Valentine’s Eye Pillow :: a tutorial

In order to celebrate the month of True Love, I’ve been thinking about the perfect Valentine’s gift to make – as far as I know the male species would prefer something more subtle and practical rather then big red hearts on a phone pouch – which I don’t think they’d like to take with them everyday!! We all know that they like to act COOL :p

Jo & Eye Pillow

So I was thinking something pampering – an eye pillow would make a nice Valentine’s gift, I’ve also chosen more earthy colours and patterns – to show LOVE but not overwhelming!!

Slipcover materials

Materials for the (washable) Eye Pillow Slipcover:

  • Fabrics:
    • Piece A – 4 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ – linen
    • Piece B – *** – any fabric of your choice
    • Piece C – *** – linen
    • Piece D – *** – any fabric of your choice (I chose one with hearts on it!)
    • Piece E – *** – linen
    • Piece F – 20 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ – lining fabric of your choice
    • Piece G – 10″ x 4 1/4″ – any fabric of your choice (this is the panel that will be in contact with the eyes, choose a fabric that feels soft to the touch! I used 100% Cotton.)
  • A piece of string 4″ long
  • 1 cute button (I used one made out of coconut shell – gotta choose one that can go into the microwave!)

*** For pieces B, C, D and E – please cut fabrics according to this template here.

Materials for the Eye Pillow:

  • Fabrics:
    • 2 pieces – 9 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ – any fabric of your choice (I used homespun.)
    • flaxseed (linseed) approx. 150g

Seam allowance: 1/4″

Step 1: Let’s start with the eye pillow slipcover!

First of all, I would like to personalise the front panel a little bit using hand carved stamps. I carved 2 different size rubber heart stamps (you can find the stamp carving tutorial here).

Get ready for stamping

Take piece C, use a fabric marker to mark the 1/4″ seam allowance. Use fabric ink of you choice stamp randomly within the marked lines. This brand of fabric ink that I use require me to iron afterwards to set the colour.

Stamped with HEARTS

Full of HEARTS and LOVE! ^_^

Step 2: Patchwork

Now sew pieces B, C, D and E together and press seam open. This is what you should get, a patchwork panel measuring 6 1/2″ x 4 1/4″.

Patchwork Panel

Step 3: Getting there…

Sew pieces A, G and the patchwork panel together according to the order shown in the picture below. Now you should have a long fabric panel same size as the lining. Press seams open.

Line up!

Step 4: Make things more interesting!

Now let’s decorate the fabrics a bit with some stitches!! Use a fabric marker to mark the 1/4″ seam allowance.

Mark seam allowance

Use different colour threads to decorate the fabrics with some stitching. This is what I’ve come up with, you can stitch more or less according to what you fancy, possibilities are endless!

Interesting Stitching

Step 5: Putting the eye pillow slipcover together!

Pin the fabric panel and lining (Piece F) RIGHT side together – don’t forget to pin the string in place. Stitch along the 2 SHORT sides.

Pin string in place

Turn RIGHT side out and iron.

Turn out

Using the folding line (shown by the 2 arrows in the picture above) – first fold the RIGHT flap in and then the LEFT. This is how it should look like now.

Fold in

Pin in place and stitch along the 2 LONG sides. Trim the seam allowances with a pair of pinking shears (optional), or apply fray-check glue if you have any (also optional). If you used fray-check glue, remember to let dry completely before turning out.

Trim seam allowance

Yes, you can turn RIGHT side out now!! 🙂 Don’t forget to sew the button in place and here’s your slipcover DONE!!

Eye pillow slipcover completed!

Step 6: Sew the eye pillow

There’s no point of a slipcover without the actual eye pillow, so here we go. Pin the two pieces of homespun together (If you use a different kind of fabric – RIGHT side together please!) and stitch around leaving an opening on one of the short sides, backstitching at each end. I double stitched – just in case the seeds find their way out!!

Stitch the pillow

Trim corners, turn RIGHT side out and fill the pillow with approximate 150g of flaxseed (a funnel would make things easier here!), you can add more or less seeds according to your liking, I personally don’t want it too bulky, otherwise it wouldn’t be comfortable on the eyes!

Shook all the flaxseed to one end and then stitch (double-stitch!!) the opening closed.

Stitch eye pillow close

Now to the exciting part, place the eye pillow into the slipcover!!!^^
TADA!! There’s your Valentines gift ready!!

Eye Pillow - Front View

Eye Pillow – Front View.

Eye Pillow - Back View

Eye Pillow – Back View

Oh! In case you want to do some “safety testing” before giving it away – Put it in the microwave for 45 secs or chill it in the freezer – place over eyes and relax!! You deserve some reward after all the hard work!! 😀

I enjoyed making this eye pillow very much! This project is also great for using up scraps!
I hope the instructions are easy enough to follow for you!^^ There will be another Valentines tutorial coming – a matching gift to go with the eye pillow, so hang in there, I won’t be long!!^_^

Thank you very much for reading!!!

Trackbacks Comments
  • Lala:

    This looks like a fun project!!
    I think I need one of these for myself:)

  • Yuzu:

    Lovely choice of fabrics! Love it!

  • This is adorable! It’s been a chilly and rainy morning, so I’d love to start one up today!

  • Alex:

    Heat bags are so handy! brilliant tutorial

  • Just discovered your blog! Love it! Going to be a regular from now on!

  • I’m so impressed ! It’s so a clever idea !

  • Jo:

    @Lala – Please make one!!

    @Yuzu – Thank you.

    @Monica – Pamper yourself!!! hehehe

    @Alex – Thank you!

    @Rachel – Please do come back and visit!!

    @I’aiguille – Thank you…^0^

  • Hi Jo!
    What a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much…!
    I tweeted about it if you don’t mind.
    You have such a lovely blog here and you are listed in my blog list 🙂
    Right now, I am in a huge need of eye pillow. I have been looking at my screen and knitting stitches too much.
    Have a lovely weekend!

    • Jo:

      Hi Kyoko, thanks for tweeting about my tut!:)

      I have been using my eye pillow almost everyday since I’ve made it!! Really soothe my sore eyes!! I think all crafter & blogger need some eye therapy hehehe! xx

  • Cecilia:

    Hi Jo,

    I have only just discovered your site today, and I was blown away by it! I am a crafts addict like you. Sometimes I wish we would get snowed-in (wistful thinking from this part of Australia…), or that I would break my legs so that I get to do nothing but sewing for three months. Thank you for such a wonderful site and so many lovely tutorials!

    I am particularly intrigued by your posts about fabric shopping in Hong Kong. I grew up in Hong Kong myself but I am currently located in Melbourne. Trust me, I understand how it feels to pay a few dollars here for something that could have been gotten in Hong Kong for a few dollars too – only in HKD! My mom, however, is not too supportive of my various “hobbies” (if only the word can adequately convey the level of obsession). So I am a bit lack of guidance as to where the good spots for material shopping are. Here are a few spots that I discovered by myself:

    – a small shop hidden on the second level of a run-down arcade in a forgotten armpit of Jardine’s Crescent, Causeway Bay. I used to go to school around there and it was my favourite stopover after school.

    – Western Market, Sheung Wan, which is (was?) a bit like a multi-story shopping centre for fabrics. Mindful though, that place seems to be frequented by tourists and thus they might charge you absolutely scandalous prices for a few yards of fabric. (I have not been back for so many years, so I am actually not very sure whether the building is still there… OMG did I just betray my age??)

    – a certain strip of street in North Point right outside of a MTR exit. I know I cannot be more vague. I just never, ever, knew what that street is called! It is filled with street stalls with many genuine bargains among a lot of sub-quality bolts. Searching for the good stuff is part of the fun yea?

    I heard how Sham Shui Po is a heaven for crafters before. But as you said, that place can be really hard to navigate without guidance. Thanks for the detailed instructions of getting around there! I sure will make a trip there the next time I go back – if only I could figure out a way to sneak the haul back home without my parents noticing!

    If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get those little blocks of ink pads with fabric printing ink? I love using my own stamps on fabrics too, but the ink usually fades off after a few wash. 🙁 I have been looking around in stores like Lincrafts here with no luck…

    And and and, which sewing machine are you using? I am still a full time student so I cannot afford a “proper” sewing machine yet. The one that I am using is… Sewing Genie! *gasp* I know! I got it for free so please don’t judge me by it! :p It is so bad that most of the time I would rather sew by hand. I am saving up for a real machine though! Any pointers?

    Sorry for pestering you. Most of my girl friends cannot take up their own hems for crying out loud, so I am a bit exited to find someone who shares the passion. Please do share more about your latest projects and crafty adventures!

    • Jo:

      Cecilia!!! I’m soooooo glad you like my blog ^0^ Seriously.. the longest comment I’ve ever received hehehe.. Thanks!

      I totally agree with you… I always wish that I can not work and do sewing/crafting all the time…. (still a dream….:p)

      I will be sending you an email answering your questions!! 🙂

  • @Cecilia, omg I know exactly what you mean about the leg breaking! Do you know any good crafty places in Melbourne? I’m a Melbournian too, in need of good supplies and inspiration!

    • Jo:

      I always envy you Melbournians.. hehe
      You guys get all the nice designer shops and I always thought that there are heaps of craft supplies stores in Melbourne.. not like Sydney><

    • Cecilia:

      (Sorry Jo! Another long comment! I just cannot help myself.)

      Haha. I am glad someone else feel that way about going handicap for crafting!

      As for crafty places in Melbourne… I am sure you are well familiar with the chain stores Lincraft and Spotlight? I usually go these two for basic supplies. Their stuff is not particular fantastic but they do stock quite a good variety of basic materials. Stock up on their pricier stuff during sales! (I hope you have not missed the 50% off all fabric and dress patterns sale at Lincraft? It has just ended!)

      For special occasion projects, Clegs stocks many local and imported dress fabric. Though most of them are way beyond my price range! 🙁 (E.g. You can get stunning material for a gown for around $50+ per metre. They have cheaper stuff of course, but you wouldn’t even be looking at them once you are inside! :p) They also stock an amazing selection of buttons. For other stuff like yarns and tools, I would suggest checking the price somewhere else first. Let’s just say they don’t really compete on price.

      There is a Clegs store near the corner of Elizabeth and Flinders Street in the city. I believe there is another one in Brunswick too, but I have never been there.

      A good yarn shop would be Morris and Sons on Collins Street. Again they can be a tad expensive, but they stock specialty yarns and books that cannot be found elsewhere in Melbourne.

      And what about all the good old small suburban shops? They usually have quite a different range of materials from the big stores, and they might or might not be cheaper. There is this Vietnamese fabric shop that I always go to on Victoria Street, Richmond, and a shop that sells zippers/ threads/ laces/ tapes on Glenferrie road. Oh and there is a cute little yarn shop inside Centro Oakleigh Shopping Centre, and a really good dress-making shop nearby… There are just too many to count! Maybe I can be of better help knowing which area you are close to?

      When desperate, I often cheat and use those really cheap materials from Reject Shop or other discount stores, or buy a size 18/ XXXXL shirt from K-mart and use the fabric/ buttons. If you make something really cute with them, nobody will know any difference! :p

      • Jo:

        no need to be sorry at all hehe..
        totally love your comment!:)

        now i know where to go next time i visit melbourne..
        only that i don’t think i’ll be able to go too far from the ct..
        i’m a direction-less person, the really hopeless type ><

  • Thanx for the great tutorial. I made mine 🙂

    • Jo:

      Diana!! I couldn’t leave a message on your blog>< Thanks for making.. your colour combination looks great!! Love it!! <3

  • Nathalie:

    Big hug for this lovely tutorial, I will have nice gifts for christmas this year! Starting tomorrow!


  • Daisy:

    I’m a beginner sewer and having a little trouble with this. I cut my A piece 4 1/2 x 4 1/4 but my BCDE pieces are all only about 3 3/4” long so they are not matching up. Did my computer do something weird when I printed out the templates or is this how it’s supposed to be?

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