Monday, June 21, 2010

How to Make a Lavender Wand and Win One Too

I’ve wanted to learn how to make lavender wands ever since I first knew what they were. I looked at instructions but I’m a tactile learner—I have to see it done and do it myself to really get it sometimes.

So when I saw in the Folk Festival newspaper that there would be classes on making wands, I made sure to find out about it. Wouldn’t you know, it was my friend Melissa Dennison who was teaching the craft! Melissa had a booth in the crafts show and was selling her soaps, herbs and lavender wands. In no time at all she put me to work and I had a finished wand in about 15 minutes.

Today I am off work because it’s my birthday (isn’t that cool, we get our birthday off!). I had to go in for a couple hours this morning to start my guys on a project, but I was home by 10am. The lavender beckoned; it is at the perfect stage for making wands right now and I figured I’d give myself the gift of a few minutes to try wand-making on my own.

It was just as easy as Melissa had promised. Here’s how I did it. Remember, this is my first attempt so you might want to look at the instructions here and here for directions from other sites.


Step one: Cut your lavender with stems as long as possible. You want to use fresh lavender for this craft because it will lose pliability and flower buds if it’s too dry. I have the old standard lavender and it grows some really long stems, which are perfect for this purpose.


Step 2: gather your supplies. You need lavender, rubber bands, scissors and ribbon. That’s it.


Step 3: Put together a bundle of about 15 stems. I’ve seen all kinds of recommendations as to the right amount; I used 15 and it worked pretty well. Even up the flower heads; it doesn’t matter if the stem ends are uneven because you’ll be cutting them off at the end of the project.

Step 4: put a rubber band tightly around the bundle of lavender just below the flower heads.


Step 5: Cut a long piece of ribbon—at least 3 or 4 feet long. You can use thin or thick ribbon, it doesn’t matter. I found that the ribbon that was very narrow was harder to work with, but maybe that’s just me. It takes more thin ribbon too, because there's more weaving to do.

Step 6: Tie the ribbon around the stems, over top of the rubber band. Wrap it several times around the rubber band to cover it.

Step 7: bend the stems over the rubber band so that the flower heads are under the stems. Make sure you space the bent stems evenly around the bundle of flowers in the center. This makes a “cage” with the flowers inside, if that makes sense.

Step 8: using 3-4 stems held together in a bunch, begin basket-weaving the ribbon in and out. You will want to make sure you have an uneven number of bunches so that the weaving comes out right.


Step 9: continue to weave ,pulling the ribbon tight as you go, until the flower heads are completely enclosed by the woven stems.

Step 10: Pull the ribbon tight and secure with a slipknot. Tie a hanging loop in the end of the ribbon.

Step 11: Cut the stems off evenly.


Step 12: Enjoy your wand!

I made three today: the first took 20 minutes, the second 10 and the third, the one with the thin red ribbon took about 20 minutes because there was a lot more weaving involved. I included one made by Melissa as an idea of a variation on the wand--this one looks like a little basket filled with lavender buds.

Melissa did say something about the need to tighten the ribbon after a few days, as the wands will dry and the ribbon will become loose. I haven’t done this part yet, just passing on the information.

Now, since it’s my birthday, I will send one of my wands to a lucky someone as a thank-you gift for being a reader. All you need to do is be a follower of my blog and leave a comment here within the next three days. Good luck!

27 comments:

Susan at Stony River said...

Well, happy Summer Solstice birthday -- I wish I'd known earlier!

My mom loved her lavender, and grew loads of it. It's wonderful stuff.

Janet, said...

Happy Birthday, Susanna. I've never seen a lavender wand before. They're very pretty.

Maggie and Roger said...

Awesome!!! I have seen these and it looks so technical I never attempted them. I'm going to spend some time tomorrow on this. I love them! Thank you so much Sue.

Granny Sue said...

Janet and Susan, you know if I can make them, pretty much anyone can. I'm not saying mine are perfect! But they don't look too bad for a first-timer, and I have plenty more lavender.

Maggie, I hope you do try it. It's very relaxing. Put on some good Irish music while you work!

D said...

Happy Birthday!
I love lavender. I think Heaven will smell just like lavender

Debbie Couture said...

Sue, I'm glad you didn't work all day on your birthday. The lavender wands are pretty. I work with a woman who likes lavender a lot but don't know if she has ever made a wand with them before. I hope you are having a good birthday evening. Take care.

Jackie said...

Happy Birthday! :) Love those lavender wands...very clever and pretty!

Granny Sue said...

D, I'm with you. If heaven smells like that it will be ...heavenly!

I've had a godd birthday, Debbie. A lot of things to do that I like doing, and many calls and messages from family and friends. Perfect :)

Thank you, Jackie! They're great to hang in the car or in a closet, or to slip into a drawer as a sachet.

Mary said...

Very pretty -- you do wonderful work!! I have one I bought in Jonesborough years ago. Lavender is a scent I can tolerate, perhaps because it's natural and fresh. I couldn't deal with rubber bands, though. . . wonder how plasti-bands would do . . .

cheryl said...

Happy Birthday and what a perfect day for your birthday , the longest day of light of the year . I love this lavender wand and will attempt one also . As always I love reading your blog and following along on your adventures .

Granny Sue said...

Mary, I don't tbelieve the rubber band is a necessity, just makes it easier to manipulate the stems. If you win i'll make one without it. What about twisty ties? Do those cause allergies for you?

I hope your wand comes out well, Cheryl. The two sites I linked to have good instructions too--Dave's Garden is the better one of the two, I think.

TheresaandJay said...

I want to do this also! I agree, heaven will smell like lavender! Glad you were home on your special day. love you.

Lizzie said...

Sue, those look neat. I hope I have enough lavender to do that. Mine is still growing, slowly. I moved it out of the wet soil to some dryer soil, so hopefully it will take off.

I'm glad you had a nice birthday.

Lizzie

wvsimplicity said...

Happy Birthday! How nice to have a birthday on the first day of summer. Love the scent of lavendar and love your lavendar wands! Please count me in on your giveaway.

Matthew Burns said...

Very neat. You just gotta love lavender, so many uses. A little lavender in a cup of Earl Grey is great, too.

Hope you had a great birthday.

Joetta said...

Happy Birthday. I'd love to hear more about your Olcott Ghost stories. I usually see you at the WV Book Festival in Charleston in October.

Joetta McCallister Kuhn

Country Whispers said...

Happy Birthday to YOU!
That's great that you get a day off on your birthday. Hope you enjoy it!
I have never heard of or seen those wands before but they are beautiful.

Connie said...

Well! Happy Birthday. If you'd told me soon, I'd have baked a cake.

Connie

StitchinByTheLake said...

I hope your birthday was as happy as it could possibly be. I have lavender in my flower beds and love it's fresh scent. blessings, marlene

Granny Sue said...

Theresa and Liz, you'll be surprised by how easy it is to make the wands. And of course, there's always Sister Gifts :)...

I have a few Larry has told me, Joetta. And I'd bet there are plenty more. His granny told him many ghost stories, but he can't recall them; such a pity! I hope to see you again at the Festival if not before.

Granny Sue said...

Thanks, Simplicity, Marlene and Matthew. And Connie, I have a theory that it's the birthday cake that makes us get older, so I'm passing on 'em!

I think you would like these little wands, Jessica.

Nance said...

Happy birthday, Sue! (I hope I don't have two posts show up here but this is the 2nd one I'm writing!) I think it would be great to have a birthday on the first day of summer. May your days all be filled with sunshine and lavender!

Granny Sue said...

Nance, with so many good friends, how could my days not be sunny? Thank you my friend.

Jaime said...

I made the one once but I didn't weave the ribbons. I think I tied the rubberband, pulled the stems over the buds and then tied the ribbon at the bottom. I couldn't figure out the weaving thing and I wasn't sure how many stems to use so I grabbed a handful. I'm glad I got some clarification while reading this one.

Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

Those turned out great! I'm a basket weaver but have never woven a lavender wand. We have lots of lavender growing right now in New Mexico. I should give it a try!
Nancy

Twisted Fencepost said...

How cute! I've never seen a lavender wand before. I've been trying to grow lavender without much luck. If I ever get it to grow I'll definitely be coming back here to follow your directions to make a lavender wand.
Happy belated Birthday, Susanna!

Patricia said...

What beautiful lavender wands. I have been looking for instructions on how to make these for my readers. I just started a lavender blog here in Perth Australia and my friends are amazed at how much you can do with the lovely lavender. I enjoyed a lavender Devonshire tea recently and am planning on more culinary delights as I source more lavender recipes. I am meeting such lovely ppl as I check out lavender sites. Lavender lovers sure are keen on this aromatic herb and it's great to be meeting you all in cyberspace.

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