Fragrant clothes dring

Put several drops of your favorite essential oil — a combination of lavender, rosemary, lemon and pine is lovely — on a damp wash cloth and throw it into the tumble dryer with a load of damp clothes.

Moth-repellent herbs

When you need to repel moths, choose from any or all or the following herbs.

■ Lavender

■ Cotton lavender

■ Rosemary

■ Wormwood

■ Sweet woodruff


Herbs for your clothes

If you've taken the trouble to wash, iron and fold your clothes and household linen, you want them to remain in pristine condition after you put them away. There's nothing more disappointing than pulling out a favorite shirt or sheet set to discover that it's full of tiny moth holes.

Banish clothes moths and keep your closet smelling fresh and sweet with the following easy herb projects. Few everyday pleasures are more delightful than sleeping in herb-scented sheets.

Moth-repellent sachets

Take advantage of the natural moth-repellent qualities of many common herbs and spices and tuck these sacf into drawers or hang them from coa hangers in your closet. To make moth-repellent sachets, see page 30'.

Qoueen Victoria/ had aM Hie/ roomd/ her re&icterices/ per^OLTMd witfv lavender.

Quick nvoth/ repellent

Combine equal amounts of lavender, rosemary, clove and lemon essential oils ii a small bottle. Take everything out of your cupboards and wipe the interior and shelves with a damp cloth that's been sprinkled with a few drops of ihe oil blen You can also sprinkle it onto cotton balls, then place them in the closet when yi replace the clothing.


Pomanders are small balls of perfumes and fragrant spices which, from the 14th to the 17th centuries, were used to mask unpleasant odors and ward off disease in times of pestilence. They could be hung in rooms or worn on chains, rings or girdles. The name comes from the French pomme d'ambre, or "apple of amber," and refers to both the round shape and ambergris, one of the ingredients. The term also refers to the small filigree metal, ivory or china container that housed the ball. In the late Middle Ages, these were often lavishly embellished with gems and enamels and carried as fashion accessories.

lAJlvit you/ need

1 medium to large thin-skinned orange

1 teaspoon orris root powder (from health food shops and craft stores)

1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves enough ribbon to tie twice around the orange, and to make a hanging loop, if desired tape of the same diameter as the ribbon pins toothpicks or cocktail sticks

I Use the tape to mark the orange into quarters. (Once the pomander has dried, the tape will be replaced with ribbon.)

- Insert the cloves at intervals of % to X in. (3 to 6 mm). If you have difficulty pushing them in. use a cocktail stick, toothpick or darning needle to make a small hole before you insert each clove. You can place the cloves randomly or in a pattern. As the pomander dries, it will shrink to fill up the spaces between the cloves.

Carefully remove the tape when all the segments are covered in cloves.

A Combine the orris root and spices in a small bowl or paper bag. Roll the orange in the spice mixture, thoroughly coaling it. (Complete each pomander to this stage within 24 hours to prevent mold from forming.)

r> Leave the pomander in the spice bath in a warm, dry place for 2 to 4 weeks, until dry and hard.

I) Turn the pomander dally and make sure it is evenly coated with spices. The pomander will be ready when it feels light in weight and sounds hollow when tapped.

7 When cured, shake or brush off any spice powder. Wrap ribbon around the pomander in the tape tracks. Finish with a hanging loop.

Drawer liners

These drawer liners, lightly filled with lavender or a mixture of moth-repellent herbs, can also be placed between layers of bed or table linen. Unryushi paper is a strong and fibrous but porous Japanese paper, available from paper specialists and gift stores.

lAJhat yu/ need sheets of unryushi paper sewing thread dried herbs and spices for filling

1 Cut 2 sheets of unryushi paper a bil smaller than the size of the drawer bottom, or just cut 1-ft. (30-cm) squares, a good workable size. Machine stitch the 2 pieces together about 'A in. (1 cm) from the edge, leaving an opening for the filling.

2 Fill the liner with dried herbs and spices and stitch the opening closed.

Scented coat hangers ■

Padded coat hangers keep your clothes and shirts in better shape than the wire variety, and these ones have the added advantage of both smelling nice and keeping moths at bay.

tA/hat yaw need wooden coat hanger with screw-in hook herbal essential oil of your choice, such as lavender bias binding or ribbon, for covering hook (optional)

quilt wadding craft glue two 6 x 18-in. (45 x 16-cm) rectangles fabric sewing thread dried lavender (or other herbs/spices)

50 cm decorative braid (optional)

1 Use a small cloth or cotton ball to rub a little essential oil over the wooden hanger. If you want to cover the hook, make a narrow bias tube, or wind ribbon or bias binding tightly around it. Secure the end by taking a stitch or two around the hanger to hold it in place.

2 Cut 2-in. (5-cm) wide strips of quilt wadding and glue them end to end. if necessary, to make one long strip. (The length will depend on how tightl padded you like your hanger.) Glue a couple of small pieces of wadding over the ends of the hanger, then

Lavender wands

Place these charming 'wands' among your clothes and linen. When the scent begins to fade, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to refresh them.

i/Jkat yow need

7 or 9 long stems of young lavender (it must be an odd number and the stems must be as pliable as possible)

sewing thread

I Remove all the leaves and arrange the stems around a 20- to 24-in. (50- to 60-cm) length of ribbon so the ribbon extends about 6 in. (15 cm) above the flowers and the rest of the ribhon hangs down willi the siems. Wind a piece of cotton around the stems jusi bektw the flower heads and lie off securely.

2 Gently bend the siems back over the flower heads to enclose them In a so of cage, evenly distributing them around the heads.

.1 Take the longer length of ribbon (whi is now at the u>p. extending beyond I flower heads) and weave it alternate over and under the stems, working around the flower heads Continue weaving in this manner, pushing eac

evenly wind the long strip around the hanger from end to end until it is evenly padded. Secure the ends in place with a dab of glue or a stitch

( Center the hanger on the wrong side of the fabric rectangles and trace around the top to give you the curved outline. Also mark the center point of the hook.

A Stitch around the sides and top of the cover, leaving a liny opening in the center lop edge for the hook. Trim the seam allowance, clip the curves and turn the cover right side out.

Press under the raw edges on the lower edge Kit the cover over ihe hook and onto the padded hanger. Tbpstilch the pressed edges together, leaving an opening for ihe filling.

"> Pill with a couple of handluls of dried herb, then stitch the opening closed. Stitch a piece of decorative braid along the bottom edge, if desired.

row of ribbon up close to the previous row. When you get to the bottom of the flower heads, having enclosed them completely in a woven cage, you w ill meet the piece of ribbon that you left extended at the beginning. Wrap the weaving end firmly around the stems a couple of limes, ihen lie the two ends of ribbon into a neal bow and trim

Continue reading here: Cleaning with herbs

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