Lavender is one of my favourite plants to grow in the garden, because it ticks so many boxes! It’s very easy to grow from seed (although you have to be patient!), it seems able to withstand a lot of neglect, it grows well in containers, bees love it, it smells amazing, and the flowers can be harvested, dried and used for all sorts of crafty creations!
To dry lavender for crafts, harvest when the buds have formed but have not fully opened. This way they’ll retain their colour and fragrance for longer. Find out more from Garden Therapy.
In the bathroom – homemade lavender body care gift set
The calming fragrance of lavender makes it an excellent choice for homemade body care. For this gift set, I made lavender sugar scrub, lavender bath salts and a lavender bath melt, which is hidden away inside the homemade miniature box! I then put them all into a basket with some purple shredded paper and a few sprigs of dried lavender.
Sugar scrub: White sugar, sweet almond oil, lavender essential oil
Bath salts: epsom salts, dried lavender buds, lavender essential oil
Bath melt: 2:1 ratio of cocoa/shea butter and sweet almond oil (the ratio very much depends on your climate – go for a higher proportion of cocoa butter if it’s warm!), lavender essential oil and dried lavender buds
Lavender is also an excellent choice for the herbal bath teas and soaps I shared last month.
In the craft room – reed diffuser
This is a perfect craft project for me! It uses natural and recycled materials, is exceptionally cheap to make, and yet looks really effective and would make a nice handmade gift. Find a nice, colourless recycled glass bottle and fill part way with a carrier oil – I used sweet almond oil as above – with lavender essential oil mixed into it. Adding a little rubbing alcohol can also help the oil to travel up the reeds. Push some dried lavender sprigs into the bottle, and then add the reeds (I harvested mine from our local wetlands). If you don’t have access to reeds, apparently bamboo skewers work too.
To give as a gift, leave the reeds out and put the lid back on the bottle to keep the oil from leaking! You could give the gift with the reeds tied around the bottle with a pretty purple bow.