Tuesday, 15 January 2013

DIY Incense Holder

Although I have no wedding to plan, lately I have found myself stumbling around the hundreds of wedding planning websites out there. But who can resist ? They have the cutest craft ideas!
About two months ago I found a tutorial on Intimate Weddings describing how to make these beautiful clay ring bowls (click for the link here), and I couldn't wait to make one myself. So I made a few amendments to the original project, and here I give you...
The Clay Incense Holder 

♥ Oven Bake Clay- I use the sculpey brand... I'm not sure what other brands are like, but this one worked great. I got the 794g box which was about 20$ at michaels, but  with my 50% off coupon, this was a lot more reasonable. This box was enough to make 3 bowls
♥ Rolling Pin- I used a silicone rolling pin, but I don't think it makes a difference. If you are worried about ruining your rolling pin, just wrap it in some parchment paper
♥ Bamboo Skewer- Or any kind of skinny stick
♥ Fabric Dollie- Don't worry, it won't get ruined. The thicker the dollie, the deeper and more dramatic the pattern on your bowl will be
♥ A Lid- You want a diameter of about 6-7 inches. This will punch out the shape of your bowl
♥ A small-medium oven safe Bowl
♥ Sand Paper
♥ Parchment Paper- Optional
♥ Letter Stamps- Optional
♥ Super Glue- Optional, to glue the birds onto the bowl

Preheat your oven to 275 Degree's F, or 135 Degree's C

First remove about 1/3 of your clay from the box (if you have the 794g box) and lay it out on your parchment paper (I did this so I wouldn't ruin the counters)
It should be pretty hard to work with initially, so take small bits at a time and work it in your hands till it is warm and smooth... I rolled it in a ball to make the rest of the project easier

Next, Roll out the clay. As you can see in the picture, I have laid some parchment paper on top of the clay to make cleaning the rolling pin easier
Try to roll out the clay as evenly as possible, with a thickness of about 1/4 of an inch

Place your dollie on your clay, and gently roll your rolling pin over this.

Next, take your lid and cut a circle out of your clay. My clay got stuck in the lid, so beware

If you have decided to monogram your bowl, now is the time to do so
Try to pick short words or even initials. I chose the word OHM for a bowl I made my mom, and the word JOY for another one I made for my boyfriends family

Place your clay disk in your oven safe bowl. The deeper the oven safe bowl, the deeper your incense bowl will be
Also keep in mind that if the edges around your clay are rough and uneven (like mine in the picture above), than you are going to have a hell of a time sanding that out once the clay hardens (take my word for it). So try to smooth this out beforehand to the best of your ability 

Now, poke your bamboo skewer, and angle it so that when you put your incense in the hole, the ash doesn't drop off the edge. Keep in mind that the skewer will likely be thicker than your incense. If you have an incense stick on hand, then it may be a good idea to test it, as you will be able to fix it now, but once the clay is hard there is no going back.

Next, I made some little birdies to put on the edge of the bowl. These I totally ripped off from Intimate Weddings because I thought they were so cute. But you can chose anything... or nothing and save yourself some time. But if you have chosen to adorn your bowl, make sure to make a little indent on the bottom of your birds, so that when you go to glue the birds at the end, they fit on the edge of your bowl

Place your bowl and birds in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes
Time for a quick snack break!

Once the timer on your oven is up, remove your bowl and birds, and let it cool for 15-20 minutes
If your bowl has some rough edges or imperfections, buff them out with your sand paper... I spent a good long time working on this!
Also, if you did monogram your bowl, and the imprint is too shallow, then you can use your bamboo skewer to gingerly carve out the letters... Be careful with this step! You don't want to ruin your bowl!

And enjoy your new incense bowl!

If you have never tried incense, I strongly recommend it. It smells amazing, and it just creates this peaceful environment... and it's usually pretty cheep! 
You can purchase incense at used book stores, "hippie" shops, spiritual stores, Asian import stores, and even smoke shops. A brand I recommend is Nag Champa. Their incense is very widely distributed everywhere (I think), and it is usually sold in their trademark white and blue boxes. Here is the link to their website.

Hope you guys have a lovely week!

♥ Olivia


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