An eye pillow is a rectangle-shaped pillow about the size of a sleeping mask. Most are made using silk or other soft material and flax seed. Not only do the eye pillows serve as a “reward” for the end of class but also help to facilitate the moment of stillness during relaxation. Keep reading to learn details.
For teacher’s gifts this year I decided to make eye pillows, to be given with some tea and wrapped up in a cute ribbon-tied package. I’m on the Board of Directors for the kids’ school, so I’m making eighteen patchwork eye pillows for all the teachers and aides as a thank you from the Board.
Many flax-filled eye pillows are scented with lavender, however, some people don’t like that herb much so I’m making them unscented. These go together quickly with scraps, and there is no hand sewing (this will also help ensure no flax seeds escape!).
Eye pillow A – tutorial by karin jordan
I used my Sizzix Fabi with the 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle die (2 x 4″ finished). This is a fantastic way to use up leftover binding, provided you typically use 2.5″ wide binding! I ran eight layers of fabric through at a time — cutting pad, die blade facing up, fabric, cutting pad — and in no time I had more than enough pieces to make 18 eye pillows. Each eye pillow uses five 2.5 x 4.5″ rectangles, one 4.5 x 10.5″ piece of fabric for the back and 8.5 ounces of flax seed (available at most grocery stores).
Arrange each top with five rectangles and sew together with 1/4″ seam allowances. Press seams open. Top stitch on each side of the seam; this is for decorative detail as well as to keep the flax seeds from getting trapped in the inner seams. Use the chain piecing method for the top stitching to save time. Separate the eye pillow tops from each other. Right sides facing, pair each top with a bottom and sew around three sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Clip the corners, turn and press.
Sew a line across the bottom, 1″ from the last seam (see arrows, above); it will stop the flax seeds from getting into the ends.
I use a crude cardsock funnel made from junk mail (sorry, Amex). If the bottom is too narrow, the funnel will clog. The bottom of this funnel is roughly 3/4″. Holding the eye pillow and funnel over a bowl, pour in 8.5 ounces of flax seed.
There is exactly 8.5 ounces of flax seed in this Pyrex measuring cup.
The empty eye pillow weighs .25 ounce, so each eye pillow weighs 8.75 ounces. I love using my kitchen scale for sewing projects! Do not fill the pillow — it is important that there is plenty of room for the seeds to move around.
Eye pillows have a reputation for being the new age version of snake oil: a little bit of flax, and a lot of money. Yet they may be one of our most powerful healing tools, especially when it comes to a balanced nervous system.
Do you see the woman in the photo above looking incredibly peaceful? Well, this could be you. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The key to her state of relaxation is the eye pillow. Let me tell you what an eye pillow is exactly. It is a handmade slice of heaven. Eye pillows are ideal for relaxation and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Personally, I use mine during savassana. Yes, I’m totally the girl who bring a prop to class. But hey, it helps me deepen my practice and focus on meditation. The all natural essential oils infused into the pillow help me calm down and truly feel relaxed. If you have allergies and you’re worried about the scent, don’t be! We have unscented eye pillows, as well. My favorite class to have this is, is restorative yoga. I like how the eye pillow blocks out the light as I center myself and set my intentions for the day. Plus, this helps relax the eye muscles!
Eye pillow options:
- Unscented: For those with allergies or sensitivities to scent. Or – for those who like a little variety, add your own essential oils to the washable cover to change the scent and to get a different aromatherapy experience each time. (filled with organic golden flax seeds. Choose “no scent, just flax” when checking out)
- Lavender (filled with organic lavender buds + golden flax seeds)
- Lavender Peppermint (with organic lavender buds, peppermint leaves + peppermint essential oil + organic golden flax seeds)