How but in custom and ceremony

Are Innocence and Beauty Born?

—William Butler Yeats


Lavender Drawer Liner

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom

Shall be, ere-while, in arid bundles bound,

To lurk amidst the labours of her loom,

    And crown her kerchiefs clean, with mickle rare perfume.

—William Shenstone, “The Dame’s Garden” from The School Mistress

Although I hang most of my clothes in a closet, my pajamas and unmentionables I keep in a small bureau drawer which, like all close confines, is prone to some staleness. A muslin bag filled with lavender was too bulky, and the solution was an herbal drawer liner that has proved delightful, natural, and out of the way. Here, finally, is a scented liner that uses neither cloying synthetic fragrances nor essential oils that are natural but ephemeral.

I found among our fabric remnants a sizable piece of white cotton eyelet that seemed to me ideal: unobtrusive and feminine. The natural fiber and eyelet would allow the herbal fragrance to permeate. After brightening it with a bleach wash and sun-drying, I pressed the fabric, then adapted Martha Stewart’s instructions to sew the liner and fill it with lavender—purple buds plump with aromatic oils.

Although I used lavender, you may favor other herbs for your liner. Martha Stewart suggests cedar chips, but you might choose rosemary, scented geranium, rose, patchouli, or a blend of these and other aromatic herbs.

The materials needed for this project are a measuring tape, fabric scissors, fabric (pre-washed cotton or linen), straight pins, chalk, an iron, and dried lavender. You ask, How much lavender? I used 18 ounces (volume) for a liner measuring 13”x13.” Adjust the amount according to the dimensions of your own drawer.

Measure the length and width of the inside of the drawer, adding a half inch to each dimension for seam allowances. Cut two pieces of fabric to these measurements, and pin them together, wrong sides facing. Stitch the two pieces of fabric together on three sides, leaving a long side open. Clip the corners and use an iron to press open the seam allowance on the open end. Turn the liner right side out, and press. Use chalk to divide the length of the liner into thirds, and topstitch the two rows. Fill each pocket with equal amounts of lavender. Topstitch closed.

Shake the liner and spread the herbs evenly. Place the liner in the bottom of your drawer, and enjoy its rich scent every time you open it. The clothes you keep in the drawer will be scented too, and protected from insects.

You can periodically revive the herb’s scent by pressing the herb to release more of its aromatic oils. When the herb has lost its scent after several years, you can easily seam-rip the pocket opening to replace it. ❖

More Good Scents—Fill a pretty (perhaps beribboned) muslin bag with aromatic herbs, and place it in the drawer, or hang it on the clothes rod or hanger. ■ Place a few drops of essential oil on a piece of terra cotta that is threaded and hung on the clothes rod. Mountain Rose Herbs sells these Terra Cotta Pendant Diffusers, but you can make your own. ■ Shake a few drops of essential oil on a piece of cloth and add to your laundry in the machine dryer. ■ Press your linens with a flower water; fill your steam iron or spray directly on the linen before applying the iron. ■ Frequently launder clothing, after wearing or after a period of storage.


November 15, 2012  Originally published as “Lavender Drawer Liner” on the blog Linnet on the Leaf.

January 1, 2013         Revised for publication in the e-magazine Maidens of the Master, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Winter 2013.

© Copyright

Samantha Little holds the copyright for the article “Lavender Drawer Liner” and other content of this site. Readers are welcome to print this page for personal reference only, or to share the URL with others. Please do not reprint or modify this article without written permission from the author. Thank you for your integrity.