Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recycling the Trees

If you had a real tree for Christmas and it's now down and still around, think about this fun craft project - a pine needle pillow. Years ago, I remember buying a pine needle pillow as a vacation souvenir; the scent of pine lingered for such a long time. One of the nicest parts of Christmas is the scent of a real tree. How nice to be able to "bottle" that scent for a long time.

To make your own pillow, first let the tree dry out (outside) - this will take months. Place it on plastic to catch the needles. Once it's dry, run your fingers over the branches and watch the needles fall. You can store them in a ziplock indefinitely.
 For the pillow, choose a fabric that is thin or has a fairly loose weave, allowing the pine smell to come through easily. I had an old, never-used piece of wool that was Christmas colors. I cut 2 rectangles and placed them wrong sides together so right sides were facing out. I sewed around the 4 sides 1" in from the edge leaving a small opening for stuffing. After stuffing very tightly (using a funnel makes it easy), I hand stitched the opening closed. This little pillow below has been around for close to 15 years and still makes has a nice pine smell. 

This next pillow was made from hand marbled silk which I created many years ago, in my marbling days. It's very thin and allows the nice pine smell to come through. Although not Christmas colors, still serves a good purpose.
You can also write the date of that Christmas on the pillow, or if you have little ones, have them print their handprint or doodle on the fabric. It's a nice memory pillow to pass along.

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