DIY Swirl & Speckle Incense Bowls



I love to burn candles, especially during the colder months, but I wanted to try something new for scent. My seventeen year old daughter is really into incense and she’s got me feeling nostalgic for when I used to burn it in college.

I thought I’d make myself some incense holders using oven bake clay and they turned out pretty cute, I especially like the patterns in the clay and the gold speckles on top.


The materials and steps are so easy. I used oven bake clay (from Michaels), liquid leaf paint, a butter knife to cut the clay, and a tall drinking glass to roll it out. The colors I used were a mixture of olive green, white, black, and gray.

I followed the same steps for cutting, mixing, and rolling clay like this tutorial for making mini clay marble dishes.

I used mini oven safe dishes I had in my kitchen as the mold. Before baking in the oven for 15 minutes, create a little hole in the bowl with the base of a stick of incense at the angle you want the incense to burn. It helps to reinforce the back with extra clay for stability.

Once they were baked and cooled, I added flecks of liquid leaf paint and also painted the edges too.

I was so proud of how my little clay incense bowls turned out…

But then I realized something after burning two sticks of incense in my studio.


I don’t really like the smell of incense.

Its too pungent for me and if it burns too long, it gives me a mild headache.

So….. I will return to burning my milder scented candles.

And I’ll be using my swirl & speckle bowls as jewelry holders instead.


I do like working with the clay, it’s therapeutic to cut and twist and roll with this medium and the patterns are random and unpredictable but that’s part of the fun! These make great little gifts for friends too.

For those of you who like incense, this is a creative way to make bowls for burning it. For those that don’t, simply make little bowls without holes for holding little things like paper clips on your desk or as a catchall to hold your rings or earrings.