Upcycling a Vintage Scarf as a Lavender Eye Pillow for Self Care

Upcycling a Vintage Scarf as a Lavender Eye Pillow for Self Care

As a woman who suffers from frequent headaches, both migraine and sinus pressure, a lavender eye pillow is a must-have in my bedside table. I’ve had the same one for years, made from silky satin with just the perfect amount of weight for my eyes. Making my own version was never on my crafting to-do list until Kate DiNatale Vintage gifted me with a bag full of vintage scarves that were too blemished to sell. They had minor tears or stains…making them perfect candidates for repurposing.

If you’ve never tried an eye pillow before, think of it as a weighted blanket, but for your eyes and temples. They block out light, infuse a calming aroma in the air, and apply gentle weight to a tension-filled area. They are a self care product or stress relief product that I simply can’t live without. 

Vintage scarves from Kate DiNatale Vintage for fabric crafts

Because many of them are silky-smooth, I decided they’d be perfect for upcycling as a DIY eye pillow. I’ve upcycled vintage scarves before, such as these unbreakable suncatchers

diy suncatchers from vintage scarves

But eye pillows were a fun new idea! So, I selected two scarves from Kate’s stash, washed them, and got to work.

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Lavender Eye Pillow from a Vintage Scarf

First, I created a 10” X  5” template on scrap paper. That tends to be a good universal size for a DIY eye pillow.

Then, I fixed it to the scarf fabric with painter’s tape to prevent pin holes from straight pins.

Making a lavender eye pillow for emotional self care

I cut out two rectangles of the vintage fabric with pinking shears and dabbed on a wee bit of Mod Podge along the raw edges to eliminate fraying. 

If you recall my fabric spool necklaces, I always use Mod Podge on non-stick tin foil.

I also reused my painter’s tape to mark the “wrong” side of the scarf fabric.

Upcycling a vintage scarf to create the stress relief products

Next, I cut out two same-size rectangles of muslin cloth with my pinking shears. The muslin gives the lavender eye pillow a little more body while still allowing the calming fragrance to come through.

Muslin fabric to go inside a lavender eye pillow for a self care product

Next, I assembled the lavender eye pillow for sewing in the following order:

  1. Muslin cloth;
  2. Scarf fabric with right side facing up;
  3. Scarf fabric with right side facing down; and
  4. Muslin cloth.

I pinned them together before heading to my sewing machine.

DIY eye pillow for stress relief with a vintage scarf and muslin cloth

A Self Care Product for Stress Relief

I stitched along all sides but one of the short (i.e., 5”) sides. Then, I repeated the process, stitching over the previous stitches.

Next, I turned it right-side-out, tucked in the open (non-sewn) side, and pinned it shut about ⅔ of the way down. Next, I stitched that ⅔ portion closed, leaving a small opening (1″ or less) at one end.

Sewing a lavender eye pillow for emotional self care and stress relief

Now I could add the filler for my lavender eye pillow!

I used inexpensive flax seed from my supermarket, dried lavender flowers, and a few drops of calming essential oils (i.e., lavender oil).

Eye pillow filler with flax seed and dried lavender and essential oils

I mixed up the following in a bowl:

  • 1¼ cup of flax seed;
  • ¼ cup plus 2 rounded tablespoons of dried lavender flowers; and
  • 3-4 drops of calming essential oils. Use more for a stronger fragrance.

Next, I inserted a funnel through the remaining opening and carefully poured fragrant filler into the DIY eye pillow.

Self care product with a lavender eye pillow

I like a lavender eye pillow to be just over ½ full- it seems to be the perfect weight on my eyes, and contours my face just right.

Once the mixture was in the bag, I finished closing the end, and then I re-stitched along that same seam- again, just for insurance.

Upcycling a vintage scarf into a lavender eye pillow and self care product

Upcycling a Vintage Scarf as a Lavender Eye Pillow for Self Care

The lavender is wonderfully soothing for stressful days. Laying one across my eyes while I rest in a dark room is wonderfully calming.

But I also suffer from sinus headaches. So I made a separate one using that red scarf.

For my sinus relief eye pillow, I made a mixture of 1½ cups flax seed and 5-6 drops of DoTerra Breathe essential oil. I LOVE this scent, and it really does sooth the sinuses. Now I have two self care products for my eyes!

Homeopathic remedies for anxiety with a lavender eye pillow

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to use these vintage scarves for this project, and I love having individual eye pillows (in retro designs!) for various ailments. 

Self care means different things to different people. But this lavender eye pillow and the sinus headache version are definitely therapeutic and ideal for stress relief at home.

Self care with a lavender eye pillow

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for stress relief products, then you’ll love these shower tablets that I made in butter molds from the thrift store!

DIY shower melts in silicone butter molds

And for more simply sewing projects with upcycled fabric, I hope you’ll check out my book, “Crafting with Flannel”, too! You can find it online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, and Walmart.

Flannel craft ideas and projects

Craft on!


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Lavender eye pillow for stress management at home

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Love it! Can’t wait to try.

  2. Just adorable! What a great idea.

  3. Great way to up-cycle! Thanks so much for linking this up at Best of the Weekend!

  4. Love this idea!

  5. I too have suffered from migraines for many years. I made these years ago with a friend but we used new fabric…love these. Just wanted to mention since giving up sugar (I follow Trim Healthy Mama plan–pretty much) and taking magnesium…my migraines have diminished in length and intensity. Sometimes I don’t even get them. Something to look into if yours are hormone related.

  6. What a wonderful project! I love lavender. My daughter gets horrible migraines, so this would be the perfect little gift for her– and so easy too! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again next week. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  7. I love making eye pillows. There is a lavender festival in the spring in town. I hope to go again and get freshly dried. It smells so good! Thanks for sharing at the party. Theresa @DearCreatives

  8. I have never used an eye pillow but I want to now! Thank you very much for joining in the celebration of #purebloglove, we enjoy having you each week. I hope to see you on Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

  9. What a clever idea! Thanks so much for sharing this project with us. I have a few scarves I inherited from my Grandmother. What a great gift it would make for my aunts.


  10. Very creative way to recycle an old scarf! Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

  11. beautiful job Sarah! Catching you this week!


  12. I love this idea, and I definitely have a few scarves this would be perfect for! Thanks for sharing on Best of the Weekend!

  13. Great idea. Love the fabric too!

  14. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop xo

  15. Sharon | Her Organized Chaos says

    This is a GREAT idea!! You always have such neat ideas that are really useful. Pinning and sharing. Thanks for sharing this at Totally Terrific Tuesday last week! I can’t wait to see what you have lined up for this week! Our party is live right now!

    Her Organized Chaos

  16. I make the same kind of thing, but I only use rice and lavender leaves. I find that the essential oil stained my fabric 🙁

  17. Jann Olson says

    What a clever idea. I rarely get a headache. I can not even imagine how painful migraines are. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  18. This is SUCH a cute idea! 🙂

    I’d love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J

  19. Tracy Priest says

    How long does the scent last? Do you have to periodically refill the pillow?

  20. This is and awesome tutorial, I can’t wait to try it! Never thought to make eye pillows for relaxation. Very interesting.

  21. These look beautiful and I’d like to try making some for myself & for gifts. One question, when you use them, do you warm them up in the microwave first or just use at room temp?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I don’t warm them up…in fact, when I have a headache, I prefer something cooler on my eyes…so 10 mins in the fridge makes it nice and cool (but not icy cold).

  22. This sounds amazing!. After working on computer whole day my eyes feel so tired. So I need this eye pillow. Thanks for explaining each step to making this eye pillow.

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