Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lavender Wand Tutorial

The lavender is blooming now and I thought I'd share how to make lavender wands. I like to put them in drawers, or amongst the linens, or give them as gifts.

First you select an odd number of long, straight stems. Make sure the flowers haven't been rained on or sprinkled lately. I have 19 stems here. Then you strip off the leaves and any little buds and you lay them out to wilt for about an hour because you want the stems to bend without breaking.

Then you go get your ribbon. I keep mine in this CUTE little silverware caddy that I picked up at a yard sale for $1. It's just perfect for the rolls of ribbon, some scissors, discarded buds, and the finished wands. Select ribbon that is 1/8" to 1/4" wide. I've made them with tiny ribbon and it takes forever. The 3/16" seems about perfect.

Gather the stems together and tie them tightly with the ribbon just below the flowers. Use a square knot and leave a tail about 12" long. Just leave the other end connected to the roll.

Now turn it upside down and start bending the stems down over the flowers. As I was doing this one, I counted and I had 20 stems. Dang! I just cut one off and poked the flower down into the others. I try to make a neat circle of stems at the top, but it doesn't always look perfect.

Now find the long end of the ribbon; the one connected to the roll. Pull it out between two stems and start weaving it over and under the stems. I work from left to right and hold the wand in my left hand. The first go-round will be confusing because the stems you go under will tend to wander around and abandon their positions, but just keep a firm grip on the wand with your left hand and things should be ok. The tail of the ribbon should stay inside the stems with the flowers.

Here's what it looks like after going around twice. The ribbon should be pushed up and pulled tight as you go. At this point I'll start pulling tighter so it comes together better. Just keep going around and around, keeping the ribbon flat and maintaining the over-under pattern.

Here's what it looks like about half way done.

As the bulk of the flowers lessens, the stems tend to curve in and make it difficult to find the proper stem to go under. I use my thumbs to pick it up, then hold it up with my left thumb, and pull the ribbon down and under with my right hand.

When the stems are tight against each other and there are no more flowers to encase, cut the ribbon off the roll leaving about 8". Find the tail; it should be about the same length. Wrap the two ends twice around the stems going in opposite directions. Then tie another square knot and a bow. Trim the ends evenly and it's done. And all those little buds that fell off when you were working? Just gather them up and save them like I do for sachets.

I do hope you try this and enjoy making them as much as I do. I takes about an hour to complete one, but it's wonderfully relaxing, weaving in and out and smelling the lavender here Amongst The Oaks.


Sue said...

Thanks for this reminder - my lavender isn't blooming yet here in chilly, soggy England but when it does, I'll get ribbon-weaving too!

Mary said...

I have a friend who makes these and they smell divine! thanks for the lesson.

I've been having a lot of fun reading all the posts that I've missed in the past week or two...

Hope you are feeling well, and able to enjoy your garden -- it looks marvelous!


Beverly said...

Oh my goodness. They are lovely, and I know they must smell divine.

My best friend adores lavender, but I have never seen any real lavender. I have seen pictures and smelled lavender scented items, and they are yummy.

You're so talented to make these.

Rhondi said...

Hi Laura
My lavender isn't bloomimg yet. That is a lovely way to use it, maybe I'll try one.
Hugs, Rhondi

Miss Jean said...

Aren't Lavender Wands lovely? I'm lucky to have a whole Lavender farm 5 minutes from my house. On a hot day the fragrance is heavenly.

Morning said...

I love your caddy and I love the tutorial -- thanks! I think I'll sit quietly this evening and see if I can manage to make a wand. What fun!

Dana said...

I was so excited to read your tutorial on making Lavender Wands! The photos were terrific as well. Also, I loved the idea of putting the caddy to such great use!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh my goodness! That is so pretty! I've not seen anything like it. This makes me want to go buy some lavender.