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Lifestyle: DIY Holiday Smudge Sticks

With the holidays in full force I’m already beginning to think about how the New Year is just around the corner. It is always a time of reflection of the past year, a time to purge, and a time for a fresh new start. I’ve been a long-time fan of smudge sticks. When we moved into our apartment, I used them to clear the energy and start fresh. Whenever I use them, I feel as though their is a sense of positive energy that flows through our home and that translates to our daily life. I usually use them once a week.

This season, I partnered with Natalie to create a simple DIY holiday smudge stick that you can all create on your own. They smell incredible using a little bit of holiday greenery. Read on for more details from Natalie herself!

What was your inspiration behind creating these holiday smudge sticks?

The definition for the Latin word for sage (“salvia”) is “to heal”. The act of burnin sage will ground your home and bring a cleansing of the of the energetic properties in your home. And, if not thing else, it makes your home smell good. I burn sage and palo santo sticks in my home daily. I find that it clears the space and redirects our attention be triggering our sense of smell but of course it also goes beyond that. I find that the act of making the sticks can be very meditative. I think this is the perfect time to burn the sticks, as we approach New Years and think about intentions for the future.

What did you use to create them?

Sage is the base element you want to use as it has the energy cleansing properties. They key is to find earthy fragrant elements that dry well. I like to mix in other elements that bring in the season and what is accessible. I used cedar in these sticks and often use rosemary. Lavender is a nice touch as well as gomphrena and celocia. When I made these the first time, I used what my Mother had growing in her garden in the same patch as the sage. There are many different varieties of sage. My favorite is “Grandfather Sage” (also called “Montana White Sage”) which his what my mother grows.

What is your step-by-step process for creating your own smudge sticks?

1. Gather your materials and cut stems in similar lengths 3-5” long. 2. Bundle stems together and start to wrap with baking twine from the base towards the top. 3. Pull your twine tight and add more stems are you reach your desired thickness. II find at least four stems of your main elements works well. Pull the string as tight as possible as it loosens while it dries. 4. Add in more delicate elements such as rose buds. 5. Let it dry for a few days. 6. Burn! You can use the same stick multiple times. When you burn the sage use a feather or your hand to move the smoke around. It can also help to move the smoke in a circular direction leading it out a window or door so that you bring the energy outside and release it.

How long do you have to wait until you use them? Do they have to be completely dried?

You only have to wait a few days for them to be dry enough to burn. It doesn’t take long and they last for nearly forever.

This was such a fun project to work on with Natalie. I love finding ways to create items that you can easily do yourself. To get inspired by Natalie’s past flower posts – click here.


Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Images by Caitlin Flemming for Sacramento Street


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