Balsam pillows or potpourri : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

We have been cutting down some balsam firs. First of all because they were blocking a spectacular mountain view and secondly because they had outlived themselves and were starting to break and fall over anyway. Anyways, I would love to make some balsam fir pillows and was wondering if anyone had ever made any. Do you use fresh needles or dried ones? Do you need to add pine essential oil? HELP!

-- Janice in Maine (, November 20, 2001


Well, both, actually. The ones that were sold as tourist items back around the turn of the last century were made locally from fresh needles that were allowed to dry out, then stuffed into close woven cotton bags. If you stuff them in before drying, they can mold in the center. One year our tree dried out quite a bit and dropped the needles, which continued to dry, and it was a very nice potpourri. It will lose potency with time, naturally, so if you put a couple drops of the oil inside on a cotton ball, it will last longer. (You can even inject it into the pillow later on with a hyprodermic needle to refresh without spotting the fabric.

The popular sentiment that was printed on the souvenir pillows read:

"I Pine Fir Yew & Balsam" (I pine for you and bawl some)

-- julie f. (, November 21, 2001.

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