A dream pillow can be a magical way of encouraging better sleep and less nightmares. It’s a lovely thing to slowly make by hand during the abundant and light season of summer, ready for use in autumn and winter or to give as a gift.

You can use many different herbs in the pillow but classic lavender is a good starting point. Lavender is known as a sleep enhancing herb, calming to the nervous system and relaxing to the muscles. Other nice additons would be hops, catnip, chamomile, and for those trying to get rid of nightmares try adding In some rosemary and cedar.

To make the pillow source some beautiful fabric, as the pillow itself doesn’t have to be very big it’s a great way of using up precious fabric scraps that you might have laying around. Or even a piece of embroidered linen from an old napkin. You could also print or sew a design onto some plain fabric and use that. Once you have youre chosen fabric cut out two identical pieces of the fabric, and sew them together with the right sides facing but make sure you leave a gap where you haven’t sown, about 1 inch will be enough. Through this gap you can turn the pillow the right way out. Give the empty pillow a quick press with an iron if you want a neat finish. Then start to stuff the pillow with the dried herbs. Personally I think using some small scraps of fabric as a stuffing is a nice addition as it bulks up the pillow a bit but you can just use dried herbs too.

Once the pillow is complete you can add in a few drops of lavender essential oil and then sow up the gap with some thread. And voila, your herbal dream pillow is complete. You can pop it inside your own pillow and make sure your head rests near it so that you can be close to the herbs. I think this is such a special project for summer and is something to cherish in the colder and darker seasons on the horizon. 

Image by Kim Lightbody from my book The Garden Apothecary published by Hardie Grant. Click here to get your copy.