Make: DIY reed diffuser

DIY Reed Diffuser
DIY Reed Diffuser

I cannot tell you how long I've been asking for one of these. Every birthday and Christmas I've been politely putting it on the list to no avail. I don't really blame everyone really. Most of the good ones will set you back a  £25 - which for a glass jar, some oil and a few sticks seems a bit steep. So I decided to have a go at making my own. I'm pretty pleased with the result - though I think it might need a few more drops of essential oil. All in all the ingredients and equipment did add up to about £20 - but I have four bottles and a tonne of oil and reeds left over to make a  few more. They'd make great Christmas presents too.

To make your own reed diffuser you will need:

A glass bottle with a narrow neck. I got mine here. 10 or so reeds - mine were from ebay. (Contrary to popular belief bamboo skewers won't work) Sweet almond oil Essential oils of your choice - I used clove, cinnamon and orange for a festive scent Vodka

I got all fancy schmancy and decided to etch the glass on my bottle. To do this you will need:

Fablon or sticky back plastic (I'd recommend getting a coloured one - mine was clear which made it pretty tricky) Glass etching cream Rubber gloves A craft knife A cutting board A ruler

To etch the bottle

First off a word of warning - do not attempt to etch your glass with masking tape. I used it for my first attempt and it was a disaster - go sticky back plastic all the way.

You can obviously choose any design you like, but I chose a chevron pattern. I cut 5mm wide strips of sticky back plastic and put one around the top and one around the bottom of the bottle for  a neat edge.

Then I cut a few more 5mm strips and peeled off the paper backing. I stuck each strip to my cutting board and cut 25mm lengths. I tried keeping the backing on but the plastic slid under the knife and it was really fiddly to remove the paper from the small strips. I used the 25mm x 5mm strips to create the chevrons, working around the bottle from the bottom to the top.

I did mine by eye but you could measure out the spacing between the rows. You might find it easier to draw out your chevron pattern on the sticky back plastic and put it all on in one go - but I decided I was in no way dextrous enough for that kind of escapade.

Stick on your gloves and follow the instructions on your etching cream. Mine required a thick layer and 15 minutes to set. Then I just rinsed off with warm water. When it's dry gently peel off the sticky back plastic to reveal your design.

To make the oil blend.

How much base oil you use will depend on your bottle. I used about 100ml. I mixed it in a jug with one tablespoon vodka until it emulsified. The vodka is supposed to make the oil travel up the reed better. Then add your essential oils. Different oils have different intensities so you may need to play around with the blend. I ended up with approximately 15 drops orange essential oil, 20 drops cinnamon and 25 drops clove. It's still not that strong so I may add a few more drops after a day or so to intensify the scent.

Pour the oil into your bottle and add your reeds. Allow them to soak up the oil, them turn them around so that the dry ends can soak up some oil too. Turn the reeds every few days to release fresh scent into the air. The oil should last a few months. But you'll have plenty left to make more.