Here is a tutorial for making your own home made incense! It may seem daunting but once you do it the first time around I promise it gets super easy so bare with me, as this Tutorial is slightly lengthier than my other ones.
First you need to get your supplies. Keep in mind that this is just how I personally make incense and you can alter certain things and do what works best for you. This is more just to give you a basis to go by. For this you will need the following:
Foil (The longer and stronger the better! It will need to be long enough for the type of blank incense stick you are using)
DPG (dipropylene glycol) (its purpose is diluting your fragrance)
Blank Incense Sticks
A baking pan or anything you can use to set your incense in as it soaks in a foil boat (this will need to be something you will want to use strictly for using incense as it may get ruined in the process)
An empty bottle 4oz or bigger
Next I like to prepare my “Incense Boats”. Now this is where you can choose a new method that works best for you for soaking your incense. I personally have found it easiest to take a large sheet of strong foil, and lay an incense stick down in the middle to make sure the foil is long enough. You want to start by folding the longest sides in, alternating from left to right, folding them in about an inch to an inch and a half towards your incense stick. What you are trying to do is fold the foil around your incense to make it a “boat” to soak in. So keep folding until you have a good inch and a half to 2 inches on either side of your incense stick which is in there just as a guide for right now, later you will add the rest of your incense. Now that you have folded your way to the incense on the longest sides, you need to do the same with the unfolded edges. So now work on folding the short ends to the incense. Make sure you leave sufficient space above and below your incense stick so that the incense wont pierce through the foil. This is all a bit tricky to explain in words so hopefully this picture will help illustrate what I have just written above:
Making your “Incense Boat”
You can use any method you like really, to make a foil enclosure for your incense, just keep in mind it needs to be just roomy enough for your incense to lay in without piercing the foil and it needs to be high enough so that your DPG/Fragrance solution you are about to mix, won’t spill over.
Once you have made a foil enclosure for your incense sticks to soak in you will want to mix your solution!
This is another area of making incense that you can vary, but a good rule to go by is the 2 to 1 ratio. This means for every 2 ounces of DPG you use, you will want to use just one ounce of fragrance. This does not have to be exact, I mostly just eye ball it. If you want to click the picture above you will see how I easily divide my bottle up into one ounce portions so I can easily measure my ingredients. The bottle in the picture on the right is an 8 oz sized bottle so I took a sharpie and placed a dot in the center and then used the sharpie to divide the bottom portion of the bottle into 4 ounces. Pouring up to the first dot would equal about one ounce, pouring past it to the second dot would equal 2 ounces. If you are a bit more OCD about your measurements then of course you can measure it all out properly.
What the picture above illustrates is that I poured 2 ounces of DPG and one ounce of my fragrance into the bottle on the right of the picture and then shook it all together. Next you want to grab your incense boat and place all the incense sticks inside that you want to use. I usually add between 10-20 incense sticks in one incense boat.
Now you can go ahead and pour your DPG/Fragrance solution on your incense sticks! Make sure that each one gets well saturated. I think like to pinch the top shut so no debris or dust gets inside while its in its soaking stage. I place the incense boats inside of a baking pan that I use strictly for crafting.
I like to place a separate sheet of foil down inside the pan. When I am making incense I tend to make up to 5 incense boats at a time because I like to make several difference fragrances.
Once you have all of your incense boats lined up in your pan and the tops of the boats pinched shut, you will want to note the time, they need to soak for 24 hours. Longer if you prefer, as some do, but I honestly have not found any noticeable difference in the way an incense burns or how strong the scent is whether I let it soak for 24 hours or 4 days! So that’s totally up to you, I am usually just anxious to get on with the process so I can enjoy my new incense :)
Once they have soaked for 24 hours you will want to hang them to dry! This is another way you can vary your method but what I have found works best for me is the following:
First you need to dry them somewhat. You might want to wear disposable gloves for this porcess, as dipping your fingers into the incense boats to grab out your incenses can quickly eat away your nail polish. Grab some paper towels and GENTLY absorb up some of the extra fragrance. They are going to be super saturated. You just want to get off what excess you can without scrubbing at the incense. Next I dry off the sticks ends, so I can wrap a small rubber band around al of the incense sticks together. It will look like this:
Next what I do is tie a bit of thread around the bottom of the sticks as well, leaving a long tail of thread because I am going to then tape that somewhere to dry. I personally have mine drying above my armoire type desk, and this isn’t going to be ideal for everybody so look around for an ideal spot that works for you to hang your incense to dry. I lay down a sheet of foil to protect my area from any fragrance oil that drips off the incense in the drying process. I then tape the thread tail to the top of my desk, securely so it doesn’t fall down, so that it is hanging above the sheet of foil. You want to let them hang and dry for at least 24 hours, more so sometimes if you have used an incense stick that is dyed a particular color like mine were above (purple) and not a plain natural incense stick.
Once they are thoroughly dried take them down, burn and enjoy!
Note: if you don’t let them dry thoroughly they might stop burning once the flame hits a damp spot on the incense stick so make sure they are thoroughly dry and ready to burn. This method makes nice slow burning incense with a good throwback scent.
Batch of Finished Home Made Incense!
Now you are probably wondering where you can purchase these sort of supplies as they are not something you normally come by.
You can see in the Amazon carousel below, that you can purchase some of it right through Amazon, this would include empty bottles for mixing, fragrance and even the DPG. They also occasionally carry blank incense sticks!
Now, for the times where you can’t get everything as easily through a store like Amazon, there is always Ebay and Etsy among other places. I have purchased blank incense, DPG, and fragrances through these stores as well and also have bought those extra thin and long zip lock bags that incense sometimes comes in from time to time.
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