The Art of Darkness

Making Dream Pillows

May 8th, 2012 by Cobwebs

SachetThe ol’ herb garden is in full swing, which means I am giving away giant wads of cut herbs to vaguely-puzzled neighbors* and looking for things to do with the rest. I’m thus somewhat startled to discover that I’ve been running this blog for over five years and haven’t ever mentioned dream pillows. Apparently I never pay attention.

Dream pillows are simply largish sachets, filled with herbs that are reputed to have calming properties and/or a sweet scent. They are super-easy to make, and if you don’t have a garden you can easily purchase the herbs online.

The pillows are intended to lay on top of a regular pillow inside the pillowcase so the sleeper can inhale their scent. They should thus be reasonably flat and can be fairly small; a 6-8″ square is more than sufficient. Since they aren’t really meant to be seen you can get away with making them out of plain muslin, although if you’re making one as a gift you might want to use pretty fabric–a vintage handkerchief would be a good choice–or decorate it with embroidery or fabric paint. A natural fabric such as cotton which doesn’t have an overly tight weave is the best choice for releasing the maximum scent.

The easiest version of these pillows is just a square bag: Fold a piece of fabric in half, stitch two sides, turn right-side-out, fill with herbs, then slipstitch the other side closed. If you want to make the pillow washable and/or refillable, finish the open end with Velcro or add a ribbon drawstring (to keep bits of herbs from spilling out, you might want to enclose them in a smaller mesh or muslin bag and insert that into the prettier drawstring cover). If you want to get fancier, Tipnut has a nice roundup of sachet tutorials. And if you don’t want to bother with sewing at all–or if you have a large number of pillows to make–you can find drawstring muslin bags inexpensively at craft stores or online.

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