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 Are you looking for a wedding or party favour that ticks the earthy, culinary or fragrant boxes?

Let me introduce you to the Bay Leaf

PIN Bay leaf favour

Origins

The humble bay leaf is natural greenery at its best, that has a ancient royal history from when Roman & Greek Emperors associated them as a symbol of honour and success. When dried, the bay leaf has a slightly floral fragrance, & similar to oregano and thyme. The bay leaf is thought to have many medicinal properties to alleviate many health issues, but I’m not going into them here, as we have a wedding or party to get a favour created for our guests. 

Where do I find bay leaves?

You may have a family or friend that has a Bay leaf (Laurel tree) in their garden, which you may be able to prune enough branches from for your needs. Just work out how many leaves you may need.

If you can’t find a tree, from which to dry fresh bay leaves, you can find dried leaves in Indian and continental or spice/herb shops where they sell bay leaves by the bag.

Storage 

Dried bay leaves can be stored in a sealed air tight container in a cool, dry, and dark spot. Dried leaves can last up to two years before losing their aroma, Ive had some in my pantry for much longer than that and they are fine for the slow cooker. Apparently you can also store the sealed dried bay leaves in the freezer, which will help the bay leaf retain its flavour and floral potency, but I can’t say I’ve tried this.

How to gift bay leaves?

BAy Leaf topper & Brown bag

Add a tag or sticker to your gift packaging that contains a recipe or hint on how to use them.

  • Bay leaves can be used as a herb in cooking – add a recipe for Bay Leaf Tea or your favourite slow cooker recipe
  • Recipe: Add 1 or 2 leaves to a slow cooker meal.
  • The dried leaves can be pulsed into a herb powder and used as a spice like cumin or ground coriander.
  • Bay leaves can also be used placed on the pantry shelves to repel moths, flies, cockroaches, weevils and mice from getting into your food. The fragrance that makes bay leaves a versatile herb /spice also makes them a good natural repellent for pests.

How to create Bay Leaf favours

  • Take a few branches of bay Leaves, let the leaves dry on their branches
  • Use cellophane bags, brown bags with cellophane windows or bottles to package the bay leaves to suit your event
  • Decorate the packaging to compliment your event’s colour-way and you’re done!

Bay Leaf wedding favour packaging

Bay leaf brown bag 1
Bay leaf brown bag 2 and stamps

Purchase brown paper snap lock sachets with cellophane windows from your stationary or $2 shops. Stamp “LOVE” and heart or your names or the wedding date on the front. I used a clear perspex block with Versa Magic in Midnight Black chalk ink.

Bay leaf tied bag 7
Bay leaf tied bag 6

This is the simplest of designs and can be easily created by packaging the Bay Leaves in cellophane packets. The tops of the bags have peal and stick closing, tied off in a bow with a piece of string.

I stamped a heart onto a small square of brown paper and then glued the heart onto the bag with double sided tape. Chalk Ink – Versa Magic Midnight Black,  Clear cling Heart stamp from “Paper Craft”

BAy Leaf lace topper 3
BAy Leaf topper 4

 The same cellophane bag was used here with a lace doily used in 2 different ways.

The first paper lace doily was simply folded in half and glued in place with double sided tape over the top of the bag.

The second version I cut a rectangle of brown paper the same width as the top of the cellophane bag, folded it in half longways, then glued it in place over the top of the sealed bag, with double sided tape. The paper lace doily was cut in half, folded in half and glued on the left side of the brown paper topper.

I used the Versa mark in midnight black to stamp “LOVE” in the right top side of the brown paper bag.

Double sided tape is much stronger and stays in place longer than a mainstream glue. It is also avery quick method of adhereing items quickly with no drying time required.

BAy Leaf bottle 5

This little soda bottle was filled with the bay leaves and capped with a black top. I then tied both string and purple raffia around the top and finished it off with a bow.

Add a Thank you tag or Sticker and you have a cute favour for your guests. 

Recipe suggestion

Bay Leaf & Cinnamon stick Tea

Ingredients
  • 1 litre (1000mls) water
  • 4-5 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Method 1
Add cinnamon stick and bay leaves to the water in a saucepan on the stove top.
Bring to the boil & simmer for about 20 minutes.
Method 2 – Weaker Brew
Chop up the fresh or dry leaves, pour hot water over and allow them to steep for a few minutes. Strain the leaves from the brew and enjoy your hot drink. 

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