Materials You’ll Need (makes one eye pillow)
For the pillow
1/2 yard of fabric that has been washed, dried, and ironed.
For the filling
1/2 cup dried beans or flax seeds.
1/2 cup dried rice, lentils, or buckwheat.
1/2 cup dried lavender or chamomile.
When selecting the filling consider the recipient’s scent preferences and any potential allergies. Mix together three or all of the above items. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups total.
Make the Pillow
Step 1: Cut the fabric
Using a ruler and pencil, mark two 4 1/2-by-10-inch rectangles on the wrong (nonprinted) side of the fabric. With a pair of scissors, cut along the marks to create the two panels needed for the pillow.
Step 2: Sew the seams
Place the two panels’ right (printed) sides together, with the raw edges aligned. Stitch a 1/2-inch seam around the raw edges, backstitching (sewing first in reverse, then forward over the same stitches) at each end. Leave one of the 4-inch sides open, so you can later add the filling. Stitch a 3/8-inch reinforcement seam around the raw edges, leaving the same 4-inch opening. This reinforcement will ensure that the mixture doesn’t leak out of the pillow after you’ve filled it.
With your scissors, cut two 1/4-inch notches in each seam allowance (the area between the stitching and the raw, cut edge of the fabric), one on either side of each of the four corners, making sure not to clip the stitching. Turn the eye pillow right side out for the next step.
Step 3: Fill the pillow
Spoon 1 1/2 cups of filling into the pillow’s open seam.
Step 4: Close the final seam
Fold each side of the remaining 4-inch seam 1/2 inch toward the inside of the pillow, and pin the opening closed. Either by hand or with a sewing machine, stitch a seam across the folded edges to close the 4-inch opening, then try out the pillow: Lie down, put it over your eyes, and treat yourself to 5 minutes of deep relaxation.