My mom’s annual visit is fast approaching, and I want her bedroom and bathroom to be as hospitable as can be. Because they’re in the basement, these rooms can take on a musty smell, especially at the end of a long winter. I love those essential oil diffusers that have become popular at natural products stores and other retail outlets, but come on. They’re ridiculously pricey.
I will make my own reed diffusers for Mom’s bedroom and bath. Former Natural Home & Garden stylist Susan Wasinger’s super simple instructions suggest using repurposed jars and thin peeled tree branches, woody cuttings from a bush, hollow or spongy weed stems or dried grass stalks, which are engineered by nature to draw liquids upward. Instead of paying $15 (or more), I will dip into my old bottle and jar collection and pick a few stalks during my afternoon dog walk to make a more unique diffuser with tons of character. I’ll use floral, relaxing lavender essential oil for the bedroom diffuser and invigorating clove in the bathroom. My mom’s rooms will look and smell great—because she deserves it.
Susan Wasinger's homemade reed diffuser adds fragrance and character to any room. Photo by Susan Wasinger
Homemade Reed Diffuser
1. Find a bottle, glass, jar or vase with interesting color or texture.
2. Find a cork stopper to fit (try the hardware store’s kitchenware or plumbing section). Drill a hole in the cork (1 inch or smaller) with a paddle bit.
3. Gather plant material (thin branches, bush cuttings, weed stems or dried grass stalks). Let them dry thoroughly so they will absorb more liquid. Use scissors or garden clippers to cut the stalks to an attractive length for your bottle.
4. Stir in 20 to 30 drops of pure essential oils for every 8 ounces of hot tap water. The oils will bead but will scent the water effectively. (Make sure you purchase a pure product and avoid oils labeled as essence oils, perfum oils or fragrance oils. If the label warns against undiluted use, that indicates you are buying pure, therapeutic-strength essential oil.)
5. Fit the cork into the bottle’s neck. Use a utility knife to shave an over-large cork to size or wrap the stopper with a rubber band to make a slightly small cork fit snugly.
6. Push the stalks through the cork hole and fan them out.
Over time, you can refresh your simple diffuser by turning the stalks upside down to expose their saturated ends. Add more drops of essential oil to the water as needed.
Use any bottle or jar that you like. Photo by Susan Wasinger
Find a cork stopper to fit. Drill a hole in the cork (1 inch or smaller) with a paddle bit. Photo by Susan Wasinger
Make sure your plant materials are thoroughly dry so they will absorb more liquid. Use scissors or garden clippers to cut the stalks to an attractive length for your bottle. Photo by Susan Wasinger
Stir in 20 to 30 drops of pure essential oils for every 8 ounces of hot tap water. Photo by Susan Wasinger
Fit the cork into the bottle’s neck. Use a utility knife to shave an over-large cork to size or wrap the stopper with a rubber band to make a slightly small cork fit snugly. Push the stalks through the cork hole and fan them out. Photo by Susan Wasinger