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Lavender Pillows




These little pillows, which will do wonders for your mood, have a surprisingly regal provenance. Packed with lavender, they're like the ones made for European aristocracy in the Middle Ages, when the fragrant herb was rare and something of a luxury. To strike the right note of indulgence, we chose striped and solid silk taffeta; whatever fabric you use, you won't need much of it.

The small pillow on top is a 4 1/2-inch square; the largest measures 7 by 15 inches. To make one, cut two pieces of fabric to the same size. Sew the fabric pieces together, right sides facing, leaving a 2- to 3-inch opening on one side. Clip the corners diagonally, and turn the fabric right side out. Fill the pillow with dried lavender and, if you wish, flax seeds (available at health-food stores), which have a nice texture and weight. Hand-stitch the opening closed. Make pillows in several shapes and sizes to use as neck rolls, small throw pillows, or sachets.

Martha Stewart Living, Volume 45 December/January 1996/1997



Reviews (24)

  • cookiesgalore 8 Sep, 2008

    OOPS! I meant "mildly heated in the microwave"...careful that it's not too hot.

  • cookiesgalore 8 Sep, 2008

    Instead of flax seed (which can go rancid and might attract bugs), you can use rice instead. Just make sure you put the rice in the freezer for at least 24 hrs. first, because SOME rice can harbor those little bugs that look like flour bugs. The freezing kills any eggs. Rice can absorb any fragrance oil you like and it can be heated in the mildly microwave for use as a warm pack or in the freezer as a cold pack.
    Rice won't go rancid like flax because it's already pretty much dried and hard.

  • pmaupin 8 Sep, 2008

    I use embroidered lengerie and antique hankerchiefs and embellished doll clothes to make pretty sachet covers. These are pieces of fabric that were too pretty to throw away and they make great lavender holders.

  • CCiraco 8 Sep, 2008

    What if I don't like lavender? Any other good ideas? Can I use mint leaves? What other herbs have potent smells that will last, besides the relaxation purposes? I'm thinking Christmas is coming, and it would make a great gift.

  • deezblock 8 Sep, 2008

    gattagrigia, try googling =buying buckwheat in UK -- and you will find a few sources

  • Anna_Marie 8 Sep, 2008

    I bought one of these pillows for my sister for Christmas...I made a couple of extra cases in colors that she would like better than the orangey-red one that it came with. She loved it! I may try to make more myself! I can get flax seed at the health food store, and probably get the lavender there, too, or from the local herbal society.

  • bjhinokcok 8 Sep, 2008

    I would think a good start would be calling your florist. OR you can buy anything at you want online.....

  • darbuck 8 Sep, 2008

    I grow my own lavender but I know you can also subsitute barley for some of the filling. I have made mine into a retangular shape and place it over my eyes when I have a headache... you can also microwave the lavender/barley pouch for 30 seconds for a nice warm compress. You can top up the lavender with essential oil if you need to.

  • javajean 8 Sep, 2008

    This is a great gift idea as a little thank you. Lavender can be found in Health organic stores.

  • gramma217 8 Sep, 2008

    Hi Martha, I grow lavender in my herb garden. How long does it take to dry cut lavender for making these pillows?

  • LoloMarie 8 Sep, 2008

    Here in the USA, I have only one place I have ever been able to buy lavender and or chamomille. I bought it to make little pillows. I go to a "Health Foods

  • marcie195 8 Sep, 2008

    Not sure if the 1st comment took.
    gattagrigia , try ebay or etsy.
    search under lavendar buds

  • marcie195 8 Sep, 2008

    gattagrigia, try e-bay or etsy that is where I found 1

  • shellyne 8 Sep, 2008

    Majestic Mountain Sage

  • mpegm 8 Sep, 2008

    This is local to me, so where I get mine:

  • mpegm 8 Sep, 2008

    Ninaed, in my experince, lavender can last years. I have some sachets that are at least 8 years old - still fragrant if I give them a squeeze.

  • deutzberger 8 Sep, 2008

    I too would like to know where to purchase Lavender and the rest.

  • mpegm 8 Sep, 2008 is the site I always come up with when I'm looking fo lavender supplies, and then feel silly because it's in the UK and I am not! Hope this helps gattagrigia

  • Krissabeth 8 Sep, 2008

    I make lavender eye pillows for my friend who is a yoga instructor. I buy the lavender

  • Ninaed 8 Sep, 2008

    there is no indication how long this lanender lasts with the fragrance, anyone know

  • jcress57 8 Sep, 2008

    try candle making supply stores for the lavender

  • diannam 8 Sep, 2008

    where can you buy lavender in the US?

  • tinkonthebrink 8 Sep, 2008

    Every health food store has lavender as well as seeds that can be used for a nice weighted feeling. This is not some obscure thing, it's just lavender and seeds.

  • gattagrigia 5 Jun, 2008

    Does anyone know where i can buy lavender or whetgrass/buckwheat for filling these - in the UK?