Friday, January 18, 2013

DIY (easy) Sleep Mask!

My relationship to sleep masks goes way back. My family moved into a new home when I was 14 and my room had a massive window. So massive. So massively huge. And since my entire room was white, the morning sun just resounded through the entire space. It was horrific, especially during the summer when it would wake me at 5 am. In the summer! I'm pretty sure that's the kind of first world problem that makes high schoolers' skin crawl. Combine this with the fact that I've had insomnia since I was about nine years old and you will begin to understand the kind of monster this lack of sleep turned me into. Enter: sleeping masks. The problem is, I'm always losing them. So many have been purchases and waylaid that it's impossible to total them. Bummer. So when I needed one again recently, I decided to make one from scrap material in my craft room instead of spending more money.
SO stinking easy! Even if you're a beginner sewer, you can pull this off. 
First you'll need some scraps of fabric. I used two different kinds, one for the inside and one for the outside. The outside can be whatever you'd like (mine was tartan) but the inside will need to be soft against your skin (faux suede for me). My scraps were 12 inch square pieces. I also used one stretchy headband, but you could also get two pieces of ribbon.
I started by making a template out of card stock in a sleep mask shape. It wasn't drawn evenly, as you can see, so I ended up cutting it out "heart style" by folding it down the center and cutting around one half to make a symmetrical mask. If I could do this over, I'd make it larger (which you can see I did on the cut out). Remember that once you sew it, it'll get smaller. 
Once you get a shape you like, trace it on to your two pieces of fabric and cut them out.
Next pin the fabric scraps together. Make sure you pin "right sides" together. That means you want the patterned/pretty/outside part of the fabric that people will see to be pinned together and the rough/ugly/wrong sides facing outward. After you sew them, you flip it inside out, so they need to be facing in and touching each other to start.
Next I sewed a tight zigzag all around the mask, LEAVING AN INCH OF OPENNESS AT EACH END. You could use a straight stitch. 
Next flip your fabric around so that the nice/pretty/right sides are facing out. Just push the fabric through one of the open holes. Now you will add in your elastic band. I cut my stretchy head band in half, slid one end into the open hole and pinned. Then put the mask up to your head and wrap the other end of the band around to the other side. You want it to fit tightly, so hold the band in place, without stretching it, and then take away an extra inch. You don't need to cut, just slide the other end of the band into the other hole and pin in place.

Lastly you're going to stitch the bands in place and close the two open holes at the same time. Fold the edges in so that you'll get a nice finish and run them through your sewing machine, back stitching on each end. I used a dark brown so you can see the stitch on the inside. The outside is invisible. If you're giving this away or if it bothers you, use two fabrics that closely resemble each other and then one thread will be invisible on both of them. I like using contrasting thread where I can in tutorials so that you can see what's going on.
And here's the finished product! All snuggly and ready for the weekend. Actually, I made this two weeks ago and haven't used it yet... I always forget to put it in our bedroom! Tonight is the night. Insomnia has raged this week and I'm so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow! We're really excited for this weekend. It's going to be John's (29th!!!) birthday and we have a lot of fun things lined up to celebrate his obvious awesomness. I can't believe he's going into his last year of his 20's. Life just moves so quickly, to quote Ferris Bueller. I hope your weekend is super fun, too. All the best and as always, thanks for reading!


  1. Really like this. You could use all sorts of crazy fabrics and give it as gifts. Am going to pin it to my holiday board for next year.

    1. Hurrah! It's easy, and you can use scraps. Or even old clothes. Oh, wouldn't that be sweet? To use old clothes that have some importance/significance.


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