Your Body Prop or Bone pillow should give you years of durable service, but when it’s time to retire it, here are some suggestions to recycle or repurpose your old pillow parts:
Reuse the buckwheat hulls by making another pillow:
If the buckwheat hulls are still springy enough to still be used in a pillow, you can do just that: Make a new pillow using them. First, sift the hulls through a colander to remove any dust that may have accumulated. Next, spread them thinly on a screen, pan, or towel and put them in the sunshine to air out before reusing, so the sunshine can “bake” them clean of any odor. (Buckwheat hulls are not a food source for insects, so you shouldn’t have to worry about things like dust mites, yay!) There are plenty of posts online about how to make a buckwheat pillow, so a quick search should help with specific tips, but you can basically put them in an old pillowcase and sew it up, then put that into another pillowcase.
The types of pillows you could make are endless. But here’s an idea, especially if you feel your buckwheat is too old and used: Make a foot rest for the car (passengers, of course). Many people could benefit from a foot rest in the car, especially while on long trips. Plus it’s just better for your body and your circulation to have alternate seating options. The amount of buckwheat left over from a Bone or Body Prop pillow is the perfect amount for a footrest if you pour it into a tube or cube shape; make sure you sew it or cinch it up tight so it’s firm.
Reuse the buckwheat hulls as mulch:
Buckwheat hulls make a wonderful mulch, especially for roses (according to This Old House), so give your old hulls to a plant or two, inside or out.
Reuse the nonslip material (just cut it away from the rest of the unit):
Suggestions here depend on which type of non-slip material your model of Body Prop or Bone pillow used. The original Bone pillows used a non-slip material that was non-slip on BOTH sides. First of all, it’s probably well-worn if it’s been in use for years, and should be cleaned in order to reactivate the stickiness of the nonslip. You can probably google plenty of ideas for use, but here are a few:
- use under a foot pedal, like for a sewing machine, to keep the pedal from sliding away;
- use on the dashboard of your car (or in the console) to keep your phone or other items from sliding;
- use in a drawer to keep items from sliding when you pull the drawer open;
use in bed to prop your book or Kindle, etc., to keep it from sliding (I always travel with a piece of non-slip material for this purpose).
Later generations of our pillows used a neoprene material that was grippy only on one side: it can be re-purposed similar to the suggestions above, but the fabric side of this material may limit the effectiveness in some situations. If you need it to be grippy on both sides, cut the strip so you can either sew or glue two pieces together to make a two-sided grip.
These are just a few ideas for recycling your old pillow. Please feel free to share your ideas.