June 27, 2010

DIY: Therapeutic Neck Pillows

The power is finally back on - and hopefully for good.  Due to these crazy storms, we lost our power 3x this week - 3 separate times.  And this isn't just for an hour or two - it was more like a day or two.  We knew our block had major storm problems when almost every home on our block owned a generator and fired them up right away - they didn't even hesitate - they just knew it would be needed.  
We learned fast.

Well these storms interrupted some major sewing plans I had in the works.  

I am working on making my own roman shades for the guest room/craft room.  I am almost done with them so I will share those soon - they were so easy and look great so far.  

On top of making blinds, I have been making some therapeutic neck pillows.  I love these.  I use them ALL the time and they make great gifts.  The materials aren't expensive and they are so useful.  

Since it is not blaringly obvious what therapeutic neck pillows are (I had a hard time naming them) let me explain.  It is a tubular pillow filled with small flax seeds and lavender.  You microwave them for a few minutes so they heat up and relax your neck muscles.  They have many other uses and you can make them in any shape.  I made rectangular ones for my back and small little squares as hand warmers.  I also put them by my feet under a blanket when I'm chilled.  I am telling you, these are amazing.  I am hoarding them because a) I always fall in love with a new fabric b) I love all the different shapes and uses c) I like to use them ALL at the same time and d) They are so easy to make that every time I make one for someone else I have to make one for myself - it is a sickness.

With that being said, I would like to share them with you.  And if you love them but don't want to whip out the sewing machine or still don't believe me that you can do it (because you can) then let me know because I have been known to make them for peeps for 10 bucks and I would be happy to make one for YOU! 

So to begin.

Fabric (44" x 6")
Flax Seeds (1.75 lbs. per bag/4+ cups)
Lavender (3-4 tbsp.)

It's all about the fabric.  So find one you love.  Then cut to 44" x 6".

Then fold it in half with the pattern size facing in and pin it together on three sides - the two long edges and the one folded edge.  I like to also run an iron over it - not essential but I think it helps.

The I start sewing.  I sew the two long edges first.

Then I flip it right-side out and sew along the folded edge.
Do NOT sew the opening, you'll still need that.

Then it is time to fill this puppy up.  I use about 1.75 lbs. per bag which is a smidge over 4 cups.  This can be adjusted, just remember to not over fill it because then it gets hard and uncomfortable and not as warm.  So don't get too eager.   

I also put in about 2-3 tablespoons of lavender.  Hmmm...it smells so yummy.  This can be adjusted or completely taken out.  If I am making a pillow for a man I typically do not put in any fragrance.  You can also use other fragrances as well. 

Once it is filled I fold in the top edges so it is even across, pin it in place and sew across to mimic the bottom edge.

And you're done.  How easy is that?  Very easy.

To use, microwave your pillow for 2-3 minutes.  Every once in awhile sprinkle, spray or splash the pillow with a bit of water before microwaving to keep the flax seeds from drying out.

So heat your pillow up, sit back, relax and flip on your favorite movie or show.  At the present moment mine would be the Bachelorette.  That show is my guilty pleasure - it is ridiculous but I am hooked and can't get away.

Please don't hesitate to ask questions, I don't want you to miss out on this easy *new necessity.

Also, you can check out my etsy site here for more pillows to purchase or my other neck pillow post here.



freckled laundry


Anonymous said...

I want to make some of these! Where do you get the lavender?

Unknown said...

Whole Foods

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I have one of these that is a silk eye pillow. I don't heat it in the microwave but it is the best thing when I have a sinus headache.

Annie said...

I have a similar one that was a gift. I use it so much it's wearing out! I need to make a new one! I heat it up and toss it under the covers just before I go to bed. It smells wonderful and takes the chill off the sheets. Got to make me a new one!

{oc cottage} said...

VERY cool!

m ^..^

Unknown said...

LOVE These! I use a small one for my eyes, too. (Not that I've actually had time to relax & use it lately!) It was given to me as a gift. Thank you for sharing the tutorial & linking with air your laundry Friday, Jessica!


Stacey said...

I have one of these that wasn't cheap and is very ugly! It fell apart once and I sewed it back up, but I desperately need to make a new one! Thanks for the inspiration!

I've noticed that the flax seeds that have fallen out are kinda dark and dried up, and now I know why! I've never, ever spritzed it with water!

kate said...

I've been making these for awhile, but with rice instead of flax seed. I was wondering if you would mind sharing the production cost per item for comparison? Also, you can also place a dish of water in the microwave with the pillow and it has the same effect as spritzing it (if you don't have a spray bottle, etc.)


Amy said...

I need to make myself some of these. How do you clean them?

Unknown said...

Could you make these with rice or maybe beans? I am considering making these and hand warmers for my son's upcoming outdoor wedding.

JoFriday said...

What product makes the heat last longer once you warm it up in the microwave? Flaxseed, rice, kernel corn? And do you warm it up for the same amount of time for each of those?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am curious how long the lavender scent will last and if the oil will seep through the fabric or stay on the filling. I plan to use rice.

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