Today I made an eye pillow to use in yoga or general relaxation. It’s a really easy project to sew, and takes less than an hour from start to finish. To make one, you’ll need a piece of cotton fabric approximately 10″x10″ square, about 3/4 lb. dry lentils for the filling, and a small amount of dried lavender (I used about 1 g) for a nice bit of aromatherapy. You can use something else for the filling besides lentils – small beans or rice would work well. You could experiment with different types of dried herbs if you don’t like lavender or don’t have it on hand, or leave the scent out completely.
Start by cutting your fabric into a 10″x10″ square if you haven’t already.
Fold the fabric in half horizontally with the wrong side out and press flat. Sew across one short side and the long side, using 1/2″ seam allowances. Continue the long side seam onto the second short side for about an inch, then cut the thread. Starting from the opposite corner of this short side, sew towards the center for 1.5″, again with 1/2″ seam allowance. You will be left with an opening about 2.5″ long. (Leaving the opening in the center rather than at a corner makes it easier to make nice corners and to fold the raw edges under for finishing.) It may be difficult to see, but the opening is on the right side in the picture below.
Trim the fabric at a 45 degree angle across the corners, close to the seams but taking care not to cut them. Neaten the raw edges together by sewing with a zigzag stitch and overcasting foot on the corners, the left edge, and the long edge, making sure to leave the opening alone.
Here’s a close-up view of a finished edge:
Turn the pillow inside out and press flat with the raw edges of the opening turned under so they are ready to be stitched. Using a funnel if you have one, alternately pour in a little pinch of lavender and about 1/4 cup of lentils. Keep going until the pillow is about 2/3 full. You want to make sure there is room for the filling to move around and conform to your face, so don’t overfill.
Quickly baste the opening together by hand. Move the filling out of the way and carefully topstitch along the entire edge to close. If you want it to look uniform, you could topstitch all the way around all four edges, using a decorative topstitch if you like.
Remove the basting stitches, trim any loose threads, and your pillow is ready to use. Enjoy the relaxing weight of the pillow on your eyes, and take pride that you made it!