If you’re overwhelmed with the planning and cooking for the holidays (not to mention how stressful family togetherness can be!), we’ve got just the project for you. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, nothing feels better than escaping to a dark room and closing my eyes for a few minutes. When you need to relax your mind and body this eye mask from Essential Glow does just the trick.
Filled with rice and lavender, its soothing scent is perfect for easing a headache or helping you fall asleep. And don’t be intimidated by the sewing! It’s easy enough to do by hand.
Lavender is such a hardworking essential oil that it was hard to cull down the projects to include in Essential Glow. I could do a whole book with just lavender recipes! But this essential oil provides more than a heavenly scent.
It’s naturally anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and for centuries it has been called upon to heal burns and fight infection. Those superpowers make it an ideal pick for lotions, soaps, salves, and even cleaning solutions. Plus, lavender’s aromatherapy benefits make it a go-to scent for reducing anxiety and easing insomnia.
- 18-by-22-inch (46-by-56-cm) piece of batting
- 18-by-22-inch (46-by-56-cm) piece of soft fabric, such as silk or organic cotton
- Needle and thread
- ½ cup (100 g) uncooked white rice
- ¼ cup (10 g) dried lavender
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- Elastic or ribbon
STEP 1 / To start, cut out two sleep mask shapes from the batting. When sewn together, they’ll form an interior pouch that will hold the rice and lavender. You can create a template for this mask shape by tracing your favorite pair of sunglasses and adding an extra 1 inch (2.5 cm) for seam allowance.
STEP 2 / Sew the two pieces of batting together around the outside edge, using a ¼-inch (6-mm) seam allowance and leaving a 1- to 2-inch (2.5–5-cm) opening.
STEP 3 / Combine the rice, dried lavender, and lavender essential oil in a bowl and stir.
STEP 4 / Use a funnel to fill the interior pouch with the rice-and-lavender mixture. (You can make a funnel by rolling a sheet of paper into a cone.) Sew the pouch closed.
STEP 5 / Use your template to cut two more sleep mask shapes from the fabric. (Since the mask will rest against your face, make sure to choose a nice, soft fabric—try silk or organic cotton.)
STEP 6 / Cut a length of elastic or ribbon that fits snuggly around the back of your head from temple to temple. Then, with one fabric sleep mask facing right side up, baste (loosely sew together) the ends of the elastic to each side of the mask.
STEP 7 / Position the two fabric sleep masks with right sides facing each other. Sew the masks together with the elastic ends sandwiched between the two masks, leaving a 2-inch (5-cm) opening. Backstitch (reinforce the seam with overlapping stitches) to secure the opening.
STEP 8 / Turn the empty fabric right side out, then stuff the batting pouch inside. Sew the pouch closed.
STEP 9 / Your sleep mask is now ready to wear. To reap the relaxing benefits of the lavender, first warm the mask in the microwave for a few seconds. Always make sure it’s not too hot before placing it on your skin.
Reprinted with permission from Essential Glow.12