How to Make Floral Incense Sticks

Have you seen all those beautiful incense wands on Etsy? They're super easy to make from garden herbs and flowers. Here's how.

Make your own floral incense sticks and indulge your inner earth child.

Got a bunch of fresh, leftover kitchen herbs from last night’s Italian dinner?  Need a project to use up your herb garden surplus?  Got some fading wildflowers from your last nature walk?  Make a batch of incense wands to store for the winter or give away for Summer Solstice.

Step 1:  Choosing Herbs and Flowers

When selecting herbs and flowers for your incense wands, consider the following:

Minimal Pesticides

The only surefire way to guarantee pesticide-free incense floral smudge sticks is to grow the ingredients yourself.

That said, food-grade herbs from the grocery store or wildflowers gathered from a remote area generally make a pretty high-quality wand.


Some herbs, like nightshade and jimson weed, are toxic when burned.

Check to make sure your herbs and flowers are safe to burn.


Flowers add color and flare to your wands.  Choose ones that look pretty dried.

Metaphysical Properties

Finally, when selecting herbs and flowers (and even spices, like cinnamon) for your floral incense wands, consider their metaphysical properties and try to match them to their intended use.

For example, if you plan to use it in a love spell, try rose, cinnamon and Queen Anne’s lace.

Or, if you want a wand to clear negative energy in your home, add lemon peel or mint.

Step 2:  Binding the herbs.

Gather your herbs and flowers roughly in the arrangement you want them. 

Unwind some (affiliate link —->) natural jute twine, and place your bundle on top as pictured below.

Do NOT use synthetic rope or thread, which produces toxic fumes when burned.

(A 100% cotton sewing thread also works fine, but the twine gives it a pleasing, rustic looks).

Step 3:  Tie a firm knot at the top. 

Tie a simple, firm knot an inch or two down from the top of the floral smudge stick.  You want leave some loose at the top so that they will “breathe” when you burn it.

Step 3:  Wind the twine.

Firmly holding the twine with your thumb as you go, wind it around the bundle, moving down in a spiral, and then doubling back.  

Step 4:  Tying off the bundle

Once you secure the bundle with twine, loop the end of the twine rope underneath and pull tight.

Allow the bundle to dry for 2-3 weeks (or longer if you live in a humid climate).

The longer the dry time, the better it will burn.

Pro Tip:  Naturally air drying the bundle yields the best results.  But if you don’t have time to wait, you can place the bundle in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.  Do NOT leave it in the oven unattended.

Step 5:  Anointing with essential oils.

This part is optional, but it makes a huge difference.

Once the bundle is completely dried, consider adding a few drops of complimentary essential oils.  Experiment with different combinations and enjoy the creative pursuit!

Burning the floral incense wands.

To burn, simply light the tip and blow on it gently until it begins to smoke.

If you are having trouble getting it to burn, it probably isn’t dry enough yet.  Just extinguish it complete and give it a few more days.

Moody Moons School of Metaphysical Arts offers online courses in magical herbalism, beginning witchcraft, potion making and more!

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