Herbs smell nice. They take out musty smells in drawers and closets and repel pests. They can even take out the “wet money” smell that purses and wallets get. Oh, you can just stick a bay leaf into your money pocket…and that’s good magick to make your money multiply! If you just chuck them into the drawer, though, you might end up with dried herbs in your socks! …not comfortable to walk on, no…. So, one of the traditional solutions it to make a small sachet of scrap fabric.
First things first…. make absolutely sure that your herbs are completely dried! If you
don’t, you might open a cupboard to a moldy mess…. yes, I’ve had that happen! Either hang to air dry until crispy dry in a place of good airflow, or you can use a low-heat dehydrator, or even spread them out in a basket. Do not set them out in the sunshine or dry in a hot oven or some such as the volatile oils will escape.
You can buy purchased muslin bags like those used for tea and tie them shut, but knot them well, or you’re going to have escaping bits. ( http://www.brambleberry.com/Muslin-Herb-Bag-3×5-10-tea-bags-P3193.aspx )
You can also use non-woven, iron-sealed tea bags or bath tea bags from some place like Brambleberry (yes, I recommend their products…. link for the tea bags here: http://www.brambleberry.com/Tea-Bag-Sealable-Large-P4180.aspx )
I really like the idea of using scrap fabric, and if you don’t have any of your own, ask around to people who sew, or hit up thrift shops. You can even cut up old, wornout clothing for these, although you want to try for woven cottons, fairly lightweight…. like a shirt-weight, or better still, use old sheets and pillowcases. Tee-shirt fabric works, but quite often will let small stuff seep through.
I do enough sewing that I tend to have scrap fabrics. A good size for a sachet is about a 3 inch by 6 inch rectangle. You can tear your fabric, rather than cut if you prefer, and you don’t have to be perfect about these, or even sew tightly, although the tighter and neater the side stitching the less leakage you’ll have.
So a step by step….
1. Harvest and dry your herbs. You can use almost anything that you like, but consider the traditional uses, i.e. rosemary and bay for pest chasing, Lady’s Mantle for getting rid of musty scents, roses and lavendar for all-around nice smells.
2. Crunch/crumble your herbs. Remove large pieces like sticks and larger stems. Take out calyx pieces, seeds and shells. Sift out the big stuff, which can be crunched again and maybe even run in a food processor.
Once your herbs are crunched, keep them in an airtight container as you see in step 3. This can be as simple as ziplocs, or you can use recycled glass bottles, or even Tupperware(TM), but be sure you keep them in a dark, cool place, if you can. (Back shelves in can cupboards are great, or even the freezer….)
3. Prepare your fabrics. You don’t have to be perfect. You can see the green fabric in the pink bowl is torn to size on the long sides.
4. Stitch. The steps are listed with each picture’s caption.
5. Now use your sachet as you please, according to the uses of the herbs. You can also do these to make special bags for “bath tea” or sachets for putting in shoes, etc.
Some finished ones. Keep in mind the end use. If these are for yourself, spread ’em around! If you’re giving them for gifts, small plastic bags will keep them nice, but do include an ingredients card and suggested uses.
A list of suggested herbs for various uses will go in here when I have the time.
Page created & published 8/5/14 (C)M. Bartlett
Last Update 8/5/14