Make a cooling, no-sew eye pillow

You don’t need a needle and thread to make these soothing, scented eye pillows. However, if you do feel like giving sewing a go, they can easily be stitched together instead.

This guide is part of our Sense Arts, Sport & Wellbeing programme. This activity can be done at a time that suits you, either in your own space or in an educational setting.

A no-sew eye pillow in a navy blue fabric with sprinkles of lavender next to it

Who is this for?

This is a wellbeing activity for people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities and can be enjoyed by anyone.

Why does this make a difference?

This is a sensory activity that supports wellbeing and relaxation, and helps people learn by engaging with nature and using their senses to connect with their surroundings, exploring touch, textures and smell.

How to do this activity

What you’ll need

  • A sleeve from an old, long-sleeved t-shirt
  • Elastic bands or string
  • 180g rice
  • A few handfuls of dried lavender
  • Essential oils
  • Scissors
  • Spoon
  • Mixing bowl
A bowl of lavender, a jar of rice, some striped fabric and a small bottle of essential oils

Step 1

In the bowl, mix the rice, dried lavender and add around 15-20 drops of essential oil

Step 2

Cut the long sleeve off of the old t-shirt, thinking about how long you want your pillow will be – you may need to double your mixture if you want a longer one.
A white, stripey eye pillow secured at both ends with elastic, and a bowl of lavender

Step 3

Tie off one end of the sleeve with an elastic band or string. Then, spoon the mixture into the open end of the sleeve, and when you’re done, tie this end off too.
A no-sew eye pillow in a navy blue fabric with sprinkles of lavender next to it

Step 4

Before using, pop the pillow into the fridge for a few hours to cool. Then, place over eyes and enjoy the lovely, cooling sensation. (Note: the picture above shows an eye pillow which has been sewn together)

Top tips

  • Store your cooling eye pillow in the fridge when not in use.
  • Homemade hand exfoliant doesn’t keep, so only make what you will use.