If you love the smell of lavender, you probably want to make the most of your harvest (or store-bought purchase).
So today, I want to share ways that you can milk that fragrant lavender for all it’s worth.
If you grow and dry your own, consider this your inspiration for what to do with all that dried lavender!
Let’s get started…
What to Do with Dried Lavender Stems
Most people will discard the lavender stems but they do have uses. They’re not as fragrant as the buds but they still contain the essential lavender scent and can be handy to use around the house.
One of the simple ways that people use them is to help start fires. Since they contain oil naturally, they light quickly and will help you start a fire outdoors so you may want to keep the stems handy for this use.
This may not be your first choice but you can also turn the stems into incense.
By soaking them in a potassium nitrate bath and then drying, you can place the stems in an incense holder and light. They will burn slowly, releasing their scent into the air.
What to Do with Dried Lavender Leaves
While the leaves of lavender aren’t as well known as the flowers, they contain a powerful aroma. So you should consider keeping and using them – especially if you’ll be using your lavender for a scented craft
Lavender leaves also have many uses just like the flowers. One of the most popular is making lavender oil.
This is the same method that you would use with the flowers. You can fill a canning jar to 50% with the leaves and then add your favorite oil.
Heat over low heat for a few hours and then remove and strain. You can also just let the leaves soak in the oil for a few weeks before straining for a stronger infusion.
Another popular use is making your own lavender infused vinegar. This also involves filling a jar to 50% with fresh leaves or dried if preferred.
Add apple cider vinegar for the best results and then allow the infusion to steep for a few weeks before straining.
This lavender can be used for a hair rinse, cleaner, bath soak and more.
Although the leaves can be used in most of the same ways as the flowers, you can also enjoy them in cooking. They can be used in place of fresh rosemary in recipes. Make sure to be cautious as the flavor can easily overpower a dish!
How to Use Dried Lavender Flowers
Now that you have a better idea of how to use the rest of the plant, the flowers are probably the most well-known and used. Around the house, people will usually sprinkle the buds on the floor before vacuuming.
They can also be made into dryer bags to give your laundry a fresh, clean smell.
Just like the leaves, they can also be made into lavender infused oil easily. Since bugs are not attracted to lavender oil, you can also use it as a DIY bug repellent. Not only is it a natural choice for a repellent, it also smells great.
Don’t forget about using the lavender in the kitchen either! Lavender has a unique flavor that pairs well with lemon and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Add a small amount of lavender to fresh lemonade for a refreshing summer treat. You can also add lavender to baked goods.
Make sure that you don’t add too much as it can overpower a dish.
One Quick Tip Before We Begin: How to Keep Dried Lavender from Shedding
If you’ve ever worked with dry lavender before, then you know that shedding is incredibly common. How exactly do you keep it from shedding? The answer is fairly simple.
Picking and drying lavender before the flowers open fully is a good way to get started.
But, since it is a delicate plant, apply a light dusting of florist preservative spray to bouquets and wreaths for the best results:
8 of My Favorite Dried Lavender Uses & How to Achieve Them
Honestly, this list could be 100 items long, but I wanted to keep it short and actionable. So I’ve highlighted and provided tutorials for my 8 favorite uses!
1. Use Dry Lavender for Cooking and Baking
If you grow your own lavender, you can use it after cleaning in a number of dishes. Keep in mind that if you purchase dried lavender to use, make sure that you buy the culinary kind.
Lavender goes a long way like most other flavorings so start with a little and then add more as needed. If you use a recipe that has fresh lavender, you can substitute 30% dried for the same flavor.
Here are some of my favorite lavender recipes for inspiration!
You’ll want to grind the buds or seep and strain them from a liquid like simple syrup or honey. It goes well with light flavors like lemon, mint, berries, and honey. Start experimenting with adding it into your favorite dishes for a unique flavor profile.
2. How to Use Dried Lavender for Tea
Lavender tea has a great flavor and it’s easy to make on your own. To make one serving, heat one cup of water and add 1/2 teaspoon of lavender buds.
You can make your own tea bags or use a steeper if you want. This can also be made hot or cold. For hot tea, steep for five minutes. For cold tea, it will take 12 hours.
You can use the ratio of 1/2 tsp to one cup of water and adjust up for larger batches of tea.
Add honey, sugar, or simply enjoy as is.
3. How to Make Lavender Potpourri
To start making your own potpourri, you don’t need much. You’ll want to keep the dried buds and some lavender essential oil.
Although the buds have fragrance on their own, adding essential oil will help to bring it out.
Add a few drops of the oil to the lavender buds, usually about 10 is enough. Mix thoroughly.
Find a small container to put the potpourri. Some people like to mix the dried buds with pinecones or other dried items for a better appearance.
Place in a bowl or decorative container and place wherever you want to enjoy the aroma!
4. Use Dried Lavender for Crafts
There’s really no limit to what you can do with dried lavender, but using it in DIY projects is a great option.
One simple option is to make your own body scrub. Simply grind up lavender and add to sugar and a small amount of oil.
Store in decorative jars and give for gifts.
Another fun option is to make a heating pad. Sew up a heating pad filled with lavender and rice. This can be heated in the microwave and used to provide soothing and calming heat for any aches and sore areas.
Finally, think about making your own bath bombs with dried lavender. They’re easy to make and will turn every soak into a spa experience.
This is just one idea but you can be as creative as you want with lavender!
5. How to Display Dried Lavender for Home Decor
Once you have dried lavender, you can use it not only for its scent but also its decorative appeal. If you’re feeling creative, try making a dried lavender wreath.
This can be hung on your door and will give everyone a great scent when they walk through your door.
Another fun option is to simply display the lavender stems intact in decorative containers.
If you have an old crock, you can add the dried lavender and you’ll get a decorative vintage look.
6. Try Dried Lavender Aromatherapy
Using lavender for aromatherapy is a great option. It’s considered to be a natural remedy for anxiety, headaches, and more.
If you want to get the most from your dried lavender, you can use it for aromatherapy.
Lavender eye pillows can be used to help with headaches and migraines. Also, consider crushing the dried buds and then adding them to your bath or foot soaks.
You can make your own lavender Epsom salt mixture as well if you want.
Even just having a bowl of lavender buds in a room will help you enjoy the calming aspect of this.
7. How to Make Lavender Sachets
In order to make your own lavender sachets, most people remove the buds from the stems to get started. Get a material to use as a sachet such as a tulle. You want a material that breathes easily like these:
Cut the tulle into small rectangles.
Usually you want a smaller size and then cut ribbon or twine to tie around the sachet. Add the lavender to the middle of the tulle rectangle. It usually works best to roll it up a few times and then gather the ends to keep the lavender from escaping.
Tie a ribbon around the sachet and you’re good to go!
8. How to Make a Lavender Air Freshener
If you want to make a natural air freshener with lavender, you’ll just need a mason jar, baking soda, lavender buds and lavender essential oil.
- Fill a mason jar with baking soda and then add 1/3 cup dried lavender buds.
- Add five drops of the essential oil and then add the lid and shake.
- Cut out a piece of paper and screw it onto the top of the jar.
- Poke holes into the paper with a pin or needle to allow the aroma to escape.
Place wherever you want and add a few drops of essential oil monthly to refresh the scent!
What are some of your favorite things to do with dried lavender?
I’m a foodie that’s slightly obsessed with drying fruits, veggies, beans, and more – especially from my own garden! It started as a hobby but became a “must” when my family fell on hard times, and my dried food stash sustained us. Now I’m always experimenting with different techniques and recipes and sharing them here!