Learn how to make herbal sachets to add scent to your home and for herbal gifts.
Wonderfully old fashioned and so lovely, herbal sachets are a great way to include scent in your home. Place them in clothing and linen drawers and closets (lay on shelves and hang on hangers) as well as storage boxes and cabinets (hang one nearby your tea cups!). Use them to add herbs to your bath (simply place in the tub or hang from the faucet before running the water). Make a big one to use as a "sleep pillow" and a little one to tuck into your desk drawer. You can even fashion sachets to hang in your car or on your holiday trees (for Christmas or Easter, for example).
Herbal sachets make great gifts, too. Tuck one in a suitcase as a going-away present. Give one in the shape of a heart as a Valentine's gift (or anytime you want to show your love). Lay a sachet on top of a clothing item, inside the gift box or bag. Or tie it to the outside of any present when wrapping.
Easy and inexpensive to make, herbal sachets make great projects for kids. If you can sew a straight line you can make one. In fact, there are even options for non-sewers! Here are some basic guidelines:
For filling, use your favorite dried herb or herbal potpourri blend. Lavender is traditional, but other good options include rose petals, rosehips, calendula petals, peppermint leaves, rosemary, chamomile flowers, lemon balm leaf, lemon verbena leaf, lemongrass, thyme leaf, and yarrow. For added scent, add a drop or two of compatible essential oils. And to give the scent staying power, use a fixative such as orris root powder or benzoin gum or calamus root. (These steps aren't absolutely necessary; they just ensure that the scent of your herb or herb blend will be longer-lasting.)
No matter which herbs you choose, you'll want to match the scent with your intention. Chose a fresh floral blend for your clothes closet (you might even include some cedar chips), for example, and an earthy, woodsy blend for your hubby's suitcase. A citrusy or minty blend would be great to hang in the bathroom or linen closet.
For gift giving, you might even choose herbs with special meaning. Since Medieval times, for example, lavender has signified love and devotion, while sage has represented wisdom and immortality, and rosemary remembrance. For a very significant other, you might want to tuck in some red rose petals for desire (pink for secret love), yarrow for everlasting love, or hibiscus to convey that you're consumed by love!
Find potpourri recipes and learn more about making potpourri blends.
For casing, you have plenty of options:
- Use small mesh teabags. Simply stuff your herbs into the bags and tie with a pretty ribbon. For added fun, you could stamp or embroider the bags before stuffing. You might also tie a little sprig of lavender or a cinnamon stick into the ribbon. You can also purchase different size pouches and bags in craft and fabric stores. These are made of organza or muslin, both perfect for sachets.
- Sew a small square or rectangle using favorite fabric scraps. Choose an appropriate theme, if you like (such as a holiday theme or color), or your favorite vintage florals, perky ginghams, or sporty stripes. Keep in mind though, that thinner, looser fabrics will allow for more of the scent to seep through than heavy, more closely woven fabrics will. Simply make a little pillow shape (with one end open), stuff the pillow, then sew it closed. You could also add a little drawstring, if you like, or you can simply pink the edges and tie them closed with a ribbon.
- Cut a square of fabric (pink the edges for a finishing touch)-- or use hankies, especially those with pretty embroidery or lace edging. Lay it flat and place your herbs in the center. Bring all of the corners together and bunch around the herbs. Tie with a pretty ribbon or piece of raffia.
Consider gathering enough dried herbs and other supplies to make a collection of sachets for your own home and for gifting, too. It's one of those old-fashioned crafts that's well worth preserving!