My poor sweetie picked up a nasty head cold and was stuffy and miserable all weekend. Me being me, domestic/maternal goddess that I am, I wanted to do something to make him feel better and when I saw him putting a hot moist, washcloth over his face to try and ease the congestion I thought of just the thing.
So I sprang into action and went digging through my scraps and my pantry too for that matter to see how I could bring my plan to fruition. Lo and behold I came across some blue & white stripe flannel. Perfect, because now it counts for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge! So I snipped and sewed and filled and fluffed and finished up with a custom blended aromatherapy eye pillow.
Now I know this isn't a new idea, they were all over the place a few years ago although I haven't seen them for a while. I thought I'd share all the same, so without further delay here's my little tutorial on making a custom aromatherapy eye mask.
You will need:
Pinking Shears or blade
Rice and/or flax seeds (both available in the bulk section of your grocer.)
Herbs or essential oils of choice
*Use dried, chopped herbs, not fresh or powdered! Some grocers carry a small selection of none-kitchen herbs but stop by your local natural health store for an even greater selection. (Just so you know, I used Rosemary, Peppermint leaf, Fennel seed, Lavender and Sage, if I'd had Eucalyptus I would have used that in lieu of the Rosemary and Sage.)
First off, mix your rice and herbs, I used approximately 1/2 a cup of rice and 1 to 2 tablespoons of each herb but make it to suit your taste...or smell rather, :) set aside until needed.
For the essential oil, place your rice in a container with a lid, add the essential oils, just a drop or two (a little goes a long way), close and shake well, continue until you have the desired aroma, Set aside for as long as possible to allow the rice to absorb the oils. Keep any extra closed in the container
Ok now that we've got that part taken care of, draw your template onto freezer paper. It's easier to make it symmetrical if you draw it on the fold and cut out.
Iron your template onto your fabric and cut out two each from the flannel and muslin.
Sandwich your fabric together WRONG sides facing with the muslin in the center and the flannel on the outside like so.
Then sew around the edges using a 1/4 seam making sure you do a couple of reverse stitches to start and stop and leaving an open spot to add your rice and herbs.
From there, use a funnel or something akin to fill your eye pillow. The filling goes between the two layers of muslin. Don't over fill it, you want it to still lay fairly flat and be able to drape over the face.
Once you have the desired amount in, sew up the opening and cut around the edges with your pinking shears to keep them from fraying.
You can use this moist or dry, for moist, mist lightly with water before putting in the microwave, otherwise put in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or until nice and warm* then drape over your eyes, sit back, inhale deeply and relax. Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
* I did say warm, not hot...warm. Please be aware of the temperature when you remove it from the microwave to avoid serious burns/injury. We want blissful sighs not screams of agony.
Here are a few herb suggestions
Lavender & Rose - Relaxing
Ginger & Clove - Relaxing
Rosemary, Lavender & Peppermint - fights fatigue
Eucalyptus, Lavender & Peppermint - for congestion
Lemon & Basil - Uplifting
These would make great gifts and you'll probably have enough of the aroma mixture to fill several, so make a few, add a pretty tag and voila! If you're using herbs you can store them in an airtight container and cross some Christmas gifts off your list!
*Note* While the rice does absorb a significant amount of the essential oils the scent will diffuse faster than if you used herbs and may not last more than a month or two.