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Incense Holder & Burner

A few years ago, I made this incense holder & burner. I have several burners, but none with a holder for stick storage except this one. I also added a little 'feature' for fire safety; a metal cover button to put burning sticks out in case I have to leave suddenly.

A progression from the original design to the current.

The pics don't show the whole process from start to finish. I'm planning to make a post with the initial steps to make your very own though, with more pictures or perhaps a video demo. If you want and think you can make it based on the pictures above, go for it! For now, here is a list of supplies to DIY:

  • 2 or 3 Napkin Rings
  • 12" x 1.5" Pine Craft Wood
  • 1.5" Wood Doll Heads
  • Sandpaper
  • Krazy glue or similar - NOT Gorilla glue as it swells
  • Drill - 1/8" and 1/2" bits
  • Dremel or rotary tool OR wood carving / engraving tools
  • A pencil and ruler - for making guide marks as needed
  • Optional:

  • Craft Cover Buttons
  • Acrylic paints and any other materials you'd like to use for decoration, such as; air dry clay, spackle, etc. plus whatever supplies they need. If you want to keep it as simple and au naturel as possible, just omit this part. You can always add on to it another time, too.


I used 2 napkin rings, but you can use 3 if you want it taller. One doll head and pack of pine craft wood should be enough, unless you want to make more than one burner/holder.

You can use wood carving or engraving tools to get the groove down the middle of the pine plank, but it's very slow going and takes a lot of sanding the rough edges. A Dremel or rotary tool is much more efficient, precise, and versatile.

Either way, please be careful that you don't stab yourself with the carving tools and use protective gear with the power tools as inhaling wood dust or getting it in your eyes is no fun.

Looks like I need more incense sticks.

I use mostly Craft Smart acrylic paint on my projects, which comes down to personal preference. It's difficult to see them all in the picture, but the colors I used in the final image include: black (base coat), purple, royal blue, gold, pink, and orange - sparingly on the last two. All dabbed on with a round sponge. The clay parts are just pink mixed with purple on the flower bud and dark green with gold on the leaves.

I recently started using things like spackling on my wood pieces to play with textures or make small repairs. I used Mod Podge to seal the spackle before painting, just in case. It should be allowed to dry completely first - 12-24 hours depending on thickness.

The particular brand of spackle I'm using (DAP DryDex) is suitable for wood projects and other surfaces. The original idea for this piece was to make the napkin rings blend more seamlessly with the doll head, but I got a little carried away. It's for personal use anyway and I think it came out kinda cool - sort of reminds me of a melting candle.

I was also a bit overzealous with the grinding stone on the rotary tool (yeah, I'm a noob with it); ended up going straight through the wood - oops! - and had to use some air dry clay to patch it up, which led to the little floral decoration around my cover button part.

I would have added more onto the flower bud, but I didn't want it to be this huge thing getting in the way of putting out sticks. I'm already anticipating that the leaves alone might become a slight nuisance when I go to clean out ashes.

More instructions on the basic construction coming soon!