DIY Vanilla Extract

vanilla extract DIY

DIY Vanilla Extract is one of my most favorite, inexpensive projects!

I’ve been making my own vanilla extract for a couple of years now and I can’t see buying vanilla from the store again.

Here are the instructions.

What you need:

  • Vodka (as many ounces as you want to make of vanilla, the more the merrier!)
  • Vanilla Beans (6 beans per 8 oz of alcohol)
  • Glass Jars (the prettier the better!) Ideally, you would use dark amber glass, but I have some flip top bottles that I love, so I use these and just store the vanilla in the pantry
  • Kitchen Shears
  • Funnel

DIY Vanilla Extract


  1. Cut vanilla beans in half
  2. Place cut beans inside jar and cover with vodka. Store in a cool, dry place for 4-6 weeks. The longer the better!


  • Vanilla lasts forever! Don’t waste your hard work and all the time you spent waiting patiently for your extract to finish. Once there is 1/2 or 1/3 left, add more vodka and put it back in the cupboard for 4-6 more weeks. Or alternately, pour your finished vanilla extract into another jar, leaving the beans in the original container. Pour more vodka over the beans and put back in the cupboard. You can do this at least twice with good results. After that, I’d suggest replacing at least half the beans with new ones- even leave all the beans in the container. I have beans I’ve used for 4 batches, but the vanilla starts to get weak after that.
  • I LOVE giving my DIY vanilla extract as a gift. When I first started, I printed pretty labels from vista print, purchased small amber jars in bulk and gave everyone homemade DIY vanilla extract for Christmas. I included one or two fresh beans in their bottle along with instructions on how to keep making their own vanilla using the jar and beans inside.
  • Get creative! Use your hand-lettering skills and create a beautiful gift. If you start your vanilla now, you will have awesome gifts for Christmas all ready. Vanilla extract makes an inexpensive and lovely housewarming or hostess gift.


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