Category Archives: Tools

Tip: Easy and cheap incense/candle holder

MAS01 I wish I learned this trick years ago, but the problem with altar tools is finding things that fit the various types of incense and candles out there.

Incense come in sticks, cones, and the charcoal briquettes. Candles also come in various size tapers, pillar, and even tea light size dimension. But do I seriously want to get different containers to accommodate them?

The tips is easy; A single container, preferable wide and flat, filled with sand, salt, or dirt, works wonderfully as a holder for all incense and candles, and even other things.

flowrepotI prefer using a terra cotta flower pot plate. They are heat resistant, and come in many sizes. You can also paint them, or use a flower pot, overturned, as a base to raise up the plate.

This is also easy to clean by scooping or replacing the sand, salt, or dirt. I use white sand, but you can find various Sand in Vivid Colors at the craft store, or find the Sand for Aquarium at pet stores (you can even find black sand). Hardware stores also carry sand for gardens or walkways.

Other containers include bowls, pots, or plates. This can also be used indoors or outdoors, and changed with the seasons. Use dirt for spring, sand for summer, dirt/soil for Autumn , and even snow for winter (outdoor only). Use your imagination!

Crafty Fun: Incense burner and bowl

The creative bug bit me the other day, so in a frenzy of crafty elation, I made some new things for altar;

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From Paper Clay I made these mini-incense stands. Its pretty easy to make, as well.

You get material you can shape and mold. This can be polymer clay, Play dough, or what I used, Paper clay. The Polymer clay requires baking, so I went with air dry stuff. You can also make your own ‘cold porcelain’ to make something that air dries.

Once shaped (I used a resin mold), stick a small incense stick upright or at an angle. Remember, if its at an angle, the ashes will fall in that direction. Its this reason, I’m considering some new designs, such as a leaf that can catch the ash.

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After letting it dry completely, you can now paint it with any sort of paint. I even used fingernail polish. You can see in this photo the painted incense bases, but also a few other things I made since I wanted to use up the paper clay.

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Here you can see some leaf bowls made from the same paper clay. As another easy project, you collect any size leave or leaves. It must be about the size you want your bowl. Roll out the clay, and press the leaf in the clay with the veins down into the clay.

011Now, cut away the excess clay with a knife. Once you finished, get a bowl a bit smaller than the bowl size you want. You now overturn your leaf onto the bowl to take its shape. You can wrap in tin foil if you like. I found it really didn’t matter.

037Once dried, remove from the upturned bow, and paint as you like. I suppose you can use spray can paint, but I used a matte green acrylic paint for this bowl, and used a metallic sheen paint on its edges to get this effect.

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The other one I used only the metallic paint, and I think it turned out great. I’d like to find or make a metallic sheen that’s green as well.

The leaf bowl will be used for offerings on my altar.

The mini incense sticks are easy to make as well- just get some formidable shears and cut a regular incense stick down to a few inches. I make mine about two to three inches. And be sure your base is shaped so that it stands upright and won’t tip over.

You could also make candle holders as well.

I think they turned out rather well, if I say so myself.

Products that I used:

Prang DAS Air Hardening Modeling Clay, 2.2 Pound Block, White (387500)

Environmental Technology Castin’ Craft EasyCast Resin Jewelry Mold, 11 Popular Jewelry Shapes On One Tray

Sculpey Push Mold – Art Doll Faces

Moon Calendar

HalfMoonStars - CopyHave need of a moon calendar? You can find tons out there, so I’m sharing some of the ones I like with brief review:

zodiacartsZodiacarts.com’s Moon calendar page provides a nice calendar that includes Void-of-course, and ‘handshake’ days (geared for business days).  It doesn’t seem to include a print page, but you can save the calendar graphic and insert into a document to print.

They only include a few months at a time.

moonconnection

MoonConnection.com offers a nice visual based calendar. This provides only moon phases, but you can look up any month up to 2024. It also includes tons of information in regards to the moon, and you can get an iPhone or Android app, or one for the desktop.

Do you keep a moon calendar in your Book of Shadows? Do you make your own? Post in comments.