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How to Sew Your Own Herbal Sleep Pillow

Updated on January 9, 2016
Dream pillows smell wonderful, offer comfort and look great in any bedroom.
Dream pillows smell wonderful, offer comfort and look great in any bedroom. | Source

Dream pillows are small pillows with herbs in them, which are meant to help you sleep better. They're also a great project for kids and people who are just starting to learn how to sew.

Supplies to Make a Dream Pillow

Before you get started with your dream pillow, make sure you have the following supplies. It's always easier to complete a project when you have everything you need on hand.

  • Fabric (scraps from other projects will do)
  • Herbs
  • Stuffing
  • Needle
  • Thread which matches the fabric
  • Scissors

You can choose any fabric you'd like, but I enjoy adding symbolism to these types of projects.
You can choose any fabric you'd like, but I enjoy adding symbolism to these types of projects. | Source

Step One: Choose Your Fabric

It's easiest to make these pillows with woven material instead of knit or satin. I only suggest this because satin tends to slip while you're working with it, and knit fabrics bunch more easily than woven.

If you'd like to add symbolism to your pillow, you can do so through using patterns or colors.

For instance, blue and green are great colors which enhance relaxation, and encourage rest. Adding stars or moons will encourage a connection with the universe, which can help you find your greater purpose, or simply conquer loneliness.

Reds aren't a good color for dream pillows from a metaphysical standpoint. This is because red symbolizes fire, passion and action. Those three things encourage movement and increase energy, which isn't a good thing when you're trying to sleep.

Yellow is another iffy color, but lighter shades can be used to encourage joy.

By no means do you need to select your color based on popular meanings, though. If you like red, go for red fabric. If the d├ęcor of your bedroom is bright and cheery, there's nothing wrong with choosing a bright color or busy pattern, either.

I ended up going with one of my favorite celestial patterns.

Always make sure your fabric is clean and free of any wrinkles. It's a good idea to iron or steam your fabric before sewing, so there are no creases visible when you're done.

Colors and Their Meanings

Color
Meaning
Blue
Calming, healing, soothes emotions
Green
Healing, draws prosperity and luck
Purple
Encourages psychic dreams, connects with higher beings
Brown
Earthy, brings a sense of security
Yellow
Brings joy and helps keep nightmares away
Pink
Encourages love of all kinds
These common bedroom colors each have their own meaning, and can be used to encourage certain dreams.
A small assortment of herbs which can be used in dream pillows.
A small assortment of herbs which can be used in dream pillows. | Source

Step Two: Choose Your Herbs

If you're making a pillow for someone else, make sure that they're not allergic to anything before selecting the herbs. As anyone who suffers from allergies knows, it's impossible to sleep with scratchy eyes, sore throat and difficult breathing.

Otherwise, you can use almost any herb or spice. Again, various herbs have different meanings, which are sometimes backed up by aromatherapy.

Some of the popular herbs used in dream pillows are as follow:

  • Lavender
  • Camomile
  • Mint
  • Rosemary

You can find almost all of these in your grocery store. Rosemary will be in the spice isle, and the rest will be with the teas.

I chose my favorite combination of lavender and chamomile, both of which had been ordered from a store on the internet.

Herbs and Their Meanings

Herb
Meaning
Lavender
Soothing, encourages sleep
Mint
Healing, discourages bad dreams and negativity
Chamomile
Encourages sleep, healing and love
Rosemary
Protection, enhances mental focus and encourages sleep
Sage
Protective and purifying, often used to protect from bad dreams
Like colors, each herb has its metaphysical meaning and use.
I had traced the paper with the yellow chalk, so I could later cut a perfect rectangle.
I had traced the paper with the yellow chalk, so I could later cut a perfect rectangle. | Source
These two rectangles of fabric are the exact same shape and size.
These two rectangles of fabric are the exact same shape and size. | Source

Step Three: Trace and Cut Your Pattern

You can make your dream pillow in any shape that you want, but for beginners, a simple rectangle is easiest.

For this one, I just worked off of a piece of normal printer paper. If you'd like a round pillow, you can trace the bottom of a coffee can, or draw a circle with a compass on paper, cut it out and trace that.

Fold the fabric once, so the right sides are facing and lie on a flat surface. Put the paper in one corner, and trace its outline with chalk or something else that won't bleed through.

If you'd like to anchor the pieces together, pin them. Since this fabric isn't slippery, I didn't bother in his case.

Once you cut along the lines you've traced, you'll have two pieces that are the exact same shape and size.

Once you've sewn three edges and turn the pillow inside out, you'll have a bag like this one.
Once you've sewn three edges and turn the pillow inside out, you'll have a bag like this one. | Source

Step Four: Sew

Now that you have the two halves of the bag cut, pin them together. Then, sew three sides together. Keep the fourth side open, so you have somewhere to put the stuffing and herbs later on.

If your pillow is circular or another shape that doesn't have defined edges, leave at least two or three inches open.

If you're sewing these by hand, go over your stitches once more to prevent any stuffing from leaking by accident.

When using a sewing machine, use a seam allowance of at least 4/8.

It's always best to use thread that matches your fabric as closely as possible. This will give your pillow a more polished look when you're done.

Once all three sides, or the majority of the pillow, is sewn, turn it inside out. If you'd like, you can press the seams open before doing this, but it's not necessary.

At this point, you should have something that looks like an open ended bag.

Don't be shy with the handfuls of stuffing.
Don't be shy with the handfuls of stuffing. | Source
I used just a little more than a handful of lavender in this pillow, and an equal amount of camomile.
I used just a little more than a handful of lavender in this pillow, and an equal amount of camomile. | Source

Step Five: Stuff

Now, it's time to stuff the pillow!

I used hypoallergenic Poly Fill stuffing, but if you have feathers or any other type of stuffing material on hand, you can use that instead. I just enjoy this brand because it doesn't bunch, it fluffs very nicely and its extremely easy to use.

To add the herbs, just sprinkle a handful or two between layers of stuffing. Don't worry about trying to spread them evenly through the inside. That will happen naturally over time, and the aroma will fill the pillow right from the start.

It's best to start with a handful of stuffing and end with one, though. Doing this makes it easier to finish the pillow.

Try not to pack the stuffing in too tightly, though. If you want your pillow to have some give to it, the stuffing needs to be loose. If pushed down too much, the pillow will end up being too hard, and uncomfortable to rest on as you sleep.

You can use a couple of drops in addition to or instead of dried herbs, but it's possible that they would stain the fabric.

It's better to use dried herbs instead of fresh, since the leaves may not dry correctly in the pillow. Because they're in such a small space, they might even begin to rot, which isn't a smell anyone wants in their bedroom.

Dried herbs, on the other hand, no longer have the moisture that bacteria needs to grow, which is what lets them last for years when properly stored.

The pillow is being finished with a slip stitch.
The pillow is being finished with a slip stitch. | Source

Step Six: Finish and Fluff

Once the stuffing is a little over an inch from the open edge, press it down enough to allow you to fold the raw edges into the pillow, and pin them together.

When pinned closed, finish the pillow by sewing by hand with a slip stitch. Going through once should work, but if you're not confident that your stitches are strong enough to prevent stuffing from coming out, it's okay to go over what you've already done again.

Once the sewing is done, fluff the pillow until the stuffing is evenly distributed.

As time passes, the scent will fade, but it will return when you fluff the pillow. Crushing the herbs even a little bit will release a little more of the oils responsible for the aroma.

All that's left is to enjoy your new pillow!

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    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      This is a really interesting hub. The design of the pillow you made is really nice. The rest of the pictures you have help readers visualize the instructions you have so they know exactly what to do. And your instructions are clear and easy to understand.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image
      Author

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thanks so much!

      How-to articles can be a bit of a challenge to write, so I'm happy that it came out clearly. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Ooh - I like this idea. I have loads of fabric and now I have a new project. Pinned.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image
      Author

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thanks, and have fun with it! :)

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