I can say with pride that I had a bumper crop of lavender last year. There was enough lavender for me and all of the neighborhood bees this summer. I tried to sell some of it, but still ended up with an abundance. I scored over two quarts of dried buds not including the large bouquets that I dried and strategically placed in different areas of the house in blue mason jar arrangements.
Needless to say, I’m having fun with lavender this winter and you can expect to see a series of posts to come on what I’m doing with all of it. The best part is every time I crack open a jar, the intoxicating smell of sweet lavender gives me a big dose of summer. On these cold winter days, I can use all the reminders I can get.
Got any ideas or favorite ways to use lavender? I’d love to hear them! Leave me a comment and tell me what to do with all of this lavender! I will be grateful!
Microwaveable Â Neck Wrap With Lavender
(a.k.a Super Easy, but Awesomely Rewarding Sewing Project)
This project reminds me of my mom. She totally had one of these. For mine though, I used some fun, modern fabric to put my own hip twist on it. This neck wrap consists of two parts: a narrow, rectangular pillow filled with rice and lavender and an exterior sleeve that slips over the pillow like a pillow case, which can then be washed.
Step 1: Cut Fabric for Interior Pillow and Exterior Sleeve
For the interior pillow, cut two pieces of fabric, about 19 inches by 4.5 inches.
For the exterior sleeve, cut two pieces of fabric, about 20 inches by 5 inches. I used two different coordinating fabrics for the exterior pillow case.
Step 2: Finish Exterior Sleeve Edges
Take one of the strips of exterior sleeve fabric and finish one of the short sides by using an iron to press the raw edge over and stitching a straight line across to hold it in place. Repeat with the other piece of exterior sleeve fabric.
Step 3: Add Velcro to the Inside of the Exterior Sleeve
Along the finished edge you just created, on the backside of the fabric, add once piece of Velcro. Repeat with the other piece of velcro on the other piece of fabric. I used iron-on velcro in order for the outside of the sleeve to be mostly seamless. Plus, the brand of velcro I used said it strengthens when washed. Bonus!
Step 4: Sew Together the Exterior Sleeve
With the right sides pinned together, sew the three sides of the exterior sleeve, leaving the velcro side open and obviously, unstitched. Turn inside out to end up with the finished pillow case.
Step 5: Sew Together the Interior Pillow
With the right sides of the interior pillow fabric pinned together, sew along three sides like you did with the exterior pillow case. Since this part will be hidden inside of the pillow case, I left the fourth edge rough rather than finishing it like I did the exterior pieces.
Step 6: Fill the Pillow
Fill up the pillow 2/3 of the way full with rice. I held the opening of the pillow around the bottom of a canning funnel, which worked wonders for filling. For every couple of handfuls of rice, I added a spoonful or two of lavender buds. This is personal preference. I love the smell of lavender, so I was pretty liberal with the buds I added. I love how peaceful and calm it makes me feel when I use this at night.
No dried lavender buds? No problem! Add a few drops of whatever essential oil you love into the rice and mix it around before you fill the pillow.
Step 7: Stitch Close the Top of the Pillow
Once filled, stitch across the top to close. Placing the stitches on the outside of the pillow makes it easier to rip out the seam when you’re ready to replace the filling, which should probably be done every six months or so, depending on how much you use it. That way, you can discard the filling, wash the case, refill and stitch it up again!
Step 8: Heat Up and Relax!
Place the pillow in your microwave for 90 seconds. If you want it hotter, continue heating in 30 second increments, checking often. It never feels very hot when I first take it out of the microwave, but always seems to be perfect when I put it around my neck after 90 seconds. Just try it out and see what works best for you! Slip the pillow in the pillow case, put around your neck and chill while your neck gets some much-needed TLC.