Arts Crafts

As well as the obvious culinary use for herbs, it is also possible to use herb leaves and flowers in a variety of ways to decorate your home or to make attractive gifts for others. Lavender is perhaps one of the more commonly used herbs for decorative purposes, often used to make scented coathangers, drawer liners etc. However there are many other herbs with beautiful fragrances and attractive flowers and foliage that can be used in a similar way. Here are some ideas for you to try.

Pressed Herb Cards:

You will need:

Fresh herb flowers and leaves

White paper - any size up to A4.

Flower press / hard back book

Rubber-based glue

Card - A4 (Chose a colour that suits the herb or flower).

  1. Gather a selection of fresh herb flowers and leaves. Place them in single layers between sheets of clean, white paper and press tightly in a flower press, or between the covers of a heavy book for several weeks.
  2. Once the herbs are thoroughly dried, remove them carefully and arrange them in your chosen design on the cardboard, folded in the shape of a card. Glue them down with rubber based glue.
  3. If you are sending these through the post, use fairly thick envelopes to ensure they are not damaged in transit.

Herb Pot Pourris

You can make your own pot pourri using your own favourite flowers and scents.

  1. Gather the flowers and leaves when they are quite dry and dry them thoroughly as outlined above in the Harvesting and Storage section.
  2. When dry mix together the herbs and flowers in different colour and scent combinations.
  3. To help prolong the fragrance of the herbs, mix in a fixative. Many fixatives themselves are fragranced and so add to the overall perfume of the pot pourri. Try cinnamon powder, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla pods or the seeds of coriander.

Note: Don't discard the stems of dried herbs once the leaves and flowers have been picked for pot pourri. Group them together in bundles and tie them with string. If you are lucky enough to have an open fire, these can be added and the heat releases the fragrance of the herbs and scents the room.

Fresh Herb Vases / Wreaths

Herbs, particularly when they are in flower, can look just as attractive in a vase as a more traditional bunch of carnations or daffodils. The different flowering times of the various herbs ensures that you will always have a choice of flowers and a wide range of foliage to choose from!

A woven cane wreath can be decorated in minutes with fresh herbs. Simply thread the herb stalks into the wreath (there is no need for glue or wire) and add a ribbon to hang the wreath.

Muslin Bath Sachets

These are a bathtime treat to relax you after a stressful day. Just add to bath water!

You will need:

Remnants of muslin Narrow ribbon Oatmeal Powdered milk Mixed dried herbs

  1. For each bag cut a piece of muslin 10 X 15 cms (4 X 6 in)
  2. Fold the muslin in half lengthwise and sew the bottom and sides to make a sachet. Trim the top edge with pinking shears.
  3. Turn the sachet inside out (so that the seams are on the inside)
  4. In a large bowl, mix together equal quantities of oatmeal and powdered milk and sufficient herbs to scent the mixture. Fill the sachets half-full with this mixture.
  5. Tie a matching ribbon around the top of the sachet and loop the ribbon over the bath tap so that the bath water will run through the sachet.
Herbs 101

Herbs 101

Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?

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