How to Make Homemade Incense Cones


How to Make Homemade Natural Incense

Incense has been around for centuries and has been used for various purposes. While the specific formulation can vary based on its origin, incense is made of fragrant materials like cinnamon, frankincense, and sandalwood, and produces a fragrant scent when it’s burned. While the scent of burning incense can be appealing, buying incense from the store can be expensive--and you may find yourself getting ingredients that you do not expect. Making your own incense at home allows you to customize your ingredients, and, in many cases, helps cut costs on the expensive incense you might find in stores. 


Ready to get started? Learn more about incense and check out the directions below to discover how to make your own incense at home.


Is Homemade Incense Bad for You?

Incense is made of a variety of materials, including sage, oils or resins, and woods. Whether incense, particularly store-bought incense, contains toxins and other harmful matter can depend on which materials are used in the manufacturing process. For example, some types of incense may contain particulate matter that, when inhaled, may affect your lungs.


Smoke from incense can be difficult for patients with asthma or other lung disorders. In addition, some studies have linked increased incense use to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Using incense carefully, including choosing materials known to be healthier, can help you avoid some of the potential health risks. You should always consult with your healthcare provider before using store-bought or homemade incense.


Steps to Make Homemade Incense Cones

Ready to make your own homemade incense cones?  Follow these simple steps:


1. Choose Your Herbs

Some herbs simply make better incense than others; make sure you use herbs that are still potent: over time, most herbs lose their potency, which could impact the aroma created by your incense. Some popular choices include basil, dill, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, and sage. Note: consider any allergies or sensitivities to certain herbs and ingredients and talk to your doctor before making your own incense. 


2. Grind Your Herbs

Mix them all into a bowl, then grind them with a mortar and pestle. You will need around 1.5 tsp of your herb mixture to create each incense cone. Make sure you grind the herbs to a powder for the best effect. 


3. Add Water and any Other Liquid Ingredients

If you're using ingredients like honey, you will need to add them after grinding the herbs. You'll need about 1 tbsp of water and around 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of any other liquid ingredients you're planning to add to your incense. You want to create a mixture that will hold its shape fairly well. If the mixture is too wet or too dry, you won't end up with an effective incense cone. 


4. Shape the Incense Cone

The easiest way to shape your incense cone is to press it into a piping tip: the same type you would use to pipe frosting. When possible, choose a frosting tip with a wide nozzle, since that will make it easier to use. 


Slide a toothpick into the center of the cone to create a little bit of space, which will help the cone burn better once you set it alight.


5. Remove the Cone From the Piping tip 

First, tap the tip on the table several times to loosen it up. Then, use the toothpick to slide around the edges of the piping cone, which will help remove the remaining material from the piping tip. Set it to the side on a firm, dry surface. 


6. Repeat Until you Have Used all of Your Incense Mixture

Don't let those herbs go to waste! Each incense-creating session may allow you to make several incense cones, which you can store for later use. Continue molding, shaping, and removing the incense from the cones until you have used up all of the mixture. As you go, you'll get used to developing just the right texture and consistency. 


7. Dry Your Homemade Incense Cones

Your homemade incense cones will not burn well until they have a chance to dry. Place them on a tray or inside an open container in a sunny spot and leave them for one to two days. Keep in mind that, until the material dries, your incense might not work as well as you hope, so you should make sure to dry it completely. If you aren't sure if your materials are dry, consider testing one before storing. 


8. Store Your Homemade Incense in a Sealed Container

You want your storage container to be airtight. Keep in mind that if you used honey in your mixture, it can attract moisture, so you want to make sure your container is airtight and will not prevent your incense from burning as well as you might hope. 


9. Use Sparingly

In order to get the most out of your incense, make sure you keep it away from pets and small children, that you burn it on a non-flammable surface, and that you have water on hand. You should never leave incense, including homemade incense, unattended. 


As you experiment with different types of incense in your homemade recipes, you'll find the ones that work best for your specific needs. Continue to explore, test out new combinations, and learn more about what you like to determine which combinations you want to make most often.


Which Herbs Make Good Incense? 

Some herbs are naturally more aromatic when burned and may, therefore, offer a better overall experience. 

Try some of these great herbs in your homemade incense:

Experiment with your own combinations to create your favorite aromas from your homemade incense. 


Shop DIY Incense Ingredients & Tools at Co-op Market

Are you ready to get started making your own incense? From bulk lavender and other herbs to the tools you need to grind your herbs to make your incredible incense recipes, Co-op Market has everything you need to get started. With so many options to choose from, you're sure to find a combination that fits your needs. Check out our store to find a variety of herbs that are sure to raise a delightful aroma in your home. 

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