This month, I hope to bring you lots of easy Christmas tree-recycling DIYs as part of this little series on how to lovingly reuse your tree, starting with these delicious DIY pine needle sachets! Winter is officially upon us, even in California. I find myself refusing to go outside without a coat, even though the temperature hasn’t dropped that much. Something about it being winter makes it feel cold, no matter what I do to try and stay warm. But being inside all the time means lots of fun DIY projects.
The winter cold was interrupted by a quick trip to Tuscon, AZ this past weekend, where Amanda and I went to a wedding and visited with old and new friends. Tuscon was warm, I wandered around in a tank top, and as my brain thawed out so did my creativity. Tuscon was the perfect place to brainstorm what exactly I wanted to do with our Christmas tree, a petite, sustainably grown pine that sat in our dining room for 1 month before I efficiently put all the decorations away last week, ready to be done with the holidays. Then I realized that even though our tree is small, there’s no way I could just reuse the entire tree in one go, I would need to make several projects, starting with the DIY pine needle sachets.
I love the smell of pine. Growing up in Washington, I spent hours in the woods by myself as a child, building forts and gathering pine cones. The smell of pine feels like home, and because I don’t get to visit Washington enough, the scent is what I live on before I can finally go back and embrace a few pine trees near my dad’s house. As I was making these sachets I was instantly whisked back to childhood and to home, which made cutting all those pine needles off the branches worth it.
Actually, before we jump into the tutorial, I should tell you all of the uses my friends and I had for pine growing up. The branches would naturally fall off the trees and we’d use them for all kinds of things, basically making toys obsolete.
- First off, pine branches the best roofs for forts, and fantastic “carpets”.
- Second, decorating your snowman/woman/person with pine branches looked pretty cool. You could use the pine branches as hair, or a skirt, by sticking them into the snow.
- Third, we’d definitely collected pine cones and would try to sell them. Before you laugh at our entrepreneurial endeavors, cute kids with big eyes and naivety sell a lot of pine cones – enough to go buy candy!
- Fourth, I’m pretty sure we used pine branches as makeshift umbrellas at times. In Washington, kids play in the rain because it’s always raining. Sometimes, you need a little help getting home when you’re already drenched.
It’s really simple to make your own DIY pine needle sachets. Plus, this tutorial reuses a few muslin tea bags that I had leftover from making wedding favors last year. If you’d rather sew your own sachets, that’s a possibility too, but I like the ease of the muslin bags, plus they have tiny holes that let the pine scent seep out into your clothing. When the sachet has lost all its scent, you can compost the pine needles and wash the bags out to use for actual tea.
A few notes: It takes a lot of pine needles to stuff a sachet. I think I got through 1/5 of my small tree on 10 sachets alone. Because of this, you might want to clip your needles off while watching a movie or listening to a podcast. I think I made 10 sachets in about 1 hour. Also, clipping the needles instead of pulling them from the branches will release more of the pine scent. If you have tiny children with tiny hands to stuff the bags, that would make the process go faster. I only had my cat, Stella, and she definitely ran away with a few pine branches that I was trying to clip!
How To Make DIY Pine Needle Sachets
- Pine branches with semi-dried pine needles, likely from a Christmas tree
- Muslin tea bags, I got mine from Mountain Rose Herbs
- Pruning shears or scissors
1. Clip a generous amount of pine needles from your branches. It’s okay if you clip right through the needle, the pine scent will be further released this way. I clipped and stuffed interchangeably. This can get messy, so have a broom around! (***Make sure you keep your clipped branches for other projects- next week I’m going to show you how to make fire starters!)
2. Stuff your muslin bags with pine needles, as full as they will get. Tie the bag off.
3. Place your sachets in drawers, chests, and around your home for a lovely pine smell all year round!
Next week I’ll show you how to make DIY firestarters out of pine branches. How are you all reusing your Christmas trees this year?