DIY Incense Bundle (Otherwise known as a Smudge Stick)

Growing up, my mom’s best friend always used to Smudge. Every time we came to visit, she had beautiful Smudge Sticks wafting herbal smoke throughout the house, creating a hazy but inviting atmosphere. She was such a proponent of smudging that she even smudged her new car (to be fair, the previous owner had died so she was trying to clear the energy there for sure). Because of this, I’ve always smudged – my new apartment out of college, my first house, even my husband when he comes home in a bad mood.

Smudging, for those who don’t know, is a Native American tradition. It has been, like almost everything else, largely co-opted and mainstreamed. Since I’m writing a whole blog post about it, I am part of that. However, I am not trying to copy or marginalize anyone’s religious and spiritual practices. I look at it as burning different herbs, each of which carry their own natural properties. Hence, I call mine an Incense Bundle. Sorry if that sounds corny – but that’s what i’m going with!

Since I’ve moved to Germany, i’ve felt like it’s not truly my house. We are here for three years, but so far it’s just felt like an odd vacation. I thought if I cleared my house through making and burning my own incense bundle, I would feel better. Man, I was right. I feel calmer and more at ease. I promise, I’m not just trying to sell my brand here.

The herbs I chose were:

Rosemary: Protection

Lavender: Calming

Sage: Cleansing (specifically that of negative energy)

Dried Rosebuds: Love

You will also need some twine to bind everything together 

Processed with VSCO with av4 preset

To make your Bundle:

  • Lay out all of your materials – I laid out the longest/largest herbs first. So I started with the lavender and rosemary.
  • Then layer the other herbs on top – the sage and the rosebuds
  • Take your twine and cut about two hand lengths
  • Start by gathering the end of the bundle together and wrapping the twine around. Make your way up the bundle, crossing and looping the twine around it
  • If some herbs fall out – that’s ok! This is not a science, trust me. You can tuck them back into the bundle once you’re done
  • Once you have the bundle secure, tie the ends of the twine together


Once you have it tied up, you can start the fun part – lighting it on fire! Light the tip on fire, letting it catch for a moment, and then blow it out. Make sure you have a small dish or plate to place it on. Then you can go through your house/apartment/car and let the smoke fill the air. If the bundle goes out, just relight and extinguish. Also, you can let it go out and use again at a later time.


A quick note: I used dried herbs but you can certainly use fresh. 

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