Pinterest Project: Reed Diffuser

For this week’s Pinterest Project, I decided I was finally gonna make that reed diffuser I’ve been meaning to make for nearly a year now.  I had everything but the reeds – which I finally bought at Michael’s a couple of weeks ago – and the actual mixture to put in the diffuser.

After some extensive research, I found a nice, cheap way of creating the scent mixture.  Through Pinterest, I found this blog tutorial about using vodka instead of oil as the base.  And then, in the comments, I saw someone had said they use rubbing alcohol and water as the base.  $2 for a bottle of rubbing alcohol or $12 for a small bottle of vodka that would just sit, undrunk, for months and months?  Yeah, with student loans breathing down my neck, I opted for the cheap route.

Reed Diffuser1

Things you’ll need

  • A container of some kind.  Glass or ceramic would work best, whether it’s a vase or a bottle I bought at Goodwill for $0.50.  If you go with ceramics, make sure it’s glazed inside so it doesn’t leak.  A container with a narrow opening is better, as the mixture won’t evaporate as quickly.
  • Essential oils.  Or, if you’re lazy like me, I just bought a bottle of scents used in soaps and lotions, as found at (you guessed it) Michael’s.  I don’t know if it really makes a difference.
  • Mineral or baby oil as a base.  I also see sweet almond oil or safflower oil as greener alternatives.  Another option – the option I went with – is to use alcohol and water as a base.  Vodka is the go-to alcohol I’ve seen around the internet, but again, I used rubbing alcohol at 91%.
  • Reeds or bamboo skewers.  If you’re using skewers, make sure to trip the sharp tips off so no one (like nosey felines) gets hurt.
  • A funnel if your container has a really small opening.

Reed Diffuser4


  1. With an oil base, use a mix of 30% essential oil to 70% base oil.  Or see what ration works best for you.  Experimentation is fun!
  2. Using the alcohol/water base,  add 12-15 drops of essential oil in 1/4 cup of water with a splash of alcohol to help bind the oil to the water.  I put too much alcohol in my mix initially and ended up adding more oil to balance out the alcohol smell.  Again, this is more of a personal preference thing, so use however much scent oil you like.
  3. Pour the mixture into the container.  This is where the funnel comes in handy.
  4. Place the reeds into the container and let them absorb the mixture.  Once they’re saturated, flip them around so you can smell your concoction right away!
  5. Decorate as desired.  I used washi tape to make my bottle look a little less plain.  Place in an area where it’s proudly displayed.  Or, if you’re in my situation, place it up and out of the reach of curious kitty paws.

Has anyone else made their own reed diffusers?  Do you use oil or vodka?  Have you used rubbing alcohol?  Let me know in the comments, dear readers!


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