National Craft Month is a great time to explore ways to creatively express yourself. With so many different crafts and hobbies to choose from, like photography, drawing, painting, pottery, and textiles, everyone should be able to find a creative outlet they enjoy.
Sewing simple crafts is a fun way to promote creativity and coordination. Below, you’ll find instructions on how to create one of our favorite easy projects – herbal pillows.
Small herbal pillows can be used as sachets in dresser drawers, slipped inside pillowcases, placed under the cushions in your couch or chairs, and even used over your eyes to provide a soothing and relaxing mini spa experience.
Larger herbal pillows can be used to provide soothing warmth when placed in your lap, warming lap and hands at the same time. They can be placed on aching joints such as knees, ankles, shoulders and back. Long narrow herbal pillows can be used as neck wraps to provide soothing aroma-filled relief around the neck and shoulders.
Lavender is a popular herb used in aromatherapy – its scent is known to produce calming effects and eliminate tension, thus enabling you to relax. Lavender essential oil also relieves pain, enhances blood circulation and is used to treat respiratory issues.
Although the instructions provided below are for a microwaveable neck pillow, you’re welcome to modify the fabric size to fit your needs if you would like to create a smaller or larger craft. When calculating the fabric size, just remember that you will be folding the fabric in half, creating the front and back of your large or small lavender pillow. Be sure to add extra to your dimensions for seam allowances. Also, make sure your fabric doesn’t have any sparkly or metallic threads, beads, wires, etc. These items are not microwave-safe, so, you will not be able to warm your pillow if you include any of these elements.
Because many people hold stress in the muscle that extends down each side of their neck and across the shoulders, the warmth of microwavable neck wraps, and the scent released by the lavender, will do wonders to relieve stress and muscle strain. An herbal pillow heated in the microwave will cool down in less than 30 minutes reducing the possibility of burns often associated with electric heating pads.
How to Make an Herbal Neck Pillow
Items you will need to make your microwaveable neck pillow:
- A 20” x 11” piece of tight-weaved fabric, the softness of flannel and fleece make them very popular fabric choices, but a soft old towel can also be used; or a large, thick athletic sock
- Fabric glue, if desired
- Dried beans
- Lavender essential oil, or any essential oil of your choosing. Many health food stores have tester bottles for their essential oils. Check to make sure you are not allergic to the oil you decide to use.
- Dried lavender, or any herb that corresponds with the essential oil you are using. Dried herbs can be purchased online, at craft stores, health food stores or a farmer’s market.
- Decorations for your pillow, such as lace, ribbon, silk flowers (do not use any materials with wires, plastics, glass or anything else that would be unsafe in the microwave).
- Pour the dried lavender into a metal or glass bowl. Sprinkle several drops of essential oil of the herb.
- Add beans and mix. Allow to sit for a day or two so the beans and dried lavender can soak up the scent of the essential oil.
- After cutting your fabric to desired size, fold it together inside out, matching raw edges.
- Using a sewing machine, or sewing tightly with needle and thread, sew two sides, leaving one of the smaller ends open. If hand sewing, you can add fabric glue to tighten the stitches. You can also hand sew the seams twice to tighten them up to make sure the filling does not fall out. If using a sock, this will have already been done for you.
- Turn the pillow inside out.
- Pour bean and lavender mixture into the pillow. Fill only about three-fourths full. If you overfill, the pillow will not be flexible enough to wrap around neck.
- Fold raw edges into pillow. Stitch tightly to close.
- Add lace, ribbon or any microwave-safe elements as desired for decoration.
- If you’d rather not heat your herbal neck pillow, try placing it in the freezer and use to cool down on a hot day.
- Sprinkle a few additional drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow after heating in microwave for an aroma boost.
If you’re interested in finding more simple and fun craft projects, Pinterest is an excellent place for inspiration. Most crafting Pinterest posts provide step-by-step instructions on how to create each item. Here are two excellent Pinterest boards to check out for ideas:
For even more craft inspiration, check out the following websites:
Get Crafty in Oakland
Lake Park offers a variety of amenities and activities, including arts and crafts, in beautiful California. Take advantage of our many services, including weekly housekeeping, so you can enjoy more time to do the things you love as you receive the assistance you may need in day-to-day life. To learn more about the active and social retirement lifestyle you can experience at our beautiful full-service community, please touch base with us today.