Keep Blooms Beautiful with a DIY Orchid Humidity Tray

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If you are caring for an orchid, you already know that these pretty plants can be a little temperamental. Keep it happy with this simple DIY orchid humidity tray. It?s simple to make and really works!

Do you have a temperamental orchid? If so, your environment may be the culprit! You may not notice it, but your home has a number of different microclimates in it. As you move from room to room, the light, temperature, and humidity can change drastically.

Not only that, but these variables can also jump up and down all day long. Creating the right conditions is the first step to having beautiful houseplants, including orchids. My favourite trick for keeping orchids happy is this DIY orchid humidity tray.

It?s funny, orchids are probably one of the most difficult houseplants to take care of and yet they are probably one of the most popular houseplants to have. You would think the two wouldn?t go together, but they are always available at grocery stores and garden centers. They are a beautiful bloom that just about everyone is attracted to so they often get picked up.

However, once an orchid is done blooming for someone, that usually marks the end of the houseplant. People are prone to overwatering orchids and even those who keep them alive can?t get an orchid to bloom again. So, how do we keep them alive and beautiful?

The Trick to Orchid Care

Watering orchids is a skill. Since they are prone to overwatering, the trick is to know when and how much to water your orchid. In nature, they do not grow in soil but by hanging on to bark of trees. This makes their root system a little different than the average plant. Instead, they absorb water in the humid air.

Now think of tropical plants that originated in the jungle or rain forest, where moisture hangs in the air. Those plants just love a humid space in your home. Kitchens and bathrooms can be a good space, as the steam from washing and cooking will fill the air they breathe. In most other rooms, especially in colder months when they are heated, the air is dry.

You are still going to want to water your orchid (approximately once a week), but a humidity tray will help provide moisture to your orchid without having them sit in water and potentially get root rot. Orchids like continued airflow but if the air is dry, it will in turn dry out the plant. Misting orchids and tropical houseplants can certainly help, but it needs to be done much more grass trimmer_2468 regularly than I can remember to do it.

Orchid trays are the perfect balancing act between providing moisture and not overwatering. It works by collecting water in a base while keeping the plant and roots suspended above it. As the water evaporates, the orchid benefits from the humidity. This DIY orchid humidity tray takes seconds to put together and even less time to maintain. Plus, it looks pretty, which is always a bonus in my books.

orchid blooming on a humidity tray

How to Make a Humidity Tray

This DIY orchid humidity tray will help the stunning blooms last longer and keep your plants much happier. And it can be used for a whole host of humidity-loving plants as well.

Materials

  • that is at least 1? larger than the base of the plant pot
  • (optional)
  • (optional)

Make it!

This is not a difficult project to assemble, but the key is finding the right materials. Hopefully, you have your orchid in an orchid pot. If not, transplant it into a pot with large holes that promote air circulation.

As much as orchids like humidity, they do like to keep their roots dry. Many orchids have a plastic orchid pot inside of a decorative ceramic pot. Be sure that the decorative pot has drainage holes to avoid the roots sitting in any standing water.

Choose a drip tray to go below the orchid pot that is at least an inch larger than the base of the plant. A deep tray that is larger than the base will allow for more water and therefore more humidity. If you will be setting the pot on a wood table or other surface susceptible to water damage, I recommend gluing a round cork trivet to the underside of the tray.

bowl with large pebbles next to orchid plant

Fill the tray with decorative stones, pebbles, or glass stones. The material you choose is up to you, but larger stones (a half inch to an inch in size) will make the tray easier to clean and store more water.

diy humidity tray with pebbles

Finally, keep an eye on the water levels and top it up as it evaporates. Be sure to wash the tray and stones every month to keep it clean.

Give this humidity tray a try and see if you notice a change in your orchids. In addition to watering and humidity, there is a lot more that goes into a successful orchid such as using the right potting medium, lighting conditions, and fertilizer. You may be interested in to learn more about this beautiful houseplant!

Orchid blooming on a humidity tray

More DIYs to Try:

How to Make an Orchid Humidity Tray

How to Make a Humidity Tray

If you are caring for an orchid, you already know that these pretty plants can be a little temperamental. Keep it happy with this simple DIY orchid humidity tray. It?s simple to make and really works!

Supplies

  • 1
  • 1 that is at least 1? larger than the base of the plant pot
  • 1 optional
  • 1 optional
  • at least .5"

Instructions

  • If you plan on keeping this humidity tray on a wooden surface, start by hot-gluing a cork trivet to the bottom of the drip tray.
  • Then, fill the tray with decorative stones, pebbles, or even glass stones. Opt for larger stones to keep the tray easier to clean and use.
  • Add water to the tray, and set your orchid on top.
  • Keep an eye on the water levels, and refill as needed. Make sure to clean the tray and stones at least monthly.

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Looking for a fun, beneficial way to keep your kids entertained? Try scented playdough! This quick playdough DIY uses essential oils to provide children with aromatherapy benefits as they create and learn.

Playdough is a blessing for parents. Making it yourself is super easy, cheap, and guarantees hours of fun. It makes a great indoor activity for rainy days and stores easily for on-the-go entertainment.

Create a batch of this aromatherapy play dough for a fun spin on the classic toy, filled with the benefits and scents of your favourite essential oils.

The History of Play Dough

Stack of homemade scented playdough in bright colors

Playdough has long been a childhood staple. I played with it as a child and now so has my son! It?s a safe and simple way to keep kids engaged, and honestly, I don?t mind playing with it too.

The original commercial dough, Play-Doh, was actually manufactured as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s to help with coal residue. But once washable vinyl paper was introduced, sales of the product declined.

After seeing a newspaper article about children making arts and craft projects out of the dough, they decided to remarket the product in the 1950s. There is no doubt how popular it became, even being inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

However, playdough is extremely easy to make yourself! I avoid buying the commercial stuff because it actually has a petroleum additive in it to give it a smoother feel. While playdough is not meant to be eaten, kids tend to put anything in their mouths and I would rather they are playing with natural, safe doughs.

Scented Playdough

Labeled containers filled with scented playdough

Playing with the dough is of course fun, but so is the experience of making the dough. I like to involve kiddos in the process of making the dough. Since the process is so simple, they can follow along easily and feel accomplished in playing with the end product.

This aromatherapy play dough is also great entertainment for kid?s parties. You can double this recipe as needed to make a large batch of dough for everyone to play with. Plus, they can be used as party favours! I like to bring out cookie cutters and rolling pins for the kids to use with their dough.

The best part about making the dough yourself is getting to customize it. I liked to combine colours with scents, such as purple with or eucalyptus with green.

Orange scented playdough with leaves

You can also customize based on the effects of the essential oil, such as the uplifting nature of or the relaxing effects of . Every time you play with the dough, you will also get to experience the benefits of the essential oils you choose. Don?t think of play dough as just for children too. Think of it like a stress ball!

The Best Scents for Aromatherapy Playdough

Purple aromatherapy playdough on a wooden background

Before you begin, it is important to note that not all essential oils are suitable for children to use. Research beforehand and consult with a healthcare professional for more information.

Here are the types of essential oil I have personally used with my own child. Again, please do your research beforehand. 

  • ? helps promote relaxation
  • or ? uplifting and energizing
  • ? a relaxing, calming scent
  • ? purifying, centering oil
  • ? purifying, uplifting oil (note: this oil is not recommended for children younger than 5).

If you want to make it simple, you can even grab a set of that are already pre-blended.

How to Make Scented Playdough

DIY aromatherapy playdough

This recipe is so simple, you probably already have all the materials in your kitchen already! Be sure to experiment with different colours and scents for your own custom scented playdough blends.

Materials:

  • 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • ? cup of warm water
  • 5 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • Food colouring
  • Essential oils (I used , , and )

Make It!

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

mixing flour and salt in a glass bowl

Grab three separate bowls, or enough for each colour/scent combination you would like to make. They should be large enough to hold at least two cups of play dough. Add ? cup of water to each.

Add food colouring to each of the bowls. I did:

  • 5 red drops and 5 blue drops for purple, lavender dough
  • 3 drops red and 7 drops yellow for orange dough
  • 10 drops blue for blue, peppermint dough

green food coloring

Add ? tbsp of the vegetable oil to each bowl. When choosing an oil, try to go with an unscented oil such as sunflower oil.

Add 2-4 drops of essential oil to each bowl. I recommend you start with 2 drops and add a couple more if you would like to make the scent stronger. Keep in mind, little noses can easily be overpowered by scents so less is better in my books. Stir your oil and colour mixture together.

Add one cup of the flour and salt mixture to each bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed and then dust the counter top with more of the remaining mixture. Knead the dough until it has a soft texture perfect for playing. If you feel like you need to soften the mixture a bit, add a smidge of water. If it is too soft and sticky, add more flour/salt to firm it up.

mixing diy playdough with green dye

Package your dough in a jar with a tight seal. If just my son and I are using it, I leave it as it. If I want to make some to give away, I pretty them up with custom labels and twine/ribbon. Store your dough in the fridge when not in use.

diy playdough

Have fun playing!

Stack of homemade scented playdough in bright colors

DIY Aromatherapy Play Dough

Easy to make using cheap, household ingredients, this aromatherapy scented playdough is sure to guarantee hours of fun.

Supplies

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Food colouring
  • Essential oils (I used lavender, peppermint, and sweet orange)

Instructions

  • Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl.
  • Set aside three separate bowls, or enough for each colour/scent combination you would like to make. They should be large enough to hold at least two cups of play dough. Add ?cup of water to each.
  • Add food colouring to each of the bowls. I did: 5 red drops and 5 blue drops for purple/lavender dough, 3 drops red and 7 drops yellow for orange dough, 10 drops blue for blue/peppermint dough.
  • Add ? tbsp of the vegetable oil to each bowl. When choosing an oil, try to go with an unscented oil such as sunflower oil.
  • Add 2-4 drops of essential oil to each bowl. Start with 2 drops and add more if you would like to make the scent stronger. Keep in mind, little noses can easily be overpowered by scents so less is better in my books. Stir your oil and colour mixture together.
  • Add one cup of the flour and salt mixture to each bowl. Stir until thoroughly mixed and then dust the counter top with more of the remaining mixture. Knead the dough until it has a soft texture perfect for playing. If you feel like you need to soften the mixture a bit, add a smidge of water. If it is too soft and sticky,add more flour/salt to firm it up.
  • Package your dough in a jar with a tight seal and store in the fridge when not in use.

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Add a fresh scent to your home without overpowering the senses. This natural reed diffuser uses a blend of essential oils and diffuser sticks from your own backyard to naturally neutralize odours and give your home a fresh boost.

From stinky pets to musty hallways, sometimes there is no avoiding certain smells in the house. I like to find ways to freshen up the home as naturally as possible. While I love using sprays such as my , sometimes I don?t always have the time to go around the house and spritz.

That?s why I love my natural reed diffuser so much; it keeps everything smelling fresh without me needing to lift a finger. I use them in the bathroom, hallways, and even my bedroom to give off a pleasant aroma that is not too overpowering.

Natural reed diffusers in 3 jars

Benefits of a Natural Reed Diffuser

By far the number one selling point of this diffuser for me is that it is 100% natural. Whenever I have bought reed diffusers in the past, I have always found the scent to be overly harsh and chemical-like. The same can be said for many store-bought candles, plugins, or a cool air diffuser. The artificial fragrances are too irritating for my sensitive nose! Sniffle.

I also find that store-bought reed diffusers don?t last very long. While my natural reed diffuser may last the same amount of time, I can refill and refresh it as often as I like. It?s relatively inexpensive to make so you can have multiple diffusers throughout the home or refills for the same price as a single store-bought one.

DIY reed diffuser in an amber jar in front of a window

Of course, you also get to experience the many benefits of essential oils. They can enhance relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and even clear toxins from the air. Certainly no artificial fragrance can do that!

A Natural Pathogen Cleaner

Did you know that individuals spend 85% of their time indoors? While I do love to be out in the garden, there is something about curling up inside on a gloomy day that I can really get behind. With all that being said, I do miss the fresh air of the outdoors and do my best to maintain the best air quality indoors whenever I can.

reed diffuser with fresh herbs

Essential oils actually have microbial properties. Some are better than others with finding that oregano, thyme, and lemon oil actually help to fight against human pathogens.

found that essential oils also work to reduce airbourne pathogens by inhibiting their growth in the air. After being exposed to different concentrations of essential oils, the growth of bacterial cells decreased. This is especially meaningful by making the air cleaner for allergies and avoiding other sensitivities and infections.

While essential oils may not turn your air quality into the great outdoors, a little bit of air filtering always helps. And they smell good too!

Which Essential Oils are Best for the Reed Diffuser?

Essential oils used as reed diffuser oils

The very first question you should answer is what do you like. You will be smelling your reed diffuser oil throughout your home and you want to make sure that every time you catch a whiff, you love it.

Next, you can also look for specific aromatherapy benefits that each oil may offer. For example, lavender is a popular choice because of its calming scent and microbial and therapeutic properties.

You can also go to the other side and choose something to naturally boost your mood. Sweet orange is great for lifting the spirits and is very fragrant.

Feel free to get crafty and mix scents together. My secret combo is actually mixing the two scents together! Lavender and sweet orange smell lovely together in my go-to, balanced blend.

Fun Scent Combinations

  • Balanced Blend: and .
  • Fresh Air: pine, , , and .
  • Calm: , , , and .
  • Wake Up: , , , and black pepper.
  • Immune Boost: , , , , and thyme.
  • Sweet Dreams: , , and marjoram.
  • Good Morning: , , and .
  • Citrus Celebration: , , and lime.
  • Happy Day: , , and .
  • Harmony: , , and .
  • Walk in the Woods: , , and .

Before you use essential oils, be sure to read all warnings. They are powerful plant extracts that can cause issues with people when used inappropriately. They can bother pregnant women, those breastfeeding, and even pets. Most essential oils will have warnings on them that tells you if they are not suitable for a specific use.

Watch the DIY Natural Reed Diffuser Video!

How to Make Reed Diffuser Oil

Colorful jars filled with DIY reed diffuser oil

There are a ton of options when it comes to making your natural reed diffuser. There are three key components to the oil: a carrier oil, essential oils, and alcohol. The first thing you will want to decide is what base you would like to use. Most recipes can be made using an oil or an alcohol base. Whichever you choose, you want to make sure it has a minimal scent.

For an alcohol base, vodka and water make a great combo as it will travel easily through the reed diffuser sticks. However, you will find that it evaporates much quicker than an oil base. If you do use this method, use distilled water as it will last longer since it is purified.

I prefer to use an oil base. The trick is to use an oil that is thin enough to travel up through the stems of the reed sticks. Oils that are good for a natural reed diffuser include fractionated coconut oil, safflower oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil. I would suggest avoiding any mineral oils as they are petroleum-based.

Once you have your base decided, you will want to proportion your reed diffuser oil as 30% essential oil and 70% base. You can measure this out if you prefer, but I like to just eyeball it. Pour your oil into a glass or ceramic container that doesn?t leak with a narrow opening at the top. A narrow opening ensures that the oil won?t evaporate too quickly. I also prefer to use a darker coloured bottle as essential oils degrade once exposed to the sun. You can find a ton of cool containers at your local thrift store or can re-purpose an existing container in your home.

If you?re using an oil, you will still need to add a hint of alcohol to the recipe as it acts as a binder for the oil and will help to thin it. You can use grain alcohol, but I used but I like to use isopropyl. Anything 90% or higher is preferable. This way, the recipe only needs a couple of drops.

How to Make Reed Diffuser Sticks

The best reed diffuser sticks to use

Now that you have your base and container, it?s time to find some reed diffuser sticks! Like your oil, you can play around with some options here as well.

Bamboo skewers and rattan reeds are by far the most popular. However, I like to turn to my own garden whenever possible! By carefully looking through your garden and perennials, you may have some sticks and stems that will work as well. When choosing a stick for your diffuser, you don?t want anything solid: it must be porous for the liquid to travel up and diffuse.

I found the natural reeds that work best come from flower stalks! I used poppies, daylilies, and echinacea for my diffuser but there are a ton of different ones you can use. Every year, I always dry the flowers and seed heads from my perennials and am left with the stems. Now I have something to use them for!

To use natural sticks, thoroughly clean them of leaves, dirt, and sprigs. If the stick you are using has bark, you will need to peel at least half of it from top to bottom to help the liquid travel up. Bake the sticks at 200 F for 25-60 minutes to dry out the sticks and be ready for use.

Once complete, fill your container opening with as many reeds as possible to keep the liquid from evaporating too quickly.

Tips and Tricks for Reed Diffusing

DIY reed diffuser in front of a textured art piece

Placement

Where you decide to place your reed diffuser can actually make a huge difference in how well it will perform. You want to try and place it in an out of reach spot, away from little fingers and paws, but aim for a spot where movement will help to circulate the air and the scents.

Placing it near a vent can actually help to circulate the scent. Heat and sunlight will also aid it a stronger smell, but it will last for a shorter period of time. Avoid warmth for a longer-lasting diffusion.

Remember, this diffuser will not be a strong smell. They are meant to diffuse subtle fragrances for the everyday house. It works best in an enclosed place, such as a bathroom, or you won?t really notice the smell.

You can use bigger containers for larger rooms to get a better diffusion of smell, but it can get pricey considering how much essential oils you will need to fill the container. This is why I prefer small containers in small rooms.

Reeds

sticks to use as reed diffusers

In order to get the most out of your natural reed diffuser, you will want to give the reeds some attention. While I say reeds, this will apply to whichever kind of sticks you choose to diffuse the oil.

Rotate which reed ends are in the solution once a week to help refresh the scent.

Reeds will need to be replaced every 4-6 months. After a while, they stop diffusing the oil. This also helps to avoid any rotting stems.

Oil

Reed diffuser oil ideas

You will likely need to replace the oil every month as it will slowly lose its scent. To ensure you are not wasting oil, only fill your container up halfway at a time. I suggest creating batches and storing it in a mason jar until ready to use. This way you have it ready to go whenever it needs a top-up or replacing!

More Ways to Use Essential Oils to Freshen Your Space

DIY reed diffuser in front of a textured art piece

How to Make a Natural Reed Diffuser

Looking for a simple, natural way to freshen up your space? Add a few of these pretty natural reed diffusers with homemade diffuser oil.

Equipment

  • Jar or container to act as the diffuser

Supplies

  • oil to use as base I like fractionated coconut oil, safflower oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil.
  • essential oils of your choice
  • natural reeds Bamboo skewers, rattan reeds, sticks or stems from your garden - just make sure it is porous so the liquid can travel through them.

Instructions

  • Mix together a combination of 70% oil and 30% essential oils.
  • Add reed oil to the jar, and add your reeds.
  • Place the natural reed diffuser out and enjoy! I've found they work best in enclosed spaces such as bathrooms. They also work well near an air vent or in front of a window.

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