What to Do With All Those Christmas Tree Pine Needles: Drawer Pillows!

By January 2, 2015 4 Comments

Don’t call my crafty or anything, but this is heaven in a fairy pillow.

Thought I’d share some heaven in a pillow with you. My Brynnie-the-Pooh came over the river and through the woods, from grandmother’s house with the most darling and deliciously-clean smelling drawer pillows:

pillow“Smell this, Mommy!” she said excitedly.

Oh, it truly was heaven in a fairy pillow!

“We made them! First you beat the tree – Grandma was making all these weird noises while she beat the tree with a broom…here I’ll demonstrate.”

So she demonstrated how one beats a tree with a broom making cavewoman-like noises, and ta-da! all the dry pine needles fall off onto the floor.

DSC_0005First, let’s pay homage to that beautiful christmas tree that was once cut fresh, sold on a lot, wrangled into the house, planted in a pot of water, dressed, tangled with lights, attacked by small children and pets, and glowed bright all month long.

pine needlesAs the weeks wore on and the pellet stove blew dry, hot air, hundreds and hundreds of pine needles fell.

By January 1, I am more than ready to say good-bye. The tree has done its duty. It’s time to have that big ol’ bonfire in the backyard!

But hark! Grandma has a story, an old tradition.

“Every Christmas, when I was a little girl, I would make pine needle pillows and send one to my grandmother.”

In my head I can see the the sock drawer being opened. Day after day, the fresh scent of pine floats through the air, reminding a grandmother of her granddaughter. It’s a Donald Hall or Tomie DePaola story book story if I’ve ever heard one (I’ll let him know.)

Oh yes, we had to do this.

So we took off the ornaments and packed them away. The lights were untangled, tangled back up, and stuffed into a bin.

And then the beating of the tree began. What great, messy fun this was for a kid!DSC_0138

Seeing my husband’s face? Quite priceless.

“What the heck are you doing?” he asked, as pine needles flew threw the air.DSC_0145

“We’re beating the tree, of course and making pine needle pillows!”

To his credit, he turned around and walked back into the kitchen. The beating unleashed a fragrant christmas tree smell that wafted throughout the house –  it smelled so good!DSC_0146After our tree was truly Charlie Brown-worthy, I threw it out the front door with nary a trail left behind. The girls then took all the pine needles and rubbed them together between their hands so nothing was left on the sticks.

DSC_0147A bowl full of fragrant and soft pine needles

DSC_0155We ironed a bit (optional) and cut squares, turning the fabric inside out.

Sew 3 and 3/4 quarters around the square on the sewing machine, then turn the fabric right side out.

Load pine needles into the pillow, and sew up small hole by hand.

DSC_0148These little pillows smell so good, and the girls are so excited to give them away as teacher and family gifts. Etsy has quite a few ideas, but I’m partial to my fairies 🙂

DSC_0150A grandmother-mother-daughter-christmas tradition lives on.

Meaningful and easy = my kind of craft.



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