Making lavender wands

Each year I make lavender wands to scent our clothes in their drawers. They hold their fragrance so well, that they really do last for a few years. The idea is that the stems form a frame around the lavender heads and a thin ribbon weaves in and out of the stems to stop the lavender flowers falling out when it dries. This year AJ asked me to show her how to do it. I love passing on skills to my children, just as my mother and grandmas have passed on skills to me. This was one of those moments when AJ really wanted to learn, no better time for me to lead.

We have lavender growing in the garden. For lavender wands it is best to make them as soon as the lavender is picked. The stems are green and supple, so they are less likely to crack and split.

We cut the lavender with the longest stems, as possible. For the weaving to make a basket effect, we needed an odd number of lavender. We cut seven.  Sometimes I use thin ribbon, but I like to use raffia as an alternative. When the fragrance is spent, the whole wand will rot down in the compost bin. Alternatively, it would make a good addition to the yule log.

To start, we made the lavender into a bunch and tied it together at the base of the flowers, using a long piece of raffia. A length of about 2 foot or 60cm should be ample. We tied the raffia so that one end is about 15cm (6″) long. This piece was then pulled up along the flowers.

Carefully, we bent the stems over the flower heads. Spacing them out around the flowers so that they form a cage surrounding the flowers.

Using the longer piece of raffia, we started to weave it in and out of the lavender stems. Trying not to twist the raffia. Keeping the raffia flat as we went round, so that when the lavender heads dry they will be held in place.  The raffia spiralled down around the heads. AJ made sure she went under when the previous round went over.

I love to see her weaving fingers. They moved with such quiet purpose.

Once she had woven the raffia to the end of the flower heads, we tied it around all the stalks. Using the shorter length of raffia, that was running along side the flowers, we tied a bow.

Final check to see if it smelt good enough for her clothes and away she whizzed. Its now in her drawer. I’m sure she will make more. So simple, but so pleasing.

I’m linking this up to The Magic Onion’s Friday Nature Table. It really is worth taking a look at the other offerings.

18 thoughts on “Making lavender wands

    • Friday 30 July, 2010 at 11:32 pm
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      Thank you. I love the fragrance of lavender. I use it a lot around the house. I’m glad my children love it too.

  • Friday 30 July, 2010 at 10:08 pm
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    I used to love making these – I haven’t done it for years though, thank you for reminding me! I am going to add it to our list for the summer 😀

    • Friday 30 July, 2010 at 11:33 pm
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      I’m sure I read somewhere that people have been making these for centuries. Makes me feel a connection to the past. I hope you enjoy making them again.

  • Friday 30 July, 2010 at 10:37 pm
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    Just beautiful, and what a wonderful use of lavender. We also have lots in our garden right now so I will have to try this with my girls.
    Thank you for such a lovely post.

    • Friday 30 July, 2010 at 11:36 pm
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      I think Sofie and Emily will love making them. You can never have too much lavender!

  • Friday 30 July, 2010 at 10:51 pm
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    Stunning!!! I love this idea!!!

    • Friday 30 July, 2010 at 11:34 pm
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      Thanks. They are fun and simple to make.

      • Saturday 31 July, 2010 at 5:57 am
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        Such perfect timing! We cut down some lavender a few weeks ago and it’s been drying..so I hope we can still weave some of it. THanks for the great idea!

        • Saturday 31 July, 2010 at 10:21 am
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          It’s best to weave it when the lavender is fresh. I hope you enjoy making them.

  • Saturday 31 July, 2010 at 5:49 pm
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    Love your wands, will have to have a go.
    What do you mean by a melt and pour method for making soap?

    • Saturday 31 July, 2010 at 9:40 pm
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      I’ve left a reply on your post. Hope it helps.

  • Sunday 1 August, 2010 at 2:38 am
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    I can’t believe you just posted this! I have a really old 60’s craft book which I have had for ages and just yesterday my boy and I got it out to look at and we saw these – and though – will have to do that when the time comes! I guess the time did come for you! We are still in teh frost! thanks for sharing – so beautiful.

    • Sunday 1 August, 2010 at 10:38 am
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      They are lovely to make. When I find them in the drawers in winter, it brings back summer for a moment. Don’t let the lavender dry before you make them.

  • Sunday 1 August, 2010 at 8:37 pm
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    Hi, I used to make these, and they smell so sweet, cheers from New Zealand Marie

    • Sunday 1 August, 2010 at 10:51 pm
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      They do smell lovely. So nice to find in the drawers.

  • Monday 2 August, 2010 at 4:56 am
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    I would really like to give these a try. Sadly, our lavender bushes, which are usually hearty, took a beating this year with the brutal winter and constant heat wave of this year’s summer. I’m going to have to replant.

    • Monday 2 August, 2010 at 10:39 pm
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      Sorry to hear about your lavender. I’m replanting some that I lost the year before. Its one of those plants that I can’t imagine not having in my garden.

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