting the entryway and a diffuser humming in the living room adjacent. It’s no secret that I love personalizing a space with scent. 

While I enjoy the comfort of glowing handmade candles, it’s the aromatherapy I appreciate the most. And some spaces just don’t have room for a diffuser. And I don’t feel comfortable leaving a candle burning when I am not keeping an eye on it. 

Plug-in air fresheners are not an option in our home – they make me sneeze and give me headaches. Really, I shouldn’t be surprised as research shows commercial air fresheners significantly contribute to indoor air pollution. I can’t even walk into some stores, the fragrances are too overwhelming. Not to mention, they smell so fake after using the real deal for years. Do you feel the same? 

So when I want to create a subtle ambiance for those spaces in our home that aren’t ideal for candles or diffusers I turn to an essential oil reed diffuser. 

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Here’s how to make a reed diffuser - boho style! Plus 9 essential oil reed diffuser recipes for your homemade diffuser or reed diffuser oil refill.

What is reed diffuser? 

A reed diffuser allows aromatherapy oils to slowly travel up reeds that are held in a container and are released into the air. Reed diffuser sticks are made from natural wood such as rattan reeds or bamboo. Similar to that of a vase of fresh flowers, reed diffusers gently fill a space with an aroma. The closer you are to the reeds the more you’ll smell them. 

DIY reed diffusers are not a new concept. In fact, natural wood reed diffusers are a great method for getting started with essential oils. They are one of the easiest DIY essential oil projects one can make! 

And they are basically an effortless way to enjoy aromatherapy, compared to filling and turning on a diffuser or lighting a candle. Who doesn’t love a constant scent that requires no electricity or flame?

Related: Cozy Essential Oil Diffuser Blends

Related: How to Clean A Diffuser

Wondering where should you use a reed diffuser? I’ve found a DIY reed diffuser is great for a space that doesn’t have easy access to an outlet. I have one sitting on the shelf in our laundry room and by the sink in our lower level half bath. Small spaces like these work well for essential oil diffuser recipes! 

Altogether a DIY reed diffuser is simple and inexpensive to make. You likely have a small decorative vase or jar in your home that you can turn easily into a homemade diffuser. 

How Do You Make Reed Diffuser Oil?

DIY essential oil projects are always a great experience! I especially love creating and enjoy the aroma of essential oil projects during the making. This one happens to be super simple and quick to make! All you need to make reed diffuser oil is a few ingredients.

The first being a carrier oil. What’s the best carrier oil for reed diffuser recipes? First off if you’re unfamiliar with carrier oils, check out this complete guide on everything you ever wanted to know about carrier oils – including a printable carrier oil blending reference guide from the Oily Chic Library and what carrier oils you should avoid. 

In my experience the best carrier oil for reed diffuser is plant-based, light and has little to no scent. Here are two carrier oils I recommend for making a DIY reed diffuser. Each is inexpensive and has a long shelf life. 

Sweet Almond Oil

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Essential Oil Reed Diffuser Recipes

The next supply for a DIY reed diffuser is essential oils. This where your personality and creativity take part. Do you love bright citrus scents like lime, lemon, and orange? Or it’s a spicy warm aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and clove you’re after? You can use your own unique combination of essential oils or choose from one of these essential oil reed diffuser recipes. 

9 DIY Reed Diffuser Recipe Blends:

Zen Found Diffuser Recipe

  • 10 drops Stress Away
  • 10 drops Jasmine

Rosewood Diffuser Recipe

  • 10 drops Palo Santo ⁣
  • 5 drops Ylang Yland
  • 5 drops Sandalwood
  • 5 drops Jasmine

Luscious Lemon Diffuser Recipe

  • 5 drops Eucalyptus Globulus
  • 4 drops Lemon
  • 4 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 3 drops Lemon Myrtle
  • 3 drops Spearmint
  • 2 drops Cinnamon Bark

Coastal Capri Blue Diffuser Recipe

  • 8 drops Stress Away⁣
  • 6 drops Lemon ⁣
  • 6 drops Grapefruit ⁣
  • 4 drops Bergamot⁣

Positive Vibes Diffuser Blend

  • 8 drops Bergamot
  • 8 drops Eucalyptus
  • 8 drops Orange

Anthro Volcano Diffuser Recipe

  • 6 drops Grapefruit
  • 4 drops Tangerine
  • 4 drops Idaho Blue Spruce
  • 3 drops Geranium
  • 3 drops Lemon Myrtle

Aveda Spa Diffuser Recipe

  • 8 drops Lavender
  • 5 drops Bergamot
  • 4 drops Marjoram 
  • 3 drops Lemongrass
  • 2 drops Geranium
  • 1 drop Frankincense

Farmers Market Diffuser Recipe

  • 10 drops Geranium
  • 6 drops Peppermint
  • 4 drops Rosemary
  • 3 drops Jade Lemon

Relax & Refresh Diffuser Recipe

  • 10 drops Lemongrass
  • 5 drops Sage
  • 5 drops Rosemary
9 essential oil reed diffuser recipes for your homemade diffuser - boho style blends!

Use these essential oil reed diffuser recipes to fragrance your home with our printable blend sheet from our Oily Chic Library

Oh, and if it’s a seasonal scent you want, see my spring blends and cozy fall blends. Or if you want something great for the sleep vibes in the bedroom, choose from the best essential oils for sleep. And when it comes to kids, I shared more than 20 blends for kids here

The last ingredient you’ll need to make reed diffuser oil is vodka. Why add vodka to a reed diffuser? It helps the essential oils bind together with the carrier oil for a great scent throw! 

Where to Find Reed Diffuser Sticks

Now that you’ve made a diffuser oil all that’s left is a small vessel to hold the oil and reed diffuser sticks. Rather you’re refilling a container with reed diffuser oil and starting with new reed diffuser sticks or you’re making a homemade diffuser, this step is important. 

In the past, I tried bamboo skewers my husband uses for grilling. While I do love bamboo for many things like cutting boards and soft washcloths. It’s not the best option for a DIY reed diffuser. 

You see, rattan reeds have little channels in the reed that allows diffuser oil to be pulled up and released into the air. You can see them if you look at the bottom of rattan reed diffuser sticks. I’ve found them to be much more effective in fragrancing a room. 

How Many Reeds Should You Use? 

8 to 12 rattan reed diffuser sticks will give you a great scent and fit into most containers. This pack of 30 reeds will go a long way for short containers because you can cut them in half. 

A DIY reed diffuser is simple and inexpensive to make. You likely have a small decorative vessel in our home that you can turn easily into a homemade diffuser. Here’s how to make a reed diffuser!

How to Make a Reed Essential Oil Diffuser:

DIY Reed Diffuser Supply List:

1 glass or ceramic jar or vase with a narrow opening

8 to 12 rattan diffuser reeds sticks

¼ cup fractionated coconut oil

1 tablespoon vodka

20 to 25 drops of essential oils

Homemade Diffuser Instructions:

1. Cut rattan reed diffuser sticks to size for the container you choose. You’ll want them to extend approximately six inches above the top of the jar or vase. Set aside. 

2. Pour ¼ cup of fractionated coconut oil into the container. Then add 1 tablespoon of vodka. 

3. Add an essential oil diffuser blend totaling 20 to 25 drops. 

4. Place the pre-cut reed diffuser sticks into the container.

Wait 2 hours then turn the reeds over, end to end, inserting the dry ends into the container. Enjoy the aromatherapy as it slowly absorbs and travels up the reeds. Every few days or once a week flip the diffuser reeds over to refresh the scent. 

How long do the reeds last in a diffuser? 

You can expect a DIY reed diffuser to last for 2 to 4 months without needing a refill. This also depends on the temperature and moisture level of the room it’s in. 

To make a reed diffuser oil refill simply follow the directions above for making reed diffuser oil again. If you want to try a new scent, I suggest washing your container and using new reed diffuser sticks. 

7 Tips on How to Make a Reed Diffuser Smell Stronger

7 Tips on How to Make a Reed Diffuser Smell Stronger:

Want to know how to make a reed diffuser smell stronger? Here are seven tips I’ve learned for getting a great scent throw with DIY reed diffuser:  

1. Bind the coconut oil and essential oils with vodka not rubbing alcohol. Vodka is fairly odorless compared to rubbing alcohol that can interfere with the scent you’re after. 

2. Just like avoiding rubbing alcohol, you’ll also want to avoid using a carrier oil that has a strong scent. Avocado oil and pumpkin seed oil to name a few, because they have a strong scent. 

3. If you’re using coconut oil to make your diffuser oil make sure it’s fractionated coconut oil. It is liquid at room temperature, unlike coconut oil that is used for cooking or DIY lip scrubs

4. Use rattan reed diffuser sticks not bamboo skewers. As I mentioned above rattan reeds have small channels in the reed that allows diffuser oil to be pulled up and released into the air. 

5. Make sure you are using enough diffuser sticks. 8 to 12 is ideal. Anything less than that won’t likely give much of a scent. To make a reed diffuser smell stronger, try adding more diffuser sticks.

6. Make it a habit of regularly flipping the diffuser sticks. At least once a week is needed to draw out more oil up the reeds. I love flipping them just before guests arrive.

7. When all else fails, add more essential oils to make a reed diffuser smell stronger. You can use as much essential oil as you want as they won’t be touching anyone’s skin.

A DIY reed diffuser makes a great gift, decorative, and with a beautiful scent. They also make a fun essential oil class idea. Ask your participants to bring their own container and supply the rest!

Have you tried one of these diffuser oil recipes or created your own? Tag #oilychic on Instagram to share yours with us.

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