Infusing oil with the scent of lavender provides a fragrant oil that is calming, helps relieve itchy skin and eczema, and can be used as massage oil. You can make your own lavender oil at home with dried lavender and an unscented oil. Stored properly, the oil will last up to a year.
Dry the Lavender
Cut lavender from the plant leaving about 6 inches of stem below the flowers. If your lavender is already dry, then you're ready to start making lavender oil. But, if you're using fresh lavender, it should be dried prior to use to keep the oil from turning rancid.
Tie your lavender stems together with a large rubber band and hang them upside down in a warm, dark and dry room.
Allow the lavender bunch to hang for approximately two weeks until it is fully dry.
Cold Infusion Lavender Oil
Crush the flowers gently with a mortar and pestle. Don't pulverize the lavender, just crush the flowers a little. Make enough of the crushed herb to fill a quart-sized canning jar. Place the dried lavender inside the jar.
Pour the oil of your choice into the jar until the lavender is completely covered. Place the lid on the jar and set the jar in a sunny location.
Let the jar sit for three to six weeks depending on how strong you'd like the scent to be. The sun helps release the oil and scent from the flowers, leaves and stems. Gently shake the jar every few days to keep the ingredients well mixed.
Strain the oil using cheesecloth or mesh strainer and funnel into a smaller dark bottles for storage. Store with lids tightly closed in a cool, dark place in small dark bottles. Label the bottles to include the ingredients and contents and the date you created the oil.
Hot Infusion Method
Add water to the bottom of a double boiler and set it on the stove to boil.
Place a full quart jar of crushed lavender into the top of a double boiler and then add a quart of your desired scentless oil.
Set the top of the double boiler pan filled with the lavender and oil into the bottom of the double boiler with the water boiling. Turn down the heat and let the oil gently heat for about 3 hours or longer, depending on desired scent strength.
Strain the cooled oil through a cheesecloth or a mesh strainer into another container. With a funnel, pour the lavender essential oil into dark brown or blue glass jars for storage. Keep them for up to a year in a cool, dark pantry or cupboard. Label the small jars with contents and date of creation.
Create a more dynamic scent by adding split vanilla beans to your oil while it steeps.
If you don't have a cheesecloth or mesh strainer, use coffee filters instead. When straining, use the back of a spoon to squeeze the lavender flowers and remove as much oil as possible.
With the hot infusion method, use caution when pouring the oil to ensure you don't get burned. Let it cool substantially before pouring it for storage.
Always test the oil on your hands prior to using on face or body to avoid allergic or adverse reactions. Avoid getting oil in eyes when using your finished product.
If using almond or other nut oils, label your jars with an allergy warning to avoid potentially life threatening reactions in those with nut allergies.
Do not store lavender or any essential oil in anything other than dark brown or blue bottles, as ultra-violet rays can render the oil useless.