How To Make A Scented Diffuser With Skewers & Soap

We mentioned this cheap and easy DIY idea in our Holiday Gift Guide, but this specific project is so simple and fun that it bears repeating.

While browsing some fancy schmancy aroma diffuser kits (you know, the ones with oil, a vase and some reeds) we wondered if we could make our own on the cheap. So we did. One pack of $1 skewers from the grocery store plus a vase that we just happened to have laying around (picked up at Target for $3 a while ago) plus some yummy smelling liquid…


… magically became a chic little aroma diffuser:


You can clip the skewers to the right length using a wire cutter if they seem a bit long. And you can find a big bottle of fragrance oil at any dollar store so this whole project (which also makes a great gift) can easily come in under $5. Score!

Due to our recent indoor air-pollution obsession, we decided to shy away from artificial fragrances (which can be irritating to some people) and use a smidge of our naturally scented Mrs. Meyers Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner in Lemon Verbena instead. It might sound weird to put soap in a vase and call it a room fragrance, but the naturally scented essential oils in the cleaning solution lightly scent the air for a refreshing grassy-lemon smell that’s pretty close to intoxicating without having to worry about any toxins. And every so often we flip the sticks over in the vase for another burst of fragrance that lasts for weeks.

In fact we liked our little DIY diffuser so much that we made two of ’em, one for the windowsill in the kitchen, and one for the open shelves in our living room. And every time we walk by they smell tantalizingly clean and fresh. How about you guys… do you have any favorite ways to keep your home smelling delectable? Do tell.


  1. says

    That is a great idea, those air diffuser sticks are so expensive. I too am worried about indoor air pollution. I love Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena, I use the electric diffuser from them and all their cleaning supplies in my home. I think Peppermint is still in my diffuser from the holidays. Thanks for the wonderful ideas. Love your blog.

  2. faith says

    I agree that this is a great little project, but I use Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena on a daily basis and I can’t imagine that the smell of clean countertops in the kitchen would be quite as pleasing anywhere else in my home. Gag…I agree with Becka above, maybe try peppermint or some other natural essential oil, but NOT Mrs. Myers Lemon Verbena all-purpose cleaning solution.

  3. noelle says

    I don’t think a big bottle of fragrance from the dollar store would be your best option to make your home smell good. Anything with ‘fragrance’ on the ingredient list is something you should stay away from. Major irritants.

  4. says

    Well, we still use Airwick airfreshners and like them. Plus, we use an hot oil diffuser and oils from The Body Shop to scent the house. For even more kick, and great ambiance, we also burn scented candles. My fave brand of candles and reed diffusers are Essenza.

  5. says

    Another idea is essential oil on cotton balls. Every once in awhile I dip a ball into oil and place it in corners, under furniture, under the car seats. Just be sure to put a small scrap of foil under it to protect your floor! I’m really paranoid about plug ins and other fragrance things so this has worked really well for me. That and growing rosemary and jasmine in the house!

  6. says

    Genius! What a fabulous idea! Those things are ridiculously over-priced regularly and your alternative is not only cheap, but way more safe than a candle! Definitely worth the repost! Thanks!

  7. says

    So, I bought the Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbana dish soap, and put it in a vase, but it doesn’t spread the fragrance at all. Is that what happened with you? I’m going to have to buy a big bottle of fragrance stuff from Hobby Lobby or something. Pretty cute idea though.

  8. YoungHouseLove says

    Hey Lauren,

    We actually used the Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena All Purpose Cleaner (not the dish soap) and it still smelly yummy and subtle (nothing in your face, but you get a whiff whenever you breeze by ’em).

    One tip is to flip your sticks over every week or two which will release more of the scent since the tips of the skewers that were sitting in the soap will now be face up with their scent wafting through the room. Hope it helps!


  9. Susan says

    Hep to this nifty trick after having way to many skewers left over after making yummy kabobs, I plopped a few in a vase with some of my favourite scented oil only to step back and think it looked a little blah.

    One quick trip to the pet store later, I snagged some luxe small pebbles(not the bright coloured gravel which I thought might look a little tacky, but shinny pea sized stones.)

    Revisiting this, you could also drop in some small sea shells, deco beads or even beans!

  10. Emma says

    We place used dryer sheets in the air vents at our house during the winter- every time the furnace kicks on its smells fresh & clean. We keep them tucked in drawers, inside shoes, and even the glove box of the car.

    I like to keep a small pot on the stove on a minimal simmer with water and fresh herbs in it- lavender is nice, as is mint, used and scraped vanilla bean pods, and cinnamon sticks in the winter, of course.

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