Day 97: Warm Rice Eye Mask

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Supplies: Fabric (you can make several of these from one fat quarter), iron, pen, pinking shears, straight pins, matching thread, sewing machine, rice

Time: 15 minutes

Today’s craft has health problems to thank for its existence.  I’m prone to headaches, particularly at night.  It usually helps if I put some pressure on my eye/temple/forehead area, so I like to tie a scarf around my eyes (something I learned from my college roommate Katie).  I used to use an embroidered rice pillow, but I’m not sure what happened to it.  It was just a simple small rectangular bag full of rice that provided just enough pressure to make my head feel better.  The inspiration for that rice pack, however, was my mom’s chronic dry eye.  Her eye doctor recommended filling a sock with rice, microwaving it for a few seconds to warm it, and putting it on her eyes for awhile each night.  It seemed to really help and it’s relaxing to boot!

So today I wanted to make a new rice mask since mine disappeared.  I also wanted to fix one key problem with the old one.  When I put it on my eyes the rice fell to the sides and some of the weight of the rice was gone.  This rice mask is going to have sections of rice to even it out.  You’ll see what I mean.  Here’s how to do it:

Iron out your fat quarter.  (Side note: aren’t fat quarters the best?  So many cool patterns for so little money!)

Note the cat feet at the top left of the frame

Draw a rectangle on the wrong side of the fabric.  It should go from one temple to the other and cover your eyes completely.

Cut around the rectangle with pinking shears (I finally bought a pair!).  Your cuts should be 1/4”-1/2” away from the drawn rectangle.

Put the wrong sides of the fabric together and pin the rectangles together.  Then sew three sides of the rectangle (two of those sides should be long sides).

Pour a little rice into the bag.  You don’t want the mask to be stuffed with rice, so each segment should be only 1/2-2/3 full of rice.  If you don’t want to divide the mask into segments just fill the whole bag 1/2-2/3 full.  Does that make sense?

My phone doesn't want to focus on the rice, but it's the blurry part...

Squish the rice for the first segment down to the bottom seam and place the bag back on the machine.  After sewing up that section you should be able to hold the mask any way you want and the rice shouldn’t fall out.  Pour a little more rice into the bag, squish it down again, and sew another seam.  Keep doing this until you’ve filled the whole mask.

I made three segments on this mask, but I’d like to try it out with more.  It seems like the more segments you make the less aware of them you’ll be.

I’m strangely almost looking forward to the next time I have a headache (shouldn’t be too much of a wait) so I can try my new mask.  I don’t warm my mask for headaches because overheating seems to trigger a lot of my headaches, but I do like to pop it in the freezer for awhile.  It feels so good!

I hope you don’t suffer from headaches or dry eyes or anything else uncomfortable that might make you use this mask.  I hope you can just use it to relax.  Oh, and did I mention that it smells amazing when you warm it?  It does!

Happy weekend,

Alie

Ps- I don’t remember exactly how long you’re supposed to microwave the rice, but I’d recommend starting with 10 seconds and moving up in very small increments if necessary.  You’re putting it on your eyes, so it shouldn’t be too hot.

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