Monday, June 12, 2017

Lavender Wands How-to

Re-posting this from 2010. Lavender is in bloom here, and I'm ready to make a couple wands this morning.

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.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Boud said...

Your timing is perfect! I just walked up my path and wondered about harvesting some of my lavender. I've seen these made but haven't tried one. Now I will, thank you.

Susan Tabor said...

Thank you so much Susannah for posting that - I never knew how my mother did that, such patience particularly from someone who was losing her sight.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Those are beautiful. I need to grow some lavender.

Happy birthday!

Quinn said...

i'm trying to coax the root mass of the lavender plant I bought last year to try to send up new growth. Meanwhile, I love your pretty wands, and the basket Melissa made is delightful - I've never seen that before!

Granny Sue said...

The basket is relatively easy, Quinn---just cut off the stalks when the tops of the lavender is showing, then wrap and tie the ribbon. I may try that when I get more lavender. I only had enough for these four this time. My plants struggle too--some years they just don't make it and I have to replant. This is the only plant left of my past plantings.

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