Rosemary is one herb that is as decorative as it is flavorful. Dry the stems from rosemary plants to create a variety of craft projects. Freshly picked rosemary can be used for both culinary and aromatic purposes. The spiky leaves from the stems add flavor to breads, meats and vegetables, while the sweet fragrance can also enhance scented oils.
Cut several stems from rosemary plants and dry them to make decorative botanical soaps. To dry rosemary, hang the stems upside down in a dark, ventilated space for 10 days. You can also dry them in the microwave using silica gel or paper towels. After the stems are dry, place them in the center of a melt and pour glycerin soap bar. Select glycerin that melts easily in the microwave and a soap mold that suits your personal style. Melt the glycerin according to the manufacturer’s directions and fill the mold slightly less than halfway full. Layer the dried rosemary stems on top of the glycerin, and then pour more melted glycerin over the top of the stems. A few spirits of rubbing alcohol on top of the soap bar will eliminate the air bubbles. Let the rosemary soap harden in the mold for 24 hours, and then remove it.
Decorative candles are elements in many different styles of home décor. They are simple to craft using existing candles, wax and dried rosemary stems. Dry the rosemary stems and place them on a sheet of wax paper. Melt a small amount of paraffin candle wax in the microwave. Brush the melted wax onto the sides of the candle. Press or roll the section of candle with the liquid wax over the rosemary stem. Brush more melted wax on top of the rosemary stem. Add rosemary stems to one section of the candle at a time until the design suits you.
Fresh rosemary leaves can add fragrance to burning oils such as safflower oil or sweet almond oil. Strip 3 cups of rosemary leaves from the stems and sandwich them between two sheets of wax paper. Roll over the stems with a rolling pin to bruise them and bring out the fragrance. Add the bruised leaves to a glass jar filled with 8 oz. of oil. Seal the jar tightly and place the oil on a sunny window sill for three weeks. Shake the jar daily. Strain the rosemary through cheese cloth and replace the oil in the jar. Add three more cups of fresh, bruised rosemary leaves. Place the jar in the window for three more weeks, shaking it daily. Continue this cycle until the oil’s aroma reaches the desired fragrance level. Store the rosemary oil in a dark glass container for up to one year.
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