Here is a sample video and written instructions for making a self-contained incense holder made from a plastic bottle. It is the coolest incense holder I have ever used. The idea is not mine. An American lay person had one at his dorm room and I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I made mine in minutes.
The Problem: No matter how you slice it, incense holders often let the ashes fall outside of the “catching-base.” It makes a mess and might be a fire-hazard too.
The Solution: Thinking outside of the box, if one can cope with the idea of holding an incense stick upside-down inside a partially closed bottle (that catches 100% of the ash). The smoke will eventually come out of the top of the bottle and have the same effect as any other incense holder… AKA smoke gets released into the room. Below is a video stream showing you my incense holder in action.
Find a Bottle (taller is better): The bottle I used was tall, but had a more narrow-than-normal cap. Because of this, I needed to saw off the top. This is not necessary with most bottles and I discourage you from doing this. The top needs very little space to let the scented smoke out.
Clothes-pin to hold the incense stick: There are several styles of clothes pins. The one shown here, has a flat base to grip the incense with some surface area, like two fingers. Other clips that bite, like upper and lower teeth, have less surface area and will not hold the stick as well. Notice in the picture below that there is about an eighth to one quarter of an inch of gripper surface area.
Make a breather hole: You will need an air-hole to help give fresh air for combustion (to keep the incense going). Get something metal and round like a big nail and heat heat it until it gets really hot. You may need to hold the red-hot object with a cloth to prevent burning yourself. Poke a hole in the bottle a few inches from the bottom with the hot nail or whatever you use. I actually used the file that is connected to a nail clipper. About 1/8 of an inch is fine.
Get some rocks for ballast: Rocks are shown above. Find some small rocks and fill your bottle with about one inch of them. You could use water, if you wanted too (better fire proofing), but it might spill and make a mess. I used rocks. This stop is actually optional but recommended.
Fire it up: That is it! Grip an incense, fire it up, and drop it into the bowl. The width of the clothes pin will prevent it from falling through the cap-hole. Within a few seconds, smoke will be coming out of the top.
You can make glass one from a wine bottle, but you will need a trammel to make a hole in the bottom. “A what?” That is why I have a plastic version. Good Luck. Enjoy and Share this one.
Disclaimer: Use caution in making and using this device being aware of the dangers of playing with fire.