This fragrant plant feels like an indulgent luxury but you can enjoy its soothing scent for just pennies.
Preserve lavender's heady fragrance by using this process.
Start by cutting stems at the point where the leaves meet the stalk. It's best to do this just before the purple flower buds reach full bloom, since that's when the scent will be strongest.
Gather five to seven stems (any more will prevent the lavender bunch from drying properly), and secure them tightly at the base with a rubber band.
Tie a string over the rubber band and hang bundles with the blossoms pointed downward in a warm, dry area away from direct sunlight. Depending on the temperature and humidity, you should have dry stems in one to three weeks.
Store the dried flowers in an airtight container, such as a plastic food-storage bowl, until you're ready to use them. Dried lavender lasts for about a year.
Make fragrant sachets. Infuse drawers with a fresh and inviting scent.
To remove dried lavender from stems, place a bunch (still held together with a rubber band) in a pillowcase and roll stems as you would a rolling pin until blossoms separate.
Cut two 4" x 4" fabric squares. On patterned side of one square, apply a thin line of fabric glue along three edges of square. Place remaining square on top of first (patterned sides together); press down. Let dry.
Turn pocket right side out and fill with lavender from pillowcase. Turn raw edges of pocket under and glue closed. Attach a bow with glue.
Craft a decorative wreath. Use your harvest to add charm to your home.
Start with either fresh or dried lavender, cut so stems extend below flowers about 1½" to 2".
Wrap together small bunches of lavender with florist wire, about five or six stems per bunch. You'll need at least 25 bunches.
Use a heart-shaped wire wreath form (available at craft stores). Begin at the top V of the heart, where the two halves meet, and use wire to attach one bunch of lavender, so that the blossoms are at the V.
Attach another bunch, so blossoms cover stems of first bunch. Continue until you reach bottom point of heart.
Fill out other half of heart, starting at top V and going down other side.
Tie a straw or ribbon loop at top to hang your wreath, then add a matching bow.