How to Make Your Own Room Diffuser

diy room diffuser

The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 1 reed diffuser
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

Room diffusers are a stylish way to add a luxurious scent to your home. Unlike ugly chemical spray bottles or plug-in-the-wall oil warmers, diffusers distribute your choice of scent to the room by traveling up wooden rods that sit in a decorative bottle. With a few household items, you can easily make your own for a fraction of the cost of store-bought diffuser kits in just a few minutes.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Bowl
  • Small funnel


  • Small bottle or vase
  • 20 to 25 drops drops of your favorite essential oil
  • 1/4 cup unscented baby oil
  • 3 tablespoons rubbing alcohol or vodka
  • Bamboo skewers or diffuser reeds


How to Make Your Own Room Diffuser

materials for making a room diffuser
​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa
  1. Mix the Oil and Rubbing Alcohol

    Add 1/4 cup of unscented baby oil, or any other unscented or lightly scented oil such as almond, mineral, safflower, or jojoba oil into to a small bowl. Next, measure out 3 tablespoons of either rubbing alcohol that is at least 90% isopropyl or vodka and pour it into the bowl. The alcohol will help the scent flow up the diffuser rods better, so invest in some inexpensive alcohol for this craft.

    adding baby oil to a bowl
    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa
  2. Add Essential Oils

    Carefully add 20 to 25 drops of your favorite essential oil scent to the bowl.

    adding essential oil to the bowl
    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 
  3. Pour Mixture Into a Bottle

    Find a small vase or glass bottle for your room diffuser. You want a bottle that is slightly wider at the base and has a small opening at the top to prevent less evaporation of the liquid. Once you have found a suitable vase or glass bottle, place the funnel into it and pour the essential oil mixture into the vase so that the bottle is 3/4 filled with the scented oil mixture.

    pouring mixture into a small vase
    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa
  4. Place Reeds in Mixture

    Place three to six wooden skewers or reeds into the vase. Diffuser reeds do function better than wooden skewers, but wooden skewers still work and are much more affordable and can easily be purchased at the grocery store so which you use is up to you.

    wooden reeds to be placed inside the vase
    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa
  5. Cut the Reeds

    Depending on the size of the vase, you may wish to cut the reeds with scissors or a utility knife so that they only stick out of the vase a 4 to 6 inches for ascetic reasons and for increased stability if you have a vase that is not too sturdy. If you are using wooden skewers cut off the spiked end as you will need to rotate the skewers and may find the spikes at the end of the skewers to be a safety risk especially around young children.

    reeds placed inside the diffuser
    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

Tips for Making Room Diffusers

  • You will need to check on the quantity of liquid in the vase every month and add more as necessary. If there still is liquid inside make sure to use the rods to mix the liquid around in the vase.
  • Rotate the diffuser rods so that the dry end goes into the liquid, and then back out of the liquid the following time. You will continue rotating the rods each month, until you notice they no longer diffuse the essential oil fragrance anymore and then they will need to be replaced, typically after four to six months.
  • If you don’t have a suitable vase try recycling one of your glass bottles such as the small bottles used for juice or an old perfume bottle.
  • Use caution when cutting bamboo skewers as when cut with a dull blade or scissors they may splinter and leave a jagged edge.