Issue 62 Make a Lavender Wand

Lavender wandsAfter it is dried, the heads and buds of lavender can be used in soothing sachets, potpourris and bath bags. Or you can save the entire stem and use it in flower arrangements or as a fragrant fire starter for your woodburning stove. Lavender is also an effective moth repellent. Here’s how to create charming lavender “wands” that will keep your closet or drawer moth-free and smelling wonderful.
Tie up the bundle.Step one — Tie up the bundle. Gather an even number of fresh stems — 18, 22 and 26 are good numbers — and a length of 5/8-in.-wide ribbon. I’ve found that the longer the stems of lavender, the better luck I have making wands. Tie a knot just below the flowers with the end of the ribbon and leave the rest of the length dangling. 1-1/2 to 2 yards of ribbon per bundle should be plenty. Create the "cage."Step two — Create the “cage.” Turn the bundle upside down and carefully bend each stem downward. Try to fan the stems out so they’re evenly distributed. One thing that makes this step easier is starting with slightly wilted lavender. The stems are more pliable. When all of the stems are folded down, grasp them below the flowers so they form a loose cage around the blooms. Some will stay down easily and others will need to be corralled. Weave the ribbon.Step three — Weave the ribbon. Pull the ribbon from the center and begin weaving it over and under the stems. Start at the top and go over two and under two. This is the most difficult part of the process, but be patient. It gets easier as you move downward. Keep the ribbon snug against the rows above it and wrap it as tightly around the wand as you can. When you reach the bottom of the flowers, wind the ribbon around the stems a few times and tie a bow. Tighten up.Step four —Tighten up. After it dries for a week or two, the wand will shrink and the ribbons become loose. Starting at the top, tighten the ribbon all the way through the weaving and retie it at the bottom. Store the wand in your drawer or closet to keep moths away. As the fragrance fades, squeeze the wand to release some of the oils. Because all of the flowers are folded up inside the stems, they won’t fall out as they dry and become brittle.