So Soothing: Easy Homemade Eye Mask

POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

When traveling or simply at the end of a crazy workday, a soothing eye mask is just the thing to relax your worries away. And making your own is a great way to repurpose an old shirt. Filled with scented rice, this DIY eye mask can be warmed or chilled and stays put thanks to an elastic headband. Instead of paying top dollar for a specialty mask, this soother only costs a few dollars to make. And this fun project is a great party activity that doesn't require a sewing machine — just the help of a sewing kit. So call your friends, and get busy making these easy homemade eye masks.

What You'll Need:

  • Mixing bowl
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs
  • 10 to 20 drops essential oil
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • White sheet of paper
  • Pencil
  • Cotton fabric
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Funnel
  • Elastic headband


  1. Gather all the materials needed for making the soothing eye mask. Repurposing an old stained tee or button-down shirt with a funky pattern works wonderfully for this project. And you can personalize the eye mask with your favorite scents.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
  1. Measure and add the rice to a mixing bowl along with the fresh herbs. Rosemary, mint, lavender, or even fresh basil are all relaxing and rejuvenating scents. Amp up the soothing scent by sprinkling with your favorite scent of essential oil, and then stir the rice to coat.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
  1. Spread the rice on a parchment-covered sheet pan, pop into a 350˚F oven, and bake for 15 minutes. This infuses the great scents into the rice, which will keep it smelling heavenly use after use.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
  1. While the rice is baking, create the template for making the eye mask. Using your favorite oversize framed sunglasses works wonderfully. Place your shades on a white sheet of paper, and trace around them with a pencil.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
  1. Cut out the template, leaving one half-inch around the pencil line. Cut a square from the article of clothing and fold in half, with the patterned sides facing each other, and position the template over the fabric.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
  1. Now cut the fabric, creating the two sides of the eye mask. Thread a needle, and start sewing small stitches one quarter of an inch from the edges of the fabric. Don't have a needle and thread handy? Dig out a travel sewing kit, which has everything you need.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
  1. Remove the rice, and let it cool. Continue sewing around the edge of the eye mask until there is around a two-inch opening remaining. Flip the fabric inside out so the pattern side is on the outside. Use a funnel to fill the mask, saving any remaining rice in a zip-top plastic bag for future eye mask making.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
  1. Use a small length of thread to stitch the mask closed. Cut an elastic headband in half, and then attach one end to the eye mask with a few stitches, securing with a knot. Do the same for the other side of the eye mask.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff
  1. You're all set for hours of soothing relaxation. You can pop the eye mask in the microwave for a few seconds to add a bit of heat or keep in the freezer so it is wonderfully fresh and cool. Or simply use at room temperature to help ease your troubled mind.
POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff