Whether you’re traveling or the sun is shining just a little too brightly on a lazy Saturday morning, a soothing eye mask is just the thing to improve your quality of sleep. Making your own eye mask is a great way to bust your fabric stash, or use up some of those test swatches you have lying around. Elizabeth Harrington stops by the blog today for the how-to! 

Lavender eye pillow

Elizabeth: I wish this project came with Smell-O-Vision. This eye pillow is made from a swatch sewn together and filled with dried lavender buds. The lavender is soothing, encouraging peace and rest. It can be cooled or heated for help with headaches. Lavender is readily available in bulk at co-ops and health stores, but a nice alternative is rice. Basmati rice smells wonderful when heated. We use rice pillows for minor aches and pains.

Part One: Designing the Fabric


  • a photograph of a flower or other small object

  • photo-editing software:  You should be able to use almost any photo editing software to do this project.  It uses basic tools (crop, resize, select) that are available in many different programs.


1. Choose, crop, and resize photo.

Choose a photo with an element that is on its own, with nothing overlapping or obscuring the image. For this design, we chose an image of a bright pink zinnia flower.

Use the crop tool to crop close to all sides of the object and remove the extra background. The crop tool looks like a set of overlapping “L” shapes.  The tool will draw a box around your shape to show what will be cropped away. Adjust the crop and then choose “apply/enter.”

For this project, we want to make a small-scale repeating pattern, so that each flower is about 2 inches wide when it’s printed, or 2 inches x 150 pixels per inch = 300 pixels

Resize the image so that the longest side of the image is 300 pixels. Be sure to click the “keep proportions” or lock icon to make sure you don’t squish the image. Look for a tool or command called “Resize” or “Image Size.”

2. Select your object.

Zinnia photograph

Use the lasso tool to carefully select the object by drawing a selection line around the outside edge. The lasso tool looks just like its name – a loop of rope. Draw around the flower shape using the lasso tool and it will select that part of your image. Then copy your selection using the copy function from the Edit menu or Cmd+C or Ctrl+ C. 

3. Create a blank canvas and paste.


 Create a new blank canvas that is 200 x 200 pixels (this allows for some white space around the image).

Paste the object into the new blank canvas. With the image selected, use the move tool to click and drag it to center it in the canvas

4. Save, upload and order.

pick your layout, size, and fabric

 Save the image. Upload it to Spoonflower and choose a swatch in almost any mid-weight fabric (our sample is made with Organic Cotton Sateen), using your favorite repeat.

Part Two: Making the Eye Pillow


  • printed fabric swatch (8 x 8 inches)

  • dried lavender buds and/or dry basmati rice (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)

  • a sheet of paper or plastic/metal funnel

  • basic sewing tools


1. Trim, fold, and stitch.

trim the borders

Trim around the printed edge of the swatch to remove the selvedges.

fold and stitch around the edges

Fold the swatch in half with right sides together. Using a ¼-inch seam allowance, stitch one short side of the rectangle, pivot at the corner and continue stitching to about 1 inch from the center of the long side. Stitch the other short side the same way, leaving a small opening in the center of the long side. Stitch again in the seam allowance close to first stitch lines (this will help ensure that the filling will not leak out).

2. Trim and turn.

Turn the mask right sides out

Trim the corners and turn the eye pillow right side out, using a knitting needle (or a chop stick, twig – whatever!) to help gently push out the corners. Press out any wrinkles.

3. Fill with lavender and finish.

fill with lavender and rice

Use a rolled sheet of paper as a funnel (or an actual funnel!) and fill the eye pillow with lavender or rice to the desired firmness. Using a whipstitch or mattress stitch and small stitches, sew the opening closed.

lavender eye pillow

finished eye mask

Are you ready for a nap yet?! We hope you’ll try out this simple relaxing DIY over the weekend, and if you do–  be sure to post a photo of it and tag it with @spoonflower so that we can see how fabulous yours turned out! 

Looking for more projects similar to this? Pick up a copy of The Spoonflower Handbook–available for pre-sale now, and in stores in September!

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  • JoAnn Thissen

    How do you get the lavender scent into the rice (if you don’t use the actual lavender buds)?
    Thank you

    • Hi JoAnn,

      If you don’t use lavender buds we recommend using putting a few droplets of lavender essential oil on the rice. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!

  • I suffer from allergies and puffy eyes. I’ve been looking for something that I can use to help me with my eyes other then drops. I think this will help me. I will make This eye pillow for me.