Thursday, 10 November 2011

Christmas Countdown Project 10 - Lavender soap gift bag

I harvested the lavender from my new lavender hedge here in my garden this year. I am not sure I did it early enough, but still, I bunched it up and hung it upside down in the garage for a few weeks and it dried out nicely. It is loosing some seeds but I am collecting those for lavender bags later. I wanted to make some unique gifts using it. I sourced some handmade Lavender soap made with Olive Oil - very good for your skin - like 'Savon de Marseilles' and I have made some gift bags to give it in that includes a bunch of my hand dried Lavender.

Lot's of younger people like to have handmade soap displayed in their bath rooms now, so this gift is no longer just attractive the older generation! Some of the soaps are a lavender scrub with some foliage in them too, the craft room smells delicious! (You can buy dried lavender from some florists if you want to include this in yours.)
You will need:
Bunch of dried lavender
Handmade lavender soap
Fine wire (I used coloured craft wire but you could use fuse wire)
Brown Kraft paper to make the bag
Eyelets and Cropadile Big Bite
Wood veneer or thick card for label
Lavender stamp, lettering stamps, for label
Linen string for label
Tiny attacher or stapler
Tissue or card
Large dictionary type book or tissue box to use as a template to make your paper bag around (its much easier!)
1. Group the lavender into small bunches and tie with fine wire. Trim the stalks level.
2. For the gift bag, I used a piece of brown paper 17" x 11" for each bag (that wrapped around my small dictionary including a small overlap and I made a base big enough for the soap I bought.) 
Using a paper  trimmer with a wavy edge blade or wavy scissors, trim the top edge of the bag. Using the paper scorer, score at 5", then 8", then 13" then 16" from one of the short sides. Then score along the whole bottom edge 3" up. Fold the paper on each score line and crease with a bone folder.
3. For the next step you need to think Christmas parcel wrapping!! Place your 'former' (book or box) on the brown paper and wrap it round, glue the long edge down using the glue stick. Fold in one of the ends as if it was a parcel but do both the short sides first, then longer sides and seal with the gluestick instead of sellotape for a neater finish

Slide your former out of the other open end and your bag is done!
4. Position the eyelets 3" up from the bottom of the bag and either side of the centre line of your bag. Apply the eyelets with the Cropdaile Big Bite. They are about half an inch apart on mine. I used Lavender eyelets of course!
5. If a tag comes with your handmade soap, punch it and tie it on raffia or linen string and wrap it around the soap.
I then wrapped mine in some corrugated card or tissue paper for extra protection. Place the soap(s) inside the bag. 
6. Take a 30cm long length of ribbon and thread it through the eyelets, from outside to the inside of the bag and bag out again so the two long ends are on the outside of the bag to hold your lavender bunch in place. Tie on one of your small pre-made bunches, covering the wire on the stems up, with your ribbon bow. Fold the top of the bag down to the back and secure using a tiny attacher or stapler in each top corner.
7. To make the gift tag, I used Tim Holtz Tiny Tabs and Tags die in my Cuttlebug with some very thin wood veneer you can buy for dolls house making. I cut pieces just larger than the big tag on the die and ran them through one at a time. You could use card stock for this or fabric, felt or leather. I then stamped a lavender pot image and the word lavender using some of my stamps.
Tie it with linen string and attached it to the gift bag with a tiny attacher. 
These could make great wedding favours, party bag gifts or summer place names too! As you can see, I have made a few! Although the soap is not made by me, I have made it a unique hand crafted gift! Not too expensive either.

I have also made some Honey and almond soap gifts and used the lavender bunch on the front with a heat embossed bee on the tag!
Join me tomorrow for another crafting project! TFLx

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