DIY Recipe System in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. How Does It All Work?

Here are the three main ways you can obtain a DIY recipe in New Horizons. Plus additional ways to earn your recipes! #AnimalCrossing #DIY #Recipes

By now, most players in Animal Crossing: New Horizons have met with the DIY recipe systems, which was one of the innovative mechanics that Nintendo introduced in this new release of the legendary saga. It unlocked a world of possibilities to create and combine furniture, flooring, wallpapers, and even clothing. Players try to get a hold of seasonal recipes to celebrate each holiday accordingly, and overall it’s just a fun thing to do. Especially if you’re a completionist, here are the three main ways you can obtain a DIY recipe in New Horizons. Plus additional ways to earn your recipes!


#1 Balloons

Contrary to popular belief, not all balloon colors will indicate the potential loot inside them. It only applies to yellow and blue balloons, dropping bells, and crafting materials, respectively. Otherwise, there have been dedicated players who have datamined the game and concluded that several factors would determine if you get an unlearned recipe. 

An excellent way to farm balloons is to set tall objects through the shore —let’s say, a wind turbine you can buy with your Nook Miles— and leave a single small gap between them. That way, balloons will have to go through that gap, and it’s a clear shot from there. This method is the best way to get seasonal recipes, which can include thematic DIY recipes like what happened during October thanks to the Halloween event.

via GoNintendo

#2 Message Bottle

Every morning you should check the seashore to pick up seashells and a single bottle containing a message alongside a DIY recipe. An efficient way to keep bottles spawning in the same area every day is to cover the entire beach shore with objects, which will prevent both seashells and bottles from appearing in those areas. That way, you can accumulate all items cast ashore in a single, easy to pick up location in your daily schedule. 

If for some reason, you didn’t pick up the bottle spawned from the day earlier, you’ll get two messages in a bottle by picking up the first one and reopening the game. If your island has more than one player, other members of your party can also find another bottle on their island once they log in on the same day.

#3 Mystery Islands

On the same idea, if you go around Mystery Islands, you’ll have a chance of spawning another message in a bottle. Players usually use their Nook Tickets to farm Iron Nuggets and other crafting materials if they don’t have enough of them on their island. Therefore, it’s a double win if you decide to visit several islands in a row, especially since villagers spawning in those areas might also give a recipe once you talk to them.

via iMore

Other ways to find DIY Recipes in Animal Crossing


Another way to obtain DIY recipes is to talk to residents that are working on their workbenches. The best way to check whether a villager is inside their home is by looking at their chimney and window. If the curtains are open and the duct runs during cold seasons, just go inside and check if they’re engaged in their building animation. You’ll recognize that behavior since they will be hammering away at their workbench. If you happen to have already the DIY recipe they’re offering, you won’t be able to reject it. The same rules of trading, selling, and throwing away are valid in that case too.

Depending on the resident’s personality, the DIY recipes they’ll gift you will vary, but all villagers can give you flower crowns and flower wreaths. And don’t worry if it’s not the recipe you were looking for; the messages in a bottle contain the same pool of potential DIY recipes.

via NintendoLife

Celeste’s special recipes

Celeste, Blather’s younger sister, will give out a select type of recipe. Alongside announcing whether that night will have a meteor shower, she will gift you a special zodiac furniture recipe once you talk to her. These will change every month, following the apparent pattern of zodiac symbols. You won’t be able to get two DIY recipes on the same day if you already talked to Celeste and then jump onto another player’s island.

via u/SnoozeTimer

The Amiibo method

Not many players know this, but if you use Amiibo to add new villagers to your island, they might ask for a souvenir when they arrive. That particular object, according to them, must be distinctively from your island. If you don’t have the recipe for the item they’re asking for, they will give you the recipe for it. Albeit, the type of DIY recipe you might get is completely random, the most optimal way to use this method is by scanning an Amiibo once per day, but we haven’t tried out whether you’ll be able to get more than one recipe while using time travel.


If you would like an simple and effective way to invite villagers to your island, check out our guide on how to do just that. Also, Amiibo figures can be expensive, and we think we have just the solution so inviting your favorite villager doesn’t wreak havoc on your wallet!

How To Invite Any Villager To Your Island | Amiibo Card Packs Series 1-4

Although not completely new news, the Animal Crossing Amiibo card packs are an inexpensive way to add your favorite villager to your island! Simply go to the town hall, interact with the Kiosk, hold the card over your right joy-con stick and wallah! You’ve now invited that villager to your island! Read more…

Seasonal Recipes

As we’ve discussed before, you can obtain some sweet seasonal recipes by popping balloons or talking to residents while an event is active. These methods can get you seasonal recipes based on each season’s unique crafting material. But in the latest event, Turkey Day, Nook’s Cranny is currently selling the DIY recipes so you can build all thematic objects from that day. Still, your best shot is to keep an eye out for 

via Game8

What to do with DIY recipe Duplicates

It’s very likely that, at some point, you might start getting DIY recipes that you’ve already learned. You may even have a dedicated spot on your island to dropping them onto the ground, so they don’t clutter your inventory. In that case, it’s always the best idea to seek out friends, check through Discord servers, and join Facebook groups to if someone else needs it. Sometimes you might be able to trade it for another recipe you’re having a hard time finding. The second-best option, albeit not ideal, is to sell those cards at Nook’s Cranny to have some bells —200 bells, to be more precise—. And finally, in appearance, the most wasteful option is to drop the duplicated DIY recipe at a trash can.


Final Thoughts

Overall, it’s always a good idea to keep track of your progress in-game with fanmade apps to have a clear idea of what you’re missing. And, in case you were wondering, it’s more than viable to do some time traveling. Each time you change the day in your console, you’ll be able to start a new day and retrieve a new message in a bottle from the seashore. You can also talk to a villager with the building animation to get two DIY recipes in a row before shutting down the game and changing the date again. But, if you’re not a fan of using the time travel mechanic, asking around the Animal Crossing community will surely help you get all recipes unlocked.

Before we complete wrap up, I found this awesome DIY Recipe design and had to share!

Thank you Kalani!

This article is just a part of the wonderful life of Animal Crossing that we try to capture here on CrossingCharm. If you are interested in more guides and fun articles to read, for example, our guides on Island Planners to plan your land/waterscaping before designing in game, try our 3D Island Planner, Google Sheets Map Editor, and Happy Island Designer! If you are looking for some phone app companions try Fan-Made Companion App, ACNH Travel Guide, and ACNH Guide! CrossingCharm also offers free Monthly Calendars and Phone Wallpapers of your favorite villagers! Also check out our Animal Crossing-themed Gift Ideas!


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