Have a bountiful crop of lavender from your garden, local farmer’s market or a trip to a lavender farm, but not sure what to do with it?
Here are 10 useful and pretty things that you can make with that beautiful lavender so you can continue to enjoy it for months to come!
If you don’t have lavender available locally, no problem!
You can purchase organic dried lavender HERE from Mountain Rose Herbs which will work perfectly in every one of these recipes.
Mountain Rose Herbs also carries high quality oils, butters and beeswax if you can’t find those items in stores near you.
A few notes before we begin:
1. Some of these projects require dried lavender. To dry flowers and herbs, I usually just spread them out in single layers on paper towels or clean dish towels and let them air dry for several days. You could also tie your lavender in small bundles and hang them up until dry.
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1. Lavender Infused Oil
This lavender infused oil can be massaged onto restless legs, dabbed on itchy bug bites, rubbed into flaky scalps and used as an ingredient in recipes for salves, lotions, creams, soaps and such. Shelf life of strained, infused oil is around 9 months to a year.
To make it, fill a canning jar about half-way up with dried lavender flowers. Cover with about twice as much as your favorite carrier oil, or to the top of the jar. (Suggested oils include sunflower, olive, sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, hemp and so forth.)
For a quick infusion: Set the uncovered jar down into a small saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Heat over a low burner for a few hours, keeping a close eye that the water doesn’t evaporate out. Remove from heat and strain.
For a slower, more traditional infusion: Cap the jar of lavender and oil and tuck away in a cabinet for around 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally as you remember to. When the infusing time has passed, strain.
For a third option: You could also set the jar of flowers and oil in a sunny windowsill for several days to a week to jump start the infusion. (Don’t store for long periods in sunlight though, as it tends to fade flowers and herbs over time.)
2. Lavender Salve
This recipe uses the infused oil we made above. It’s great for rubbing on restless legs, tired muscles, and to massage on the temples and back of the neck when you have a headache. It’s also skin conditioning so will help any little dry skin spots you might have. Shelf life of homemade salves run around 9 months to 1 year.
To make it, combine 3.5 oz (100 g) of lavender infused oil with 0.5 (15 g) beeswax in a heatproof jar or empty tin can. (For a vegan option – try using roughly half as much candelilla wax instead of beeswax.)
Set the jar/can down into a saucepan containing an inch or two of water. Place the pan over a medium-low burner and heat until the wax is fully melted. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil (optional) and pour into tins or jars.
3. Lavender Lotion Bars
Lotion bars are the best thing ever for dry, cracked skin. They’re easy to throw together and make wonderful gifts too!
I usually make lotion bars with equal parts of oil, butter and beeswax measured by volume, but have also included the corresponding weights in grams, for those who prefer to use a scale.
To make, combine 1/4 cup (52 g) lavender infused oil, 1/4 cup (28 g) beeswax and 1/4 cup (44 g) shea, mango or cocoa butter in a heatproof canning jar or upcycled tin can. (For a vegan version, use roughly half as much candelilla wax instead of beeswax.) Set the jar/can down into a saucepan containing an inch or two of water. Place the pan over a medium-low burner and heat until everything is melted. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil and pour into heatproof silicone molds. (I bought the mold for the lotion bars shown HERE. This recipe will fill 3.5 of the cavities.)
To use, rub a lotion bar over your skin wherever it feels dry. They’re especially helpful for spot treating rough feet, knees and elbows. Store your lotion bars in a cool area, out of direct sunlight and they should have a shelf life of around 9 months to a year.
4. Lavender Face Cream
This lavender face cream is thick and rich, making it perfect for dry or mature skin.
You can find the full directions to make it HERE.
5. Whipped Lavender Hand Cream & Body Butter
This luxurious hand and body butter is made with lavender infused oil and shea butter. The pretty natural color comes from adding a pinch of purple Brazilian clay.
You can read how to make this HERE.
6. Lavender Honey Hand Scrub
This scrub exfoliates your skin, leaving it soft, silky and smooth. It’s especially wonderful to use on your feet, elbows and knees.
To make this you’ll need: a scant 1/2 cup cane sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons (more or less) lavender-infused oil, 1 teaspoon honey and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Depending on how fine or coarse your sugar is, you may want to add a little more oil at a time until it’s a consistency you like. If it feels too oily, add more sugar.
The recipe will make enough to fit in a small 4-ounce jelly jar (like THIS KIND). To use, scoop out and gently rub on dry areas of skin. Rinse well with warm water. If you plan on keeping this more than a few days, it’s recommended that you add a preservative to keep icky things from growing in case water accidentally gets mixed in during use. (See THIS POST for more on nature-derived preservative options.)
7. Lavender Soap
This is a lovely, old-fashioned soap that’s made with lavender tea and scented with lavender essential oil. It’s naturally colored purple with Brazilian clay, but you could leave that out for an off-white bar instead.
Find the full directions for homemade lavender soap HERE.
8. Lavender Tincture
According to Richo Cech in one of my all-time favorite books, Making Plant Medicine, some uses for lavender tincture include rubbing on your temples for headache or insomnia, applying directly to your scalp and brushes/combs to discourage lice, and diluted with water (30 drops in a 1/2 cup of water) to treat skin sores and infections.
To make a tincture with fresh flowers, fill a canning jar about halfway with flowers, then add vodka to the top. Roughly aim for a ratio of twice as much alcohol as flowers. Cap, shake and store in a cool dark place for four to six weeks before straining.
To make a tincture with dried flowers, add lavender to a jar, pour vodka or other high proof alcohol over top, keeping an approximate 1 part dried herb to 5 parts alcohol ratio. Dried herbs expand, so you’ll need to make sure to allow room for that. Cap, shake and store in a cool dark place for four to six weeks before straining. Shelf life of lavender tincture is at least one year, but will probably stay useful much longer than that. Store out of direct sunlight and high heat.
9. Lavender Bath Salts
These lavender bath salts are incredibly easy to make. Pour them into a glass jar, tie a tag on with a pretty ribbon and you have a quick last-minute gift idea!
To make, combine 1 cup Epsom salt, 1/4 cup sea salt (or more Epsom salt), 1/4 cup dried lavender flowers and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Store in a tightly closed glass jar. To use, pour the bath salts into a cotton muslin bag (like THESE) or an old clean sock. Tie up tightly and toss in the tub as it fills with warm water. You can use the full batch for one bath or split it between two baths, depending on personal preference. These bath salts will stay fresh and usable for around 6 to 9 months, or until the color of the flowers fade.
10. Lavender Vinegar
This beautiful lavender flower-infused vinegar can be used as a fabric softener, flea spray, hair rinse, glass cleaner and bath addition.
Find out how to make it HERE.
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