How to Make Dilly Pillows

How to Make Dilly Pillows thumbnail
A dilly pillow might improve sleep quality.

A dilly pillow provides a container for one or more herbs, spices or other botanical components. The fabric allows the herbs’ fragrance to escape so that the person sleeping on the pillow can benefit from the aroma. The intended use determines the fabric, herbs and size of the pillow. Create a fancy dilly pillow to serve as a decorative air freshener or a simple one to slip into the pillowcase with a bed pillow for moderate aromatherapy. Anyone with basic sewing skills can make a dilly pillow in less than an hour.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Botanical components
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
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    • 1

      Cut a 6-by-12-inch fabric rectangle. Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides together to form a 6-inch square.

    • 2

      Stitch around two of the square’s open sides with a 3/8-inch seam allowance. Leave the third side open to turn and fill the pillow.

    • 3

      Clip the corners opposite the opening. Turn the pillow right side out.

    • 4

      Fold a 3/8-inch seam allowance on the open side. Pour the botanical elements into the pillow, leaving room to stitch the open side together. Stitch the pillow closed on the sewing machine or blind-stitch the seam by hand.

Tips & Warnings

  • Muslin or other lightweight fabrics allow the fragrance of the contents to circulate freely. Heavier fabrics offer a more decorative look but might reduce the amount of scent released.

  • Use existing remnants for dilly pillows to make the project more economical. Pre-cut quilt squares offer an alternative to purchasing unneeded yardage. Choose contents based on the pillow’s intended use. Registered aromatherapist Mindy Green suggests a blend of lavender and chamomile flowers, hops strobiles, lemon-balm leaves and dill seeds for a child’s pillow intended to encourage sleep. A dilly pillow intended to carry the rings for a wedding might hold orange blossom or rose petals. Consider whole cloves and cinnamon sticks for a holiday fragrance.

  • Don’t overfill the pillow. Air circulation enhances the effectiveness.

  • Check the seams carefully. Some botanicals might be poisonous to children or small pets.

  • Watch for reactions to the pillow contents. Even harmless materials can cause an allergic reaction in some sensitive individuals.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

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