Although stick incense is readily available and generally inexpensive, creating your own stick incense is an exciting process allowing you to create your own custom scents. Handcrafted incense is a great gift for holidays, birthdays, and makes charming housewarming and hostess gifts.
The first step in stick incense making is gathering your supplies. Incense making requires several items which are usually found at online craft shops and candle making supply stores. You will need a bundle of unscented incense sticks, usually sold in one hundred counts, your favorite essential oil fragrances, glass measuring cups, a glass pan or glass vase large enough to soak the sticks in, paper towels, a cotton towel, or a mesh drying rack, and DPG (dipropylene glycol).
Next, remove any wrapping or ties binding the sticks, and place the sticks loosely in your glass pan or vase. Avoid using plastic or metal, as your essential oils and fragrances may react and have an unexpected or unpleasant odor.
Select which essential oil fragrance or fragrances you would like to use to make your stick incense. If you are using several oils, mix them together in your glass measuring cup a little at a time until you get the scent you want for your handmade incense.
Once you have decided on your fragrance, you will add DPG to your essential oil fragrance mixture. You will be using one part essential oil fragrance blend and three parts DPG. For example, if you were using three ounces of fragrance oil you would add nine ounces of DPG. If you use six ounces of fragrance oil you would use eighteen ounces of DPG. Take care as this mixture will be flammable.
Pour your mixture of fragrance and DPG into the container holding the incense sticks. Leave the sticks to soak for 24 to 48 hours.
After your home made incense sticks have finished soaking, pour the essential oil/DPG mix in another glass container such as a jar. You can reuse the mixture several times. It is a good idea to label and date the jar.
Remove the sticks and spread them out to dry on paper towels, a regular bath towel or a mesh drying rack. Allow your incense sticks to dry for two to three days, depending on the humidity. You can sit them in front of a fan, or blow them with a hairdryer to speed up the process.
After the sticks are finally dry, they are ready to use. Using a match or lighter, set fire to the fragrance infused end of the stick and blow out the flame before placing it in an incense burner. Package your homemade incense in ziplock-type bags to keep them fresh. For gift giving, tie batches together with an attractive ribbon or twine.