Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Heart Shaped Aromatherapy Pillow DIY

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Valentines Day.  While maybe not as exciting as Christmas, I completely appreciate a holiday that encourages everyone to give heart shaped boxes, brimming with chocolate, to others. Of course, like me, my children are always happy to see a box of chocolate come their way, so needless to say we do up the whole Valentines holiday in our house.

This year, with both my boys away at college, along with my son's girlfriend, Courtney, Valentines this year will be sent in a care package. I really like putting together care packages for the kids, so I needed to think of what other small gifts to include with the mandatory box of candy. With the cold and gloomy weather of February, I needed to send them something comforting, something that would feel like a hug. And I thought of the perfect thing.

I decided to make them each an aromatherapy rice pillow. Both boys are college athletes with absolutely grueling workout and practice schedules and Courtney is a nursing student, say no more, so I thought this would be a special gift to send in their valentines care package.

Now in case you have never tried an aromatherapy rice pillow, they are WONDERFUL. They are  small pillows filled loosely with rice and most often scented with essential oils. You can heat them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and then use them for heat therapy on sore muscles or for pms cramping. Once heated, they deliver comforting warmth and the oils release the most relaxing scent. You can also put them in the freezer like an ice pack. I got my first one in an Origins gift box my husband gave me and we have all been using it ever since.

While I was going to make the boys a pillow that was long and designed to lay across shoulders, I decided I would make Courtney a heart shaped pillow, perfect for cramps or backaches.

This tutorial is for Courtney's heat shaped soft and cozy aromatherapy pillow.

The supplies required for this project are:

7 cups uncooked rice
1/2 yard fabric
essential oil of your choosing. I choose a stress relief blend similar to this 
thread and needle (and sewing machine in you choose)

Gather all your supplies together. Then, pour your rice into a large bowl and add about 7 drops of essential oil(or to your liking) into the rice and stir around. I let this sit a couple hours to absorb.

 Print TWO copies of the template provided here.

Take your two templates of a half heart and cut them out staying on outside of black line.

For both Courtney and the boys, I selected  a super soft and cozy fabric. Because it is warmed in the microwave, stay away from anything that would have metallic elements in it.
Fold your fabric in half and lay it out (because you need to make a front and back for your pillow).  Place the two templates together to create a heart and center on your fabric. 
Then take a sharpie and outline the heart (don't worry about the sharpie color, this will be on inside of pillow). To make the heart a bit bigger than was possible to print, I made dots one inch bigger than the heart along the outside and then connected the dots with a line. 
Now, the template is one inch bigger around.

Taking sharp scissors, keep the two pieces of fabric together and cut along your line, I folded mine to cut... thinking it would make things even but it actually made the edges uneven!
 So do not fold to cut like I did...just keep the two pieces of fabric together and the heart shaped layd out full and cut along the line you drew.

After cutting you will have two heart shapes. Pin together.

You can the sew together by hand or using a sewing machine. 
Leave about a 2 inch opening to add rice later.

I folded one of the heart templates and made a funnel which I stuck into the opening in fabric. I then scooped out the rice and filled the pillow. Fill until full but not overstuffed. You want it to be able to move around .

After filling, sew up the opening in pillow with needle and thread.

Now, you have the perfect pillow to snuggle. Unheated, it still gives off a relaxing sent. To warm,
place in microwave for 30 seconds, move it around, and heat 30 seconds more. Keep heating in 30 seconds intervals, no more than two minutes total, until just warm to touch. 


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