Sunday, September 21, 2008

Moth Sachets

So we just had our house treated for carpenter ants. Yep. Not my favorite way to drop 1500 dollars. Yes, you read that right. Apparently the stuff that will kill the ants but won't kill your pets tends to run a little... oh, let's call a spade a spade ... tends to be RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED for a bunch of essential oil extracts sprayed into your walls and on your yard and fences and diatomanous earth sprayed all over.

The good news is it also gets rid of spiders and anything with an exoskeleton. Which is also the bad news. The guy who did the inspection was under the impression that ladybugs only hang out on flowers and would be safe. Apparently he's never met a ladybug. Anyway, I couldn't let my house be eaten up, so I chose the least toxic route. Sorry, ladybugs and creepy garden spiders.

So I decided to make moth sachets to help keep moths away. I figure I might as well do all my anti-bug stuff at once. Moth sachets are hella easy. First, you grow an Artemisia absinthium. Hahah, you suckers probably don't have one. That's ok. If you'd like one, fine establishments like Portland Nursery carry them, and that's actually where I got mine. You could probably also order online, either plants or the dried herb.

Now for the down and dirty tutorial. This is not a fancy tutorial by any means. As is, it's barely presentable as a tutorial or as a gift. However, with basic finishing and a couple of embellishments, it could be so much better...

Basically, mix even amounts of any of these dried herbs: rosemary, lavender, wormwood, rue, and/or mint. I used equal parts lavender and wormwood, and I'm kind of excited because I grew both of them.

I should warn you that wormwood smells terrible. I think that it'll be ok mixed with the lavender and stuck in a closet, but just the 10 minutes I spent stuffing the bags made my head feel kind of cranky.

Once you have the herbs mixed, it's best to let their scents blend overnight to three days. Not a necessary step - I skipped it. However, it doesn't hurt to let them mingle while you make the bags that you'll be stuffing the herbs in.

You can use any fabric, but know that a looser weave/knit will allow the scent to fill the closet better than a tighter weave/knit. You can save your felted bags and other thick wools for wrapping presents and such.

Cut a strip about 4 inches by 8 inches. Fold this in half so the dimensions are 4X4 and right sides are facing, and sew along the sides and the bottom. Turn the bag right side out. Loosely stuff the bottom 2/3 of the bag with the herb mixture. Take a 5-8 inch ribbon, yarn leftovers, or other tie, wrap around the bag an inch or so from the top, tie a little bow, and call it a day! Or rather, call it a day after you put it in your closet and save your clothes from little moth holes.

Too much work, eh? Well, check out all these cool shops on etsy. How could you possibly go wrong with this one:


Perfect for your yarn or fabric cache!

Another presentable specimen uses the tried and true method of ... well, actually, now that I look at it again it isn't necessarily a upcycled handkerchief. They do make really good sachets though!

She filled that with lavender, so it's way better smelling than the mixes with wormwood. You could stash this anywhere.

Did I mention that you can throw some sachets in your drier with your clothes? Yeah. I did this with some I've made and some my sis made. The warmth helps give a second life to the herbs, and the smell gets in your clothes and makes everything smell a little more delicious. Yeah, don't try this last bit with the A. absinthe.

If you don't make your own, check out those etsy shops! The 'stache stash sachet deserves a good home.

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