Most of my DIY projects are born out of necessity. When my optometrist advised me to spend 20 minutes lying down with a heated eye mask every few days I didn’t need much convincing. Later that day I had my finger poised to order a £12 rice filled eye bag from Amazon when I had a lightbulb moment and realised that I could totally make it myself!
I decided to make a tutorial as I think everyone should experience the delight of a warm eye compress. This tutorial is simple to follow and contains a free template that you can download as a PDF. The finished eye mask is generously sized and just the right weight – it even doubles as a warm neck/shoulder compress too! A heated eye mask is really good for the various ducts and glands in your eyes as well as being super relaxing. I like to take mine to bed and pretend it’s a spa treatment…
I used some of my DIY shibori fabric for this project and I would definitely recommend using a fabric that touches your soul for something as nurturing as this. Just make sure it’s 100% cotton so it will be able to handle the heat of the microwave.
YOU WILL NEED:
PDF pattern (click here for free download) printed onto A4 paper with zero scaling
100% COTTON FABRIC (APPROX 30 x 45 cm)
BIAS TAPE (optional)
TAYLORS CHALK / FABRIC MARKER
APPROX 500g G OF RICE
NEEDLE FOR HAND SEWING
STEP 1: Using your free pattern cut out two eye mask shapes from your fabric.
STEP 2: Place the pattern pieces on top of each other, right sides together, then pin around the edge. Sew around the edge with a 1.5cm seam allowance, leaving a gap of around 7 cm in order to turn the eye mask the right way around. I like to use a contrasting coloured pin at either end of the opening to remind me to stop sewing!
STEP 3: Cut notches right the way around the outside of the eye mask, except for the opening, then turn it inside out.
STEP 4: At this point it’s a good idea to give your eye mask a little iron to ‘set’ the stitches and keep everything smooth (you won’t be able to iron it once it’s full of rice!). Topstitch around the edge of the eye mask 0.5 cm from the edge, leaving the gap open for filling.
STEP 5: Fill the eye mask with rice – I made a quick make shift funnel with a bit of paper to help contain things. You can then hand sew the opening closed, following the line of the topstitching.
STEP 6: Optional – trim the outside edge with bias tape. I hand sewed mine on but with a little patience you could do this with a sewing machine, manoeuvring the rice out of the way as you go.
To use your heated eye mask pop it on clean plate and microwave on full power for around a minute, depending on how hot you like your heat. Microwaves can vary so definitely make sure that the eye mask isn’t too hot before using it – especially for the first time.
5 thoughts on “HOW TO MAKE: A HEATED EYE MASK [DIY TUTORIAL]”
Random question, why does this require notches to be cut out?
Hi Simi, Good question – the notches in the seam allowance help the eye mask lay flat and smooth once its turned right side out. It just helps the end product look a little smoother around the edges as there isn’t excessive fabric bunching up at the corners. I hope that helps!
I just got home from the eye doctor and was told the same thing. $30US for something I can make? No thanks, but thank you for posting this. I’ve made neck wraps for my massage clients bedore and put a few drops of lavender in the rice for relaxation, and may do for this as well.
A heated neck wrap + massage sounds heavenly. I imagine the weight of the rice is really comforting too. This eye mask is a particularly good shape for draping over an achy shoulder I find. I hope you enjoy the tutorial 🙂