Charm Bag Construction

I like charm bags or gris gris bags. They’re a type of container magick and they’re great for protection, love, prosperity, anything really. I typically use either a six or eight inch square of fabric for gris gris bags making every attempt to match the color of the fabric to the purpose of the spell. Otherwise, I like small drawstring muslin bags. I might draw bindrunes or other sigils on the muslin for additional energetic alignment or I might leave them plain but they’re really nice for a quick mojo or charm bag.

To illustrate both types of bags, I decided on a purpose for each one and then began gathering my supplies. I chose emotional balance for the muslin charm bag and protection from entities for the gris gris bag. This is what I came up with.

Emotional Balance

I like to use resins, herbs, roots, and crystals for my charm bags as well as essential oils, particularly if I don’t have a specific herb to use. For emotional balance, I used the following ingredients:

  • lemongrass (dried herb) and EO — calm
  • rosemary (a small sprig) and EO — emotional healing
  • eucalyptus leaves (dried) and EO — healing, purification
  • lavender flowers (dried) — emotional healing
  • citrine — cleansing, joy
  • malachite — balanced emotions
  • Botswana Agate — calm, clarity
  • sandalwood powder — emotional release
  • myrrh resin — peace of mind

The herbs are from my garden and I was lucky to find some rosemary still growing around the medicine wheel. If considering timing in the creation of the charm bag, the witch might want to create the charm bag on a Monday to access lunar energies of emotional balance. If looking for an appropriate hour of the day, 3 PM works well for mind/body/Spirit balance.

I drew a bindrune on each side of the bag for additional support and added each ingredient to the bag, drawing it closed after adding a few drops of essential oils. I’ll consecrate the bag by holding it in my hand and casting my intention of emotional balance into the bag.

Entity Protection

This bag will take the form of a gris gris bag and will protect the bearer from bothersome entities. As an empath, they find me so a gris gris bag is perfect for some additional protection. The ingredients are below.

  • juniper berry and EO — protection, exorcism
  • pine needles and EO — protection/cleansing from negative entities
  • white sage — protection and cleansing/clearing
  • obsidian — grounding, protection
  • jet — grounding, protection
  • black tourmaline — protection, grounding
  • copal — protection
  • cleansing negativity oil

I cut a six or eight inch square of fabric and then began adding my ingredients to the center of the square. It’s easier to add essential oils and powders to a gris gris bag because I can see what I’m doing because it’s open. After adding everything, I gathered the sides together and I tied the bag with a section of black embroidery floss. Again, any type of cordage can be used, but I like embroidery floss because it’s versatile and it’s available in all sorts of colors to correspond to my magickal intention. Hemp cord is also nice to use. And as with the first example, I’ll hold the finished gris gris bag in my hand and chant a few words to consecrate its intention.

Small swatches are available at any stores that sell fabric so it’s not necessary to buy a bunch of fabric unless you like to sew. A witch can be as creative as he or she wishes when making charm bags. I’ve added small bindrunes to my bags which I’ve made from polymer clay. It’s easy to use and it sets up quickly in the oven and bindrunes can be drawn on them and either added to the inside of the bag or hung on the cord used to tie it closed. It’s really all about the intention and it can be as simple or as complicated as the witch desires.

Also known as witch bags, charm bags have been used by witches for centuries for any type of magickal intention. I prefer not to use them for baneful or dark magicks, however, they are used for those purposes as well. Some traditions believe in no more than thirteen and no fewer than three items in a charm bag and should be “fed” weekly with essential oils for example to keep the magick alive. I accomplish that by holding it in my hand periodically and casting the intention of reawakening.

Charm bags are a really nice method for magickal workings. Anything of significance regarding the magickal purpose can be used both inside and out. So, if you haven’t yet included them in your magickal practice, I highly recommend you do so. A wonderful tradition for charm bags is found in Hoodoo. Research the various Hoodoo practitioners such as Stephanie Rose Bird or other conjure practitioners for more information on their use and construction.

Blessed Be

Originally published at on December 19, 2018.



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Jan Erickson

Jan Erickson


Blogger at Empath✵Witch✵Reiki Master✵Kenpo✵Herbalist — Author of Shifting Perception and more…