Saturday, June 16, 2007

Making Lavender Wands

Every year we enjoy this craft at The Essential Herbal. It isn't new, and I have no idea where it first came from, but I first saw it in Phyllis Shaudys' book Herbal Treasures. They make nice drawer sachets, and sweet little tie-ons for gifts. Besides, it is such a pleasant way to spend an hour or so in the garden.

We've taken a series of photos to show you how to make your own. If you miss a stem, or it doesn't look quite right, don't fret. It's LAVENDER, for Pete's sake! It's supposed to be relaxing. The first one will probably not turn out very well. Do a second, and you'll see improvement. Also, even though they take longer, it is actually easier to do the ones that have more stems.
To begin, choose an ODD number of stems of lavender. Grosso is a good choice because the stems are long and straight. Let the stems wilt - but not dry. These were left on the counter overnight.

Choose a ribbon to weave. For beginners, try using 1/4" rather than the 1/8" I've used here. You'll need a good yard of it to weave with, and another couple of feet for finishing.
After you've tied the ribbon snugly at the base of the blossoms (use one end of the ribbon to tie, leaving the rest of the ribbon free for weaving), begin bending the stems down over the blossoms. Try to bend them evenly so that they are spaced well. Enclose the short end of the ribbon inside the stems.

You'll wind up with a cage around the lavender flowers.

Begin weaving in and out. It is easiest to lift the stem, and slide the ribbon underneath. The first two rows are the hardest.

When you reach the bottom of the blossoms, it is time to tie it off. You'll find that it gets very confusing as you get to the bottom, because all of the stems are close together.

Cut another length of ribbon, and center the wand on it, tying the leftover weaving end along with the new ribbon. I used a square knot.

Twist one end down to the bottom of the stems.

Twist the other end in the other direction and tie at the bottom.

Add a bow at the top and trim the ends of the stem evenly.
If you don't have the inclination to make one yourself, we have them on our site.
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