How to Make Fragrant Braided Lavender Sachets
Lavender: such a clean, natural, old-fashioned fragrance. And you can grow it in a pot on a patio or lanai or enjoy it in ever-expanding, clumpy bushes in your garden or yard.
Because it’s one of the age-old fragrances enjoyed by people for centuries--and affordable to nearly everyone--it has always been widely used, and therefore it’s a scent that often evokes special memories: how often someone will say “This smells so much like my grandmother’s house!”--or their Aunt May’s garden, or a whiff of their French teacher’s soap: “I had no idea it was lavender!” And so in addition to being valued for its fragrance in its own right, it is often even more cherished for the memories it evokes.
If you’re fortunate enough to have some lavender in your outdoor space, here is an old-fashioned, crafty way to bring it indoors and enjoy its fragrance all year long.
For each “sachet”, you will need 3 fresh-cut stems of blooming lavender, about 10” long, and a selected color of narrow (1/8-inch wide), inexpensive ribbon, which can usually be purchased for about $1.00 per spool at a craft or fabric store.
Cut a piece of ribbon about 30 inches long. Loop it just under the bloom of one stem of lavender, and tie a single small knot at the halfway point of the ribbon. Bring your remaining two stems together, one on each side of the ribbon knot, for a total of three, and draw each of the two “tails” of ribbon around the outside stems. Holding the ribbon together with their designated stems, create a simple braid, moving the far-left stem over the center one, then the far-right stem over the “new” central stem. Pull the strands together gently but firmly to keep the “crossovers” the same size, as you continue down to the bottoms of the stems. The color and finish of the interwoven ribbon gives simple elegance to your braid.
When you’ve reached the bottom of the stems, wrap each ribbon in opposite directions (one to the left, one to the right); wrap around all of the stems, and tie in a firm, dainty bow where they meet. Trim the ends to the desired length. (If you are leaving the ends long-ish, a nice finish is to tie a tiny knot about ½ inch above the end of the ribbon.) Allow the braids to dry for a week in a room where the air circulates and the strong, newly-picked fragrance won’t overwhelm you--if closed up while they are too fresh, there is a chance that their moisture might cause mildew to form.
While not a traditional sachet in the sense of being a pouch, these pretty, natural braids of lavender serve the same purpose of being both ornamental and fragrant--and will impart their fragrance to a drawer or a clothing or linen closet, or simply lying as an accent on the counter in a bathroom.
A trio of the braids makes a “small-luxury” gift that costs very little but shows you’ve taken the time to create a thoughtful remembrance. And whatever memories may be attached for the particular recipient, are free.
©KatieK, April 2, 2010