Garden Gift: How to Make Potpourri Pillows

Fill these potpourri pillows with your favorite garden scents to give to your loved ones as beautiful holiday gifts.

Sweet-Smelling Gifts

These charming potpourri filled pillows let you share the fragrances of your garden with friends and family. All you need is fabric, thread and your favorite dried plants. The following recipes are only guidelines, feel free to mix your own fragrances and share them with us!

Create a base pillow

These scented pillows are simple to make, and the base is the same no matter how you stuff or decorate them. Cut two matching squares from the fabric of your choice, approximately 4 inches. Sew three sides with a half-inch seam allowance. This can be done by hand, with a machine, or with fabric glue. Then turn your pillow inside out, stuff with your chosen fragrant filling, and stitch or glue the last side closed. Now you are free to decorate!

Fragrant Evergreens

Keep the smell of Christmas near with this evergreen potpourri mix. Mix leaves and needles from pine, juniper, cypress or your favorite evergreen trees with a couple drops of cedar oil and twice as many drops of pine oil. Be sure to add some orris root or oak moss to the mix to help the scent last longer.

Relaxing lavender

This relaxing lavender fragrance is good to have close at bedtime for a calming scent as you fall asleep. Mix dried lavender with one drop of vanilla oil and one drop of bergamot. Add some orris root or oak moss to make sure the fragrance lasts.

Fruit mix

Fill a pillow with this sweet mix of fruity scents by mixing pieces of cinnamon stick, cloves and allspice with dried apple, orange, lemon, lime and cranberry. Add a few drops of vanilla oil and orange oil with a bit of orris root or oak moss for a sweet smell that lasts.

Vanilla Rose

This sweet, flowery scent not only smells good, it also looks lovely mixed together. Mix dried camellia blooms, dried rose petals, crushed vanilla bean and pine needles for fragrance and add orris root or oak moss so the sweet scent will last.

Spiced apple

This fragrance is a sweet reminder of mugs of steaming cider shared with friends and family. Mix pieces of cinnamon stick with dried apple, grated nutmeg, whole cloves and dried orange peel. Add a few drops of vanilla or your favorite scented oil and a little orris root or oak moss to hold the fragrance.

Refreshing citrus

This refreshing citrus fragrance can help kick start your day with a little burst of energy. Mix your choice of dried citrus fruits—orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, clementine or kumquat—with a few drops of lemon oil and twice as many drops of orange oil. Add a little orris root or oak moss to hold the scent.

Cheerful flower

The eye-catching flower on this pillow is a great reminder of the coming spring, but the cold blue color keeps the look appropriately wintery. The flower is easy to make with a length of thin ribbon. Loop the ribbon over onto itself to create petals, adding a stitch in the center to hold it together. Begin by creating large loops, but make them progressively smaller each time you finish a circle of petals (about 10 loops). When your flower is complete, attach it to center of your sweet-smelling pillow!

Stripes and buttons

This modern pillow is based on a grey, pinstripe fabric. Make sure the colors of your stripes are similar, like this grey and white, to keep the look clean. Add a pattern of buttons in neat rows to complete the look.

Clove stripes

To create this pillow, begin with a rough, tan fabric for the base. Add a thin layer of white paint to the top half, letting your brush skim the surface of the fabric—you don't want paint in all the cracks. Add a row of cloves across the middle, stitching each on one at a time with white thread to create a thin stripe of white across the dark cloves.

Chevron and Roses

The geometric repetition of chevron on this fabric complements the soft roses to create this shabby chic pillow. Create the roses by choosing a decorative ribbon—ours had pleats already sewn in. Roll the ribbon up, adding hand stitches at the base to hold the flower together. Pull your flower open and attach to your pillow with a few more stitches or fabric glue.


You shouldn't have to look far to find the decorations for this natural pillow—they may even be in your backyard! Keep an eye out for some especially twisty old grapevines, and gather then into a small bunch. You can use fabric glue to attach them, but stitching them on creates a perfect finishing touch. Try using natural white for your fabric and your thread so the contrast between the vines and fabric won't be too sharp.

Burlap and cinnamon

To make this rustic holiday pillow, begin by using two layers of burlap. Once your square is stuffed, attach a stick of cinnamon using twine. Paint wooden beads to look like cranberries by painting them a bright, solid red and then adding darker red to one half. Tie the "berries" on the ends of the twine and add a few smaller red beads for accents.

Share your creations!

Give your sweet-smelling sachets as gifts, place in dresser drawers, cars or anywhere you need a fresh burst of fragrance for the holiday season.