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DIY Aromatherapy Rice Bags for Eyes (Hot or Cold Eye Pillows)

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Whether you are looking for a way to relax during an at-home spa day, or you need a warm or cold compress to soothe your eyes, these DIY rice bags with aromatherapy are easy to make for reusable comfort.

It is really easy to make your own eye pillows that can be used either hot, cold or at room temperature. The versatility of these rice bags for eyes means that you can use them in a variety of ways.

Putting this eye mask in the freezer will help reduce puffy eyes. It can also help to soothe sinus pain or a headache.

Heating this eye pillow in the microwave will create a warm compress that can be soothing for dry eyes or other conditions that your eye doctor might suggest a heatable eye mask for.

The lavender in this aromatherapy eye mask helps to relax you. It is perfect for a few minutes of self-care (here are 30 more important self-care ideas). Or use the mask before going to sleep at night.

In fact, this weighted mask might help calm you down, similar to a weighted blanket.

What Fabric to Use to Make an Eye Mask

You will need to know how you intend on using your eye mask before choosing fabric. This is very important so that you make an eye pillow that is safe.

If you intend to heat your rice bag, you will need to use a 100% cotton fabric. This is because cotton is safe to heat in the microwave.

However, if you do not want to make a heatable eye mask, you can use other types of fabric. For instance, I used a fancy velvet material that feels luxurious on my eyes. Satin or silk would also be a great option for an indulgent eye pillow. But these types of fabrics cannot be heated!

This is a great project to use up scraps of fabric or even turn material from worn out flannel shirts or clothing into something useful.

Do I Need a Liner for my Eye Pillow?

Most rice bags for eyes do not use a fabric liner in addition to the outer fabric. If you are using a thick cotton fabric, such as flannel, you probably wouldn’t need a protective liner inside.

However, if you are using a fancy fabric that is thin, like I did, I added a muslin liner to protect my eyes from the sharp edges of the rice and dried flowers. The liner also protects the fabric from being punctured or torn from the sharp bits inside.

Adding a liner is not hard, and is just one extra piece of fabric to cut (I actually doubled up my liner by using two pieces of muslin fabric just to be safe). The choice is up to you.

Do I Need a Sewing Machine?

No, you can hand stitch the fabric together if you would like with a needle and thread. If you have a sewing machine, it will go faster, but is not necessary.

How to Make a Rice Bag for Eyes

The size of fabric to make these eye masks is up to you. I cut fabric pieces 10 inches by 8 inches. Feel free to make yours bigger if you would like. The directions are the same regardless of what size fabric you use.

Supplies

  • Fabric for inner liner (I used 4 pieces of 10 in. X 8 In. muslin pieces)
  • Outer fabric (I used 2 pieces of 10 in. X 8 In. velvet scrap fabric)
  • Thread
  • 1 cup dry, uncooked rice
  • 1 cup dried lavender flowers
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine (or could hand stitch)

Directions

Measure the fabric to be the size that you want. You will want both the inner liner (if you are using one) and the outer fabric to be the same size.

Place the cut piece of outer layer of fabric over the inner layer (if using one). You will want the right side of the fabric (the part you will see on the outside of the eye mask) facing up. Make two separate stacks of fabric like this.

Now, place one stack of fabric on the other, with the right sides of the fabric facing together.

Stitch around three sides of the eye pillow. You will stitch both long sides and a short side. Leave one short side open.

Turn the eye pillow inside out. You will now have the right sides facing out. If the corners of the rice bag need to be pushed out, you can use a chopstick or a pen to push them out from the inside.

Mix the rice and lavender together. 

Add the rice and lavender mixture into your eye mask bag. You can use a funnel for this or roll up a piece of paper to make a temporary funnel to get the ingredients in more carefully. Leave about 2 inches of free space at the top so you can fold over the raw edges and sew them closed. 

Tuck the edge of the short side under slightly, creating a finished edge of folded fabric.

Now, sew the short side together to finish off the pillow.

This pretty rice bag for eyes would be great as a gift paired with some other DIY spa-inspired items, such as my solid beeswax lotion bars and silky bath fizzies.

Be sure to check out all of my natural DIY projects.

If you’d like to print out the directions for these rice bags, a printable how-to list is below.

pretty rice bag for eyes with lavender flowers

DIY Aromatherapy Rice Bags for Eyes (Hot or Cold Eye Pillows)

Yield: 1 rice bag

How to make an easy aromatherapy rice bag for your eyes. This eye pillow can be used either hot or cold as a compress.

Materials

  • Fabric for inner liner (Optional, I used 4 pieces of 10 in. X 8 in. muslin pieces)
  • Outer fabric (I used 2 pieces of 10 in. X 8 in. velvet scrap fabric)
  • Thread
  • 1 cup dry, uncooked rice
  • 1 cup dried lavender flowers

Tools

  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Measure the fabric to be the size that you want. You will want both the inner liner (if you are using one) and the outer fabric to be the same size.
  2. Place the cut piece of outer layer of fabric over the inner layer (if using one). You will want the right side of the fabric (the part you will see on the outside of the eye mask) facing up. Make two separate stacks of fabric like this.
  3. Now, place one stack of fabric on the other, with the right sides of the fabric facing together.
  4. Stitch around three sides of the eye pillow. You will stitch both long sides and a short side. Leave one short side open.
  5. Turn the eye pillow inside out. You will now have the right sides facing out. If the corners of the rice bag need to be pushed out, you can use a chopstick or a pen to push them out from the inside.
  6. Mix the rice and lavender together.
  7. Add the rice and lavender mixture into your eye mask bag. You can use a funnel for this or roll up a piece of paper to make a temporary funnel to get the ingredients in more carefully. Leave about 2 inches of free space at the top so you can fold over the raw edges and sew them closed. 
  8. Tuck the edge of the short side under slightly, creating a finished edge of folded fabric.
  9. Sew the short side together to finish off the pillow.

Notes

Using a fabric liner is optional.

Only use 100% cotton fabric is you intend on heating the eye mask in the microwave.

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