Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

by Merissa on November 5, 2010

in Homemade for the Holidays

These are so cute to have around but they can be so expensive. They might be hard to give as a gift since it's a liquid that you have to put in an open bottle but you might want to make some of these to make your house smell pretty for the holiday season!

What you need:

  • Empty small glass bottle
  • Baby Oil
  • Skewers, dowels, or reed diffuser rods
  • Essential Oils
Here is a picture of what you need. I used plain wood skewers for mine that I found at Target, however if you want to get fancy you can buy decorative you can get actual reed diffuser rods, but they will be more expensive. I found the ones in the picture on clearance at Shopko for .49.
Pour some baby oil in the little bottle. The amount you use will depend on the size of the jar you use. I probably used about 1/4 c. and it filled up my little jar about halfway.
Then drop in essential oil in the scent of your choice. For my size jar I used about 15 drops.
If you use skewers you might have to cut them to the right size.
The stick the skewers or reeds into the bottle and thats it! If you want to keep reusing a reed diffuser all you need to do is replace the liquid about every 2 months or so.
Cost for project:
  • Bottle: Nothing if you can reuse one
  • Essential Oil: Pennies(I order mine from Azure Standard and they cost about $2 a bottle depending on what kind you get)
  • Skewers: About .05(1.49 for 100 at Target)
  • Baby Oil .25($1 a bottle at the Dollar Store)
Total cost: About .35!
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11:03 pm

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bonnie November 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm

What a fab idea Thank you so much for posting this. I have been wanting one ,but the cost is a killer. Now I can fill my whole house with good smells. SO reasonable too.


2 corie November 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

This is an awesome idea! I love it! Very easy and frugal!


3 Crunchy Deal November 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Wow! I want to make these!!! Thanks!


4 lynn cook November 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm
5 Burton Haynes WSO July 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Keep working ,fantastic job!


6 Ruby October 29, 2011 at 8:28 pm

So easy! Using this recipe from now on!

Girlfriends Are Like Shoes


7 Christy, The Simple Homemaker October 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Great idea! Thank you for sharing this. Most of my gifts have to be shipped, but I’m going to make this for me and my family. 🙂


8 Dineen October 30, 2011 at 9:40 am

Thanks for this. I knew it had to be this easy. The cheap, dollar store diffuser I bought made my eyes water, and I am pretty sure more expensive ones would have even MORE artificial ingredients that would cause bad reactions. I already use essential oils, so for me the only investment will be unscented mineral oil. (I can’t stand the scent of baby oil and would rather not have to use enough essential oil to cover that scent.)


9 GinnyB November 1, 2011 at 8:31 am

Hi Merissa,
What essential oil combinations do you recommend? I’ve been trying to come up with a lemon lavender combo, but I’m new to using essential oils.


10 Erin November 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm

This is such a great idea! I am going to re-use a store bought reed diffuser that ran out of oil!
Thanks for posting!!!


11 Jayne November 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I feel silly for asking, but what is a reed diffuser? I’ve never seen one of these.


12 Merissa November 27, 2011 at 7:12 am

It’s like a fancy air freshener. The scent travels up the reeds and into your room:)


13 Kayleigh September 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

Just found this on Pinterest, great idea, thanks! I just made one out of an old reed diffuser I had that wasn’t smelling very good anymore. I rinsed out the bottle, put in baby oil (which I just bought this week by lucky coincidence) and some lilac essential oil I had around, and then a bunch of bamboo skewers! Love it!


14 Jo Allsopp September 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Hi Marissa,

I am Jo, from Queensland in Australia, and I have just discovered your website and I am soooo glad I did. The ideas are buzzing my head..
Just a question, is baby oil safe to use? Does it release any baddies at all?
Its a great recipe, as one poster already commented, shop bought ones are expensive and the scents give me headaches, so I will be making these for every room on the house.
thanks again for such a wonderful site


15 Merissa September 13, 2013 at 6:30 am

I haven’t had trouble with baby oil and usually things bother me or give me headeaches.


16 Jo Allsopp September 14, 2013 at 3:01 am

Thanks so much for getting back to me Marissa, I have been so excited about trying this project, thinking of who i can make these for and also going to the $1 outlets here to get cheap as possible baby oil.

Nice to know my comments made it all the way from Australia to the USA

Keep up the great work


17 Pammie November 19, 2014 at 12:44 am

Thank you, just came across your site and I am going to try with the baby oil as other sites use Rubbing Alcohol or Vodka and neither are cheap.


18 Gabby December 11, 2014 at 7:29 pm

This sounds like a great idea and I can’t wait to try it out. Just a couple of questions real quickly, one, is this pet friendly, because I have been searching forever for a pet friendly air freshner(they won’t be able to eat it) and two, are there any essential oils that you reccommend, preferably without any overly strong scents, as this will be going in my bedroom and I still want to be able to sleep at night. I have asthma so I still need to be able to breathe too. Thanks, and hope this wasn’t too much trouble. Have a great day.


19 Yanika January 4, 2015 at 12:31 pm


I came across other posts where they say that you need to use alcohol (and not baby oil) what’s best and what’s the difference? Would it take longer for the fragrance to diffuse if you use baby oil?


20 Merissa January 4, 2015 at 4:19 pm

I’m not sure as I haven’t used alcohol but I would think the smell of the alcohol would be overwhelming?


21 Charu August 4, 2015 at 9:35 am

Hi, Thanks for such a great receipe. I tried to make this but the oil is very thick and I haven’t been able to smell anything yet. I wanted to ask you if there is anything I can use to thin it out? Cheers.


22 LaDonna Kinney April 7, 2017 at 12:27 am

I use alcohol. My understanding is to use it to help the oil to soak up the reeds


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