Monday, December 31, 2012

Relax with this cruelty-free kitty

This month's DIY was supposed to be a bunny in honor of the Leaping Bunny Foundation's collaboration with Eco Emi (as suggested by my online buddy Bitt), but since I made its ears a tad too short, it looks more like a kitty cat.

As you know, I like making DIY projects out of my Eco Emi box filler each and every month (in case you missed them, check out last month's DIY post, which contains links to all the other ones, as well). In my last post, I said I'd share this one before the end of the year, so I guess you can say I made it by a "hare." Ha ha :-)

After a year of receiving Eco Emi boxes, I had gotten a lot of fabric pouches, which are perfect for presenting handmade gifts, storing jewelry, etc. Toward the end of the year, though, I had no issues with deconstructing them and transforming them into something new, like with today's relaxing cruelty-free critter aromatherapy eye pillow. I also used some tissue paper and decorative paper shreds from this month's box, along with some lavender and rosemary from a past Eco Emi box and embroidery floss I had on hand to complete my project. Here's how I did it:

First, I deconstructed the silky fabric pouch using a seam ripper, although I have done it with scissors in the past.

Then, I made a pattern out of the Eco Emi product description card. I just rounded the edges and cut a "v" where my nose would be. The end shape looks like a bean.

I folded the fabric in half with the shiny sides facing each other. Then, I traced the eye mask pillow pattern onto the backside of the fabric. I added on a little extra to the sides, as I was afraid the eye mask wouldn't stretch all the way across my face. Then, I drew another line around the mask line for seam allowance.

Next, I cut out the two layers of fabric, following along the outside line, and set it aside while I went to work on the ears.

On the scrap piece of folded fabric, I quickly sketched out two ear shapes and drew another line around them for seam allowance. 

I cut out two layers of both ear shapes, following the outside line, as well as some layers of tissue paper for added thickness.

Following the inside line, I sewed the ears together (I put the layers of tissue paper on the bottom and topped them with the two layers of fabric, silky sides faces each other). I cut tiny triangle shapes around the edge of the sewn ears and then flipped them right side out.

Before putting the whole mask together, I decided to give this cruelty-free critter a face, using some blue and pink embroidery floss (although you could also use fabric paint, pens, more fabric, googly eyes, etc.).

I was so happy with the results that I also stitched some pink onto the finished ears.

When it was time to attach the ears and sew the whole thing together, I positioned the ears facing downward and pointing toward the nose. 

Then, I covered the face with the silky side of the matching piece of fabric. I also opted to add some tissue paper, just like I did to the ears for added thickness (think of it as interfacing), and pinned it all together. Oh, and I traced the mask shape onto the tissue paper as a guideline for sewing.

Once it was sewn together (make sure not to sew it all the way shut, so you can flip it), I cut little triangles around the outside before flipping the eye mask pillow right side out.

I used a pencil to help shape the eye mask pillow once it was flipped.

Then, I stuffed the eye mask pillow with the white paper shreds from this month's Eco Emi box.

I decided to fill my eye mask pillow even more with some uncooked rice, which I mixed with leftover lavender and rosemary from a past Eco Emi box. If you don't have lavender or rosemary, feel free to add whatever soothing scent you'd like.

Lastly, sew your eye mask pillow shut with an invisible stitch, lie down on the couch, put it on your face and relax like Hayden :-)

See ya next year! 

*Don't forget to save the ribbon from your deconstructed fabric pouch. You can always use ribbon scraps in other DIYs, or attach them to the sides of this eye mask pillow to help hold it on your face.           

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