DIY Smudge Sticks Inspired by Fall

With the holidays just around the corner, you’ll be welcoming more guests into your home now more than any other time of the year. Maybe seasons past haven’t gone exactly as planned, or perhaps you need a clean slate before the in-laws arrive. If so, an autumn smudge stick is just the thing.

Essentially, smudging is burning sacred herbs to correct the energy in a home. Born from the Native American tradition, this ritual is used for the purpose of cleansing and purification but depends primarily on which plants are used. Many believe the smoke from the herbs binds with negative energies and carries them away as the smoke disperses… plus these beauties have the most amazing scent! Just the thing to make a house feel (and smell) fresh and new.

DIY Autumn Smudge Sticks //

DIY Smudge Sticks: Lavender, Purple Sage & Sweetgrass

This smudge stick creates an atmosphere of tranquility and attracts positive energy. Purple sage is used for purifying and clears out negative energy. Aromatic lavender works in conjunction with the sage to create harmony and positivity. Sweetgrass is used to bring in positive energy after the negativity is released and adds a wonderful vanilla-like scent.

DIY Autumn Smudge Sticks //

DIY Smudge Sticks: Rosemary, Cinnamon & Sage

There’s no herb like rosemary to bless and protect a house. This combination of herbs thoroughly removes negative energy from your home and raises the protective vibrations. Rosemary combined with the intensely purifying essence of sage, emits powerful cleansing vibes and rids a space of animosity as it smolders. Add in the protective properties of cinnamon and this smudge will make a happy home that smells like the holiday’s have arrived.

DIY Autumn Smudge Sticks //

DIY Smudge Sticks: Thyme & Cinnamon Stick 

This duo provides a gentle cleansing, all about out with the old and in with the new. Smudging your home with thyme dispels melancholy, hopelessness and other mellow but negative vibrations. Pair it with cinnamon sticks and it raises the spiritual and protective levels while stimulating personal psychic and physical energy.

DIY Autumn Smudge Sticks //

I love this project because you just need a few things from around the house plus your herbs. Lavender and rosemary are growing everywhere right now, and nearing at the end of their bloom cycle. So instead of buying them at the store, try offering to prune your neighbor’s garden back a bit. Smudge sticks also make great gifts, so keep these in mind as the holidays near.

DIY Smudge Sticks Inspired by Autumn


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DIY Autumn Smudge Sticks //

Start by trimming your woody herbs to length, make sure you save the stems as those can be used in the smudge stick as well. Take your sage and pluck off the leaves you want to use in your bundle and set aside. For the sweetgrass braid, just cut a section the length you’d like to make your smudge stick. Next, layer the herbs in a small bundle and trim any excess.

DIY Autumn Smudge Sticks //

Take a small piece of string and firmly tie it around the bottom of the bundle, this makes it easier to work with as you wrap. Next, begin wrapping the herbs firmly from the base to the top. Remember that as they dry the herbs will shrink, so wrap them a little tighter than you think you should.

Repeat going in the opposite direction down the stick and back up again until everything seems firmly held in place. Secure the string at the top with a smaller piece and trim the excess. Set in a cool, dry place and let dry for at least 2 weeks.

DIY Autumn Smudge Sticks //

Now the fun part! You’ve waited for those amazing smelling smudge sticks to dry and your patience is about to be rewarded. Use a candle to light your smudge stick as it may take a little time to get it smoking.

Once the stick is flaming, blow it out so it’s smoldering, but be careful not to blow ash everywhere. Start in the center of the space and move in a counter-clockwise motion, leaving a door or window open so the negative energy (and smoke) can escape. As with an action undertaken with intention, smudging can be a potent ritual and should be done with care, reverence and an attitude of love.

Project and styling by Gwen McKenzie for Jojotastic.

Photography by Meghan Klein

pssst… more DIY projects right this way!

Leave a comment and let us know what you think of this smudge stick tutorial! And if you make any, be sure to post a photo and tag @jojotastic on Instagram so we can see.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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Leave a Comment


  1. 6.30.23
    Nadine Hunt said:

    Is there a printer friendly version of these diy students sticks?

    • 8.9.23
      Joanna said:

      Hi! Unfortunately, I don’t think I have that function on my site. However, the easiest way would be to just print out the full blog post.

  2. 10.27.15
    Kate Ramos said:

    This is so cool, I love this! I was just thinking I didn’t buy any incense for Dia de los Muertos but now I can make it instead. One question: where do you get the sweetgrass braid?

    • 10.27.15
      joanna said:

      so glad you love the DIY! we got ours at a seattle shop called Rainbow Natural Remedies, but any local apothecary shop should be able to help.