DIY Essential Oil Diffuser




Introduction: DIY Essential Oil Diffuser

About: Your local sugar loving teenager.

This was supposed to be a gift for my older sister's birthday, which was last month. However, she was in Germany and I couldn't give her anything. She just got back a few days ago and I asked her what she wanted. She gave a 2-page long list. Most items were hard to make or cost money, which I am very short on. So, my solution was to make an essential oil burner because they are relatively easy to make.

My mom was out gardening while I made this, then she came back inside when I was done. Apparently, my siblings and I can't have candles burning unless we are hovering over them, and we can't have them in our rooms at all. So this gift is now pretty pointless, but oh well. It looks cool.

Step 1: You Will Need...


  • For the diffuser:
    • Thick, sturdy wire to hang and support the lightbulb (I used 18 inches, which was repurposed from a tomato growth supporter)
    • Wood for the base (I used a 7x1.5x1.5 inch piece, but I recommend making it wider for stability, possibly 8x3x1.5)
    • A lightbulb to hold the water
    • A paperclip for hanging the lightbulb on the wire
    • A tea light candle, used to heat the oil
  • For the oil:
    • Around 1/4 cup water
    • An essential oil in your preferred scent (I used peppermint)


  • Drill
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Wire cutters (If your wire needs to be cut)
  • Saw (If your wood needs to but cut)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Lighter

Step 2: Shape Wires

Take your wire and cut it to the size you want. It should be roughly 3 times the length of your lightbulb. Curl up one end of your wire so that it makes a hook, then bend a third of the wire down so that the hooked end is smaller than the rest. It should look similar to the first picture but without the bottom loop.

With the paperclip, unfold it, bend it in half, bend it into fourths, and bend the parts on the sides in half. The wire should look like an upside-down "Y".

Step 3: Hole-ify

If you need to, cut your wood down to your preferred size.

Find out the width of your wire. Drill a hole that size or bigger about 1/2 inch (4 cm) away from the edge of the wood. It should go down about an inch (2.5 cm), and not exit through the bottom of the wood.

If your hole is too big or needs to be stabilized, put some hot glue in and around the hole with the wire inside. Be careful! When I did this I got hot glue all around the edges (oops) so I scraped it off.

Step 4: Gut a Lightbulb!

Lay down a newspaper or something similar to protect your work surface and make clean up easy.

Inspect your lightbulb. There should be a small metal circle at the bottom. Using needlenose pliers, lift the edges of it off of the base. Once you have managed that, pull the entire circle off.

The black part should now be clear. Smash and remove it, making sure not to break anything else.

Once you have removed the black part, use the needlenose pliers to remove the small glass tube inside. Then just kind of break parts off until you manage to remove all the insides. My lightbulb also had a white coating on the inside, which washed out easily with water.

Step 5: Diffuser, Assemble!

Stick the bent paperclip inside the lightbulb. Change the shape so that it fits well. Hook the lightbulb onto the curled end of the think wire so that it hangs down over the wood. When I did this, my base fell over due to the lightbulb's swinging. Place the tea light just below the lightbulb. There should be a decent sized gap between the two.

Step 6: Relax and Smell

Fill your lightbulb with about 1/4 cup water and a few drops of an essential oil. Light the candle and let your room smell great!

Disclaimer: I have only run my diffuser for 15 minutes at once. I couldn't stand to keep watching it. Lightbulbs can withstand heat, as they hold all that light heat energy, but I'm not sure how much they can tolerate. Please be safe with your flames!

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    2 years ago

    If you use a bulb with a filament or a halogen, the glass will be heat proof and shouldn't shatter. Filament bulbs heat up the glass very quickly, but what shatters glass is localised heating causing local expansion which then causes stresses leading to a break. However, the glass used in filament type bulbs is made from low expansion glass like Pyrex so it is heatproof and shatterproof.
    There is no chance of melting the glass with a candle.
    However, LED lights don't generate the same levels of heat that filament lamps do so I wouldn't trust those in case the manufacturer has just used normal glass.
    Alternatively, buy a small Pyrex glass chemistry flask designed to go over a Bunsen burner.
    I've also got a home made oil burner where I've used a glass tealight holder on a brass stand over the tealight candle to act as an oil reservoir, which works well.


    3 years ago

    Looks very nice. But I agree with the comments below, it sounds a bit dangerous. Maybe you could find a way to heat the bulb for a few minutes only? For example with an electronic circuit, and a resistor that heats up for 5 minutes max.


    Reply 3 years ago

    That would definitely be better. I should probably rework this to be like that, as it does scare me a little bit. It did make the house smell nice though.


    3 years ago

    Creative idea!


    3 years ago

    Very nice instructable, but:

    1: Isn't it a bit dangerous? I mean, after the water of the bulb has evaporated or is too warm, the bulb might shatter into sharp pieces

    2: How does the bulb remain so clean? Usually candles produce a fine black carbon ''powder'' on the surface of the object that the flame touches. Do you use some special good quality candles?


    Reply 3 years ago

    1: Yeah, I'm a bit worried about that too. It did run well for 15 minutes and make a noticeable scent in my kitchen, but I couldn't stay after that and got a bit worried about the lightbulb. I put a disclaimer at the end, but should I make it more clear?

    2: I did have a bit of that, but these photos were taken at an earlier stage.


    3 years ago

    Nice, I like this idea and it looks good too!