Home grown, handmade Lavender Bags

Lavender is such an amazing plant.

It can be used in a variety of ways, and this tutorial will show you how to make adorable lavenders bags that will leave your house smelling gorgeous.

Although you can purchase ready picked lavender, there is something really special about giving a gift that you have grown and made from start to finish.

If you are lucky enough to have this fragrant plant in your garden, how about harvesting it and producing your own lavender.

The best time to harvest lavender is once the buds have formed on the plant, or when the flowers have only just opened. Once dry it will be easier to strip the stems. The buds will also retain their fragrance and colour for longer.

How is it done?

  1. Once the buds have formed on your plants, cut the stems near to the base of the plant.
  2. Gather the lavender into bunches. It is best to divide them into smaller ones, so that the air can circulate freely, allowing it to dry quicker.
  3. Once in bunches, wrap some garden twine around the centre and leave a long enough strand to be able to hang.
  4. Trim off the bottom of the stems so that they are even (not essential, it just looks better!)
  5. Remove any dead leaves.
  6. Hang up in a warm dry place, preferably somewhere dark. If the bunches are in constant light, it will fade them. Take care where you hang them as they may stain surfaces if the buds drop.
  7. Wait patiently until they are dry.

Ok…… so they are dry, what do I do now?

Once your lavender is dry, you can collect the buds. You will need to strip the stems and the easiest way to do this is using your fingers. Simply run your fingers down the stem, from the top of the stem down to the bottom, gently removing the buds as you go. They should be really easy to remove, but if not, they may not be quite ready, and need a little more drying time. Collect all the lavender, picking out any stray leaves or debris. If you are not using the lavender immediately, it is advisable to put it in a bag to retain it’s smell. We have found that cellophane bags are great for doing this. It is well worth the effort to preserve the smell and believe us, you will be amazed how fragrant your Lavender will be.

So let’s get making

Lavender bags are so versatile. You can put them in your drawers, hang them in your wardrobes or just have them around your house to make it smell gorgeous.

The great thing about these little bags is exactly the fact that they are little! You can make them using small leftover scraps of material, so they are really cost effective. No-one would ever know that they have been made out of scraps that were destined for the bin. You can let your creative juices flow and go wild adding embellishments.

A great project to get the kids involved with, and that’s always a bonus.

Here’s what you need

Material (thin material and small remnants are perfect for this project)

Threads

Ribbon

Buttons

Bag Template

Dried Lavender

Handmade cone (or a funnel if you have one handy)

Scissors

Iron

LAVENDER BAG TEMPLATE (click to download)

Any other embellishments you have

Here’s what you do

The first thing is to protect your work space. Lavender has natural oils that may stain. If you don’t  have a craft mat, a chopping board or plastic table cloth would do.

Print and cut out the template above.

Cut strips of material, they need to be slightly wider than the template.

You can make the bag all one colour if you prefer, but using two or more patterns adds interest to the bag. To join them, the ends need to be straight to give a really neat finish.

Turn the material so that the right sides are together and the straight edges line up. Pin in place.

Sew along the straight cut edge to join the two pieces together. Use the edge of the machine foot as a guide when sewing so that your seam is neat and even.

Press the seam at the back of the fabric.  If you are using dark material on both pieces, you can iron the seam open. If however like us, one side of our bag is light, the dark material will show through. In this case, press the seam over the dark side so that it won’t be seen from the front.

Below, it shows the front panel and you can’t see the excess material from the join.

Although the join is neat, you can add ribbon and embellishments now. A great time to use up all your short lengths of ribbon and odd buttons. Lay the ribbon along the join and pin in place.

Although you can use any colour thread, a nice touch is to use one that matches the ribbon. Sew ribbon in place down both edges to secure.

Fold the template in half and mark both sides on the crease to find the middle of the bag.  You don’t have to do this, but we find it easier to balance the top and bottom fabric if the ribbon is in the middle. You however may want your ribbon at the top or bottom, the great thing is, it’s your design.

Position the template on your fabric. As you can see, we have lined it up so the ribbon will be in the middle of the finished bag. Pin in place.

Using a sharp pair of scissors (adult supervision will be required here), carefully cut round the template.

You can now add extra embellishments. If you are adding a button, please note that if you use a large one, it may not fit through the opening when you turn it the right way. You may need to add it on after. As you can see, our button is much smaller than the opening at the top.

With the right sides of the fabric facing, lay the front of your bag onto your chosen back fabric. If you find it easier, pin in place. Don’t cut the back out yet.  If you sew it like this, it allows you wiggle room, and means that your edges will look neat once you cut the excess material.

Sew round the front piece, starting from the top right, and finishing at the top left. Do not sew along the top opening.

You back is now attached.

Cut out the bag, making sure you  don’t cut too close to the stitching. We have left an extra piece at the top, by not cutting along the opening. Not essential but we found it makes it a little easier to fold the opening in.

Turn your bag right side out. Make sure that the corners are neat, you can use a pencil or crochet hook to push them out. Fold in the opening so that it is straight and press flat. Try to get the back and front the same so that it looks neat once its sewn.

You now need to fill the bag with lavender. Make a cone out of some card. You may need to cut the bottom opening of the cone to make it bigger or the lavender may not go through. A funnel is perfect for this too. push it into the opening ready to fill.

Fill the cone with lavender, hold it and the bag firmly and shake gently so the lavender falls down into the bag.

The amount you fill it is up to you. We wanted a fairly full bag, so filled it nearly to the top.

Once you are happy, you can finish the bag. Cut approximately 25cm length of ribbon, and fold it in half as below. Lay it down, take one end and lay it flat over the top. This gives you a loop at the top making it hang straight.

Push the folded ribbon inside the top opening in the centre and pin in place.

Sew along the top to complete your bag.

These make wonderful gifts adding that personal touch. You use any material, match it to your decor or make it in your favourite colour.  Old jeans are perfect for this project, teamed up with delicate cotton fabric. If you use a thick material, you may find that the bag doesn’t have such a strong smell. We found that using lightweight cotton allows the aroma to burst out of the bag.

You don’t have to join fabrics and add ribbon. We think this fabric looks fab and added a button to the top for extra detailing. If you use one fabric for both sides, these are super quick to make. This is important if you are making them to sell as you can whip them up in no time.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a sewing machine. As these are small, they are great for hand sewing on the move. Just pack your supplies in a bag and work on them when you are out and about.

We love seeing your creations so don’t forget to tag us in your makes #CraftyCoCreations

Happy Sewing

The Crafty Co

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