DIY Less Mess Incense Burner
Quickly and easily make this DIY incense burner that catches the mess and can easily be made to hide it away for later clean up, too!
I love the springtime because it means I can start planting flowers again! Last summer I built some planters in front of the house and filled them up and boy did they take off! They were lush and full and sweet potato vine crept out into the grass and it was just such a lovely display. But then, one day, my sister texts me that it’s going to snow where I am and I’m all, haha, okay because I literally hadn’t even pulled out my coat and was wearing shorts working outside when I got her message.
A few years ago I made a temperature afghan… remember that?
A temperature afghan is basically a way to commemorate a special time by creating a row in an afghan or blanket for every day of something, using the temperature for that day to select the color. You make a chart saying from 30-40 degrees is blue and 70-80 degrees is pink, or whatever, and then you get this completely random design based on the time and place where your happy time occurred. Cool, right? Well, here in South Texas I had to make my chart all sorts of crazy because it’s always warm here and I wanted a few cool colors in my finished afghan.
Case in point the week my sister called to say it was going to snow, I had been working outside and it was 87 degrees. Yep, in December. And talking to the locals at plant nurseries I often heard about “that one time we got a little bit of ice 15 years ago” that seemed to just be the most exciting thing. Because this isn’t the type of place that sort of thing happens so it’s a big deal. So as far as I was concerned this was a terrible weather report. And then this happened…
O. M. Flippin’ G. You do see that palm tree there, right? Basically, I didn’t cover up my plants because it doesn’t get cold enough for that sort of thing here and it didn’t even occur to me. And everything died. Womp. Womp.
Being somebody who LOVES pretty smells but can’t do candles for all of the nosy cats I’ve got around here I try to find other ways to bring in pretty scents. We’ve got wax burners, I plant nice smelling plants outside of the windows like freesias and jasmine and, now I make my own incense, which I’ll chat you up about another day. While I’ve become a big fan of the quick, strong scent you can fill your home with thanks to incense I hate, absolutely hate the mess it makes. All that ash falling down everywhere. And it’s greasy and can mess up painted furniture. Yuck.
So I decided to run up to Michael’s and buy a few dishes, some polymer clay and make some incense burners super quickly to catch all of that messy incense ash. Want to learn how to make your own?
This DIY Incense Burner won’t break the bank and can be made up in no time!
For this project you will need:
- A ceramic ring dish (or other something similar
- Polymer clay
- Super strong glue
- Spray paint (optional)
- Wood skewer
First, you’ll need to find a ring dish or a little ceramic dish with a lid. I found both of mine at Michael’s and got them for 40% off making my pretty dish with ceramic rose on top $6 and my around a buck-ish. I can’t find them online but I still see these both available in store. You can also look in the dishware area for a sauce dish at stores like Target for something, too.
For this project, you only need a pinch of polymer clay. For both of my dishes, I used less than half of this little Sculpey brick, so this is a good stash busting project if you have a little bit of clay hardening in the stash you’d like to use up!
Take a pinch of clay and soften it up. Now if you’re wondering why I have a brown streak in my clay it’s because I was also making my DIY scented incense at the time and didn’t realize I had that business on my hands :)
Roll your dough into a nice, tall shape that is fairly symmetrical and gently push the bottom against a flat surface to make it flatten out.
For a minimal look, you can also create a ball of clay.
Shove your clay shape onto a wooden skewer. Don’t worry if it goes all the way to the other side, it isn’t necessary for it to but it also doesn’t matter if it does.
If your shape is wonky you can use the skewer to help you roll it into a nicer or more symmetrical shape. Remember to flatten out the bottom again one you’re done.
And just to be safe, if your vessel has a lid, make sure your clay piece fits :)
Gently twist and remove the wooden skewer from your shapes and bake according to package directions. For me, that was 45-minute bake. Allow to fully cool and then paint if desired. Also, if you’ve got fingerprints or weird wrinkles, or what have you, you can smooth them out with fine sandpaper, just take care not to breathe in the dust.
I decided to spray paint my clay incense holders with glossy spray paint because it seemed like it would be easier to clean, though I think that’s all in my head,
It does make it super easy to find where to put the incense when you’re in a hurry, though. It’s like a bullseye!
Add your incense and while it burns the greasy ash will fall into the dish for super easy cleanup.
And if you make yours out of a candy dish or other dish with a lid, which is my fave option, once the incense has finished burning you can toss the stick inside and put the lid on to cover the mess and empty out after a couple of uses or once you’ve got more time on your hands. Cool, right?