As I was crafting Christmas gifts last week, I came across this lovely DIY eye pillow gift idea from On A Wing And A Prayer. A great feature of these eye pillows is that you can heat up or freeze the pillows depending on how you react best to get rid of muscle cramps or headaches. It's unbelievable how easy this project was, and you'll never want to place a cold wet rag on your head again!
Here are the materials you'll need:
* Sewing machine (or if you're good at hand sewing, just a needle and thread)
* 2 pieces of coastal fabric about 8''x3'' or larger
* Bags of flax seed (one 16oz bag makes 1 large eye pillow and half of another pillow)
* 4-8 drops of peppermint essential oil
* 4-8 drops of lavender essential oil
* Hand-drawn pattern to fit your face and eyes as desired
* Ribbon to match your coastal fabric
* Fabric scissors
* Large glass bowl (has to be glass!)
* Wooden spoon (has to be wooden!)
* 1 cup measuring cup
* Large glass jar to store your eye pillow in
After gathering up all your supplies lay everything out on a table and setup your sewing machine with coordinating thread to match your fabric if you're choosing not to sew by hand. Then draw and cut out your paper pattern, making sure to leave room for your nose. My sister and I chose to do a small and large pattern. The large will fit comfortably on your forehead, eyes, and cheeks. The small will fit just for your eyes.
I chose this awesome cotton tropical fish fabric that I have kept from back in the day when I took my first sewing class in high school! I just love the bold colors and the thought of swimming under the ocean top when I look at it. This fabric will be the top of the eye pillow and act as the cooler side for when it is placed in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
For the bottom of the eye pillow, I used a more soft and warm white fabric (cut from old pjs actually). This fabric portion will act as the warmer side for when it is placed in the microwave for 1 minute.
To cut out the fabric pieces in the shape of your pattern, pin the pattern onto the fabric with needles, then use the fabric scissors to cut around the pattern. Leave a few centimeters of space extra to account for the needed space when you sew.
Up next, the fun part! Pick your ribbon color and size. The ribbon acts as a holder for when you pick up the eye pillow so your hands don't end up smelling like the essential oils...unless you want them too ha, so the ribbon length only needs to be a few inches long.
So now for the most important part you CAN'T mess up on :) Take the fabric that's now in the shape of your pattern and put the printed right sides (aka the sides of the fabric you want to be able to see after you finish sewing and flip it) together and pin them together. Now take the ribbon you cut, put the two ends together to form a loop - stick the loop INSIDE the pinned fabric with the ends of the ribbon sticking out just an inch. Pin the ribbon to the fabric pieces.
I can't tell you how much I dislike having to take out stitches because I forgot to do this part right.
Once you've double checked you have your fabric right ends together, ribbon loop inside, and a matching sewing thread, you're ready to sew!
I just used a normal every day quality stitch and it holds the flax seed in just fine. As long as the stitch won't allow any holes to pop up once you flip the fabric you will be fine. So sew along the edges of the fabric and over the ribbon ends, and leave about 3 fingers long of space in-between your starting point and end point so you are able to flip the fabric over.
Once you're done sewing, turn the fabric inside out and see what an amazing gift you have just created yourself! To finish up the eye pillow, all you have left to do is make your aromatherapy flax seed mixed with essential oils.
Grab a glass bowl and a wooden spoon. I recommend to use these so the essential oils don't grab any toxins from metal or cheaply made plastics, but if need be a sturdy plastic spoon should be fine. If you're making a large eye pillow, pour 2 cups of flax seed into the bowl and add 4-8 drops of lavender and peppermint essential oils. You will be able to tell how many drops fit your needs as you drop them in. A little goes a long way so don't exceed 8 drops.
Stir the flax seed so it gathers up the essential oils. Then grab your funnel and pour the mix into the hole of your eye pillow to fill it up. Don't overfill the pillow, you need just enough to act as an acupressure element on your eyes, meaning you only want it to be so heavy. When you're done filling the pillow grab a needle and matching thread and tightly hand sew the hole closed. Ta-da you're done!
To have the essential oil smells last longer (and again, not grab any plastic toxins) store your eye pillows in a large glass jar with a tight lid.
These pillows have such a soothing, relaxing, and pain reducing effect I know you're going to love them! They block out light, and de-stress you too. My boyfriend and my sister had migraines a few days after Christmas and what did we grab - these eye pillows and a nap :) and they really helped.
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