Crafting your own smudge stick is a beautiful and meaningful experience. Not only does it add power to your energy, but also enhances the potency of your smudging ritual. Additionally, by carefully choosing the plants used in your smudge stick, you can hone in on certain energies to create an even more potent experience. The process of creating your own smudge stick is relatively simple and doesn’t require many tools or materials.
The process of making your own smudge stick can also be a very soothing and calming experience, as it creates a mindful connection with nature and the sacredness of prayer. Not only will you have a tool to spiritually cleanse your home, but you’ll also have an item of beauty and spiritual significance to call upon whenever needed.
Not to mention, when you create your own smudge stick, you can be sure of exactly what ingredients are going into it. Research the properties of the herbs and plants you are using to get an understanding of how they will affect your spiritual cleansing practice. Additionally, you get to be mindful of where you source these herbs from in order to ensure that they are organic and sustainably harvested so their energy is pure and without contamination.
If you’re a beginner to smudging, we have some helpful guides available to help kick-start your journey:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Smudging
- 15 Simple Smudging Prayers to Purify and Protect Your Home
- The BIG Comprehensive Guide To Smudging
How To Make Your Own Smudge Stick
Step One: Choose Your Herbs
An abundance of herbs can be used for smudging, such as sage, pine, juniper, and lavender. To determine which to use when crafting your own ceremony, simply select from what is accessible in your geographic area. While some herbs that are used in smudging rituals by indigenous people, such as sage or sweet grass, others like rosemary, vervain and mugwort have a rich history within European cultures. Allow your intuition to be your guide as you customize the perfect smudge stick, choosing from a single herb or combining several different options.
To uphold the traditional customs of Native American cultures, it is important to remember that white sage, cedar, tobacco, and sweetgrass should never be blended together. Whilst the other three are used for cleansing purposes through smudging rituals; tobacco is only ever smoked in sacred ceremonies or presented as a gift.
For smudging rituals, here are the most highly sought-after herbs and their powerful properties:
- Cedar – Cedar has long been revered for its protective and purifying properties. It is seen as a guardian spirit and an extremely potent healer invoked to bring health, clarity, and strength.
- Sage – Sage is the most commonly used herb for smudging and works to cleanse negative energies from a space or person. Sage imbues a sense of peace and mental clarity, while simultaneously bestowing blessings and shielding from negativity.
- Sweetgrass – Sweetgrass has been burned and revered for centuries due to its many beneficial qualities. When used in smudging, sweetgrass is said to invoke feelings of security, peace, and tranquility. It’s nicknamed ‘vanilla grass’ because it carries a gentle and pleasing aroma similar to that of vanilla essence; this herb is often connected with the energy of motherhood.
- Pine – The scent of pine has the ability to ground and purify, calming your breath and clearing away any tension in both body and mind. It is known to bring good luck and fortune, as well as a sense of joy and peace.
- Lavender – Lavender is thought to cleanse both mind and body, enabling emotional clarity, peace of heart, and spiritual healing. It nurtures us with its sweet and nourishing energy, offering a deep sense of blessing and inner peace.
- Rosemary – Rosemary is known for its protective qualities, providing a layer of security against any negative energies or influences. It is believed to bring good luck and enhance memory, while also aiding in the healing of past traumas.
- Juniper – Juniper has been treasured since antiquity for its protective power and blessings, said to attract abundance and prosperity. When you smudge with Juniper, it helps to purify the energy of a space while providing an extra layer of protection from negative influences.
- Thyme – Thyme is not only an excellent accompaniment to rosemary for purifying and shielding, but it can also strengthen your life force, and encourage courage and self-belief – as well as relieving emotionally draining bouts of sadness.
Follow your intuition when creating herb bundles. Some herbs go together well, but others may not. To make sure each plant can work to its fullest potential, it is best to only combine a few herbs at once.
Step Two: Craft Your Stick
The next step in making your own smudge stick is to decide what it will look like. This includes its length and thickness, the specific herbs you will be combining, as well as the type of string you will be using to tie your bundle.
You can make smudge sticks that are either 2 inches thick or less than 1 inch in diameter. Usually, the thicker bundles will smolder more slowly, which is helpful if you want to use them in a bigger area, like your whole house instead of just a small room.
If you have never made a smudge stick before, you can make both thin and thick smudge sticks at the same time. This way, you can try different thicknesses and see which one works best for your needs.
Smudge sticks come in different lengths and thicknesses. Short smudge sticks are good for people who are busy or looking for something smaller. They can be used to cleanse your own energy or given as presents. Longer smudge sticks are better for freeing large spaces from stagnant energies.
When choosing a string for your smudge stick, remember that the string will burn along with the herbs. So it is important to choose a string made from natural materials like cotton or hemp. The last thing you want is to pollute the air by burning synthetic strings during smudging.
The length of the string should be about 3 to 5 times the length of your smudge stick because you will be tying it around your bundle several times.
When you make a smudge stick, you can try different thicknesses, lengths, and appearances. The one thing that is not up for negotiation is that your smudge stick must be wrapped tightly. The herbs will dry and get smaller, so it is important to wrap your smudge stick well. Otherwise, it might fall apart while you are using it.
- Selected herbs
- A natural string, colored or plain
- Cut your herbs into small bunches. If you are using different types of herbs, like sage, rosemary, lavender, and rose, make sure to arrange them in a way that looks good. Usually, people put rose petals or lavender flowers on the very top of the bundle so it looks pretty.
- Cut the strings into pieces that are 3 to 5 times the length of the bundle you want to make. Make sure you have enough strings for all the smudge sticks you want to create.
- Tie a knot around the stems of your herbs to keep them in place. Then wrap your chosen string around the stems several more times. Holding the stems with one hand, use your dominant hand to tie the string on an angle from the base of the stems to the tip of your herb bundle. Then, reverse the angle and tie the string back to the base of the stems. This way you will create a crisscross pattern seen in many smudge sticks. It’s completely up to you how many times you decide to wrap the herbs together – once, twice or as many times as desired! The most important thing is that each knot be firmly tied. Once complete, tie one last knot for extra security and your herb bundle will be ready to go. For an even more potent effect, you can loop nine times upward towards the tips and tie downwards towards the stems. Finishing off with a wrap of nine turns at its base provides optimal results.
- To ensure that your sticks are thoroughly dried, set them out in the shade for about a week. There are two primary methods to dry your smudge sticks and a few rules that must be followed. You can set up your smudges on a drying rack or screen with adequate air flow, or you can hang them from something like an oven shelf, wall hook, or any other creative solution for securely holding the bundle in place. To ensure your smudge sticks are ready for use in 7 to 10 days, you must adhere to the two crucial rules: keep them away from direct sunlight and provide adequate air circulation. With these simple steps, you can have beautiful and fragrant smudging sticks.
Making your own smudge sticks is a great way to connect with nature and manifest the aromas of the Earth. Smudging has many benefits, from spiritual healing to adding sweet fragrances to your home. Plus, it’s a fun and creative activity that you can do with friends or family. With a few simple steps, you can craft your very own smudge stick in no time. So gather some herbs, get out your string, and let the magic begin.