I work with a lot of different crafts, but plants are one of my favorite mediums. Every plant has its own personality! Working with plants reminds me that the Universe provides us with all we need, as long as we open our eyes and hearts to abundance. Once you have a drying rack in your home, you can make a whole variety of plant-based creations! Smudging sticks, herb bundles, bath salts, essential oils, and homeopathic remedies can all be made at home, by hand, with care.
Despite my deep love for the botanical arts, I have a BLACK THUMB. This is the evil twin of the green thumb… I struggle to keep plants alive )-: I’m getting better, but I’ve found that harvesting wild plants allows me to respect plant life rather than put it at risk! I’ve learned to identify flowers and weeds that grow in the wild, and often resort to scouring friends’ yards for botany. Pictured above are Mullein leaves, Golden Buttons (Common Tansy), and Lavender. Peeking up from the bottom of the frame is Arlo the Aloe Plant!
Once I harvest the plants, they need to dry before they can be repurposed. I used to just hang them from my curtain rods, but I was running out of space! So I dug around my craft closet to see what I could DIY… and here we have it! A hanging herb-drying rack! Mine is hanging in my room, and every time I come home, I’m greeted by the smell of mint and lavender. So refreshing.
Here’s the step-by-step on how to make your own hanging herb-drying rack:
You will need:
- an embroidery hoop (any size, depends on how many herbs you plan on drying!)
- macrame rope or other light-but-hefty rope. I used an old clothesline!
- twine or ribbon
- clothespins (optional; make sure they can clip onto your hoop!)
- paint (optional)
- screw-in hook (not pictured)
First, cut your rope into three or four equal lengths. Depending on the height of your ceiling, you may need to adjust. Mine were about 5 feet long each. Fold each of these lengths in half, as shown.
Next, thread the rope onto the hoop at equal distances. You can do this by placing the folded end of the rope under your embroidery hoop. The loop should be on the inside of the hoop, with the ends of the rope extending outward. Thread the ends over the part of the hoop that sits on the rope, and through the loop. When properly secured, it should look like this:
Now this is where you can get creative! If you want to tie fancy macrame knots in your rope, feel free to do so! If you want to add big beads or super glue false flowers onto your hoop, go for it! Let your creativity guide you.
Finally, bring the three ends together centered a few feet above the hoop. Tie a simple loop knot as shown.
Once you’ve done this, all that’s left is to hang your herb-drying rack! Put a screw hook in the ceiling where you want your herb-drying rack to hang. Hang and ta-da! You’re ready to start drying!
You can paint your clothespins for extra pizazz and attach smaller herb bundles with them, or use twine/ribbon for larger bundles.
*Tip: try drying your herbs in a paper bag poked with holes for ventilation. This keeps dry leaves and flowers from piling up on your floor!
Get creative and let your heart guide you. See a funky looking weed on the side of the road that calls to you? Get out! Pluck the thing and say “thank you” to the plant for its provision. Then go home and identify via Google! You never know what properties a plant may contain, but if it’s speaking to you, listen.