Rita Hill demonstrated how to make a fabulous wheat pillow that can be heated or chilled, then used to bring some comfort into your life. Hot pillows are particulary good to cuddle on a chilly winter night, and cold pillows are great for headaches, bumps and bruises.
The pillows can be made in any size or shape. If you want to make the heart, teddy or star as Rita did, trace the templates off the fact sheet and enlarge on a photocopier to the desired size. For the same dimensions as we used, enlarge your template by 400% (twice 200%).
The dimensions for our pillows were:
Heart: 33cm at widest point
Teddy: 35cm (head to toe)
Star: 40cm at widest point
Rectangle: 15cm x 48cm
You will need
- a template – make your own or use one of ours (if you make the rectangle pillow you won’t need a template)
- fabric – made of natural fibres or high in natural fibres
- wool – for eyes and nose on teddy and pom poms on the star
- embroidery ribbon – for kisses on the heart
- wheat – available at larger pet supply or produce stores
- dried lavender
- a sewing machine
Step by step instructions for the heart, star & teddy pillows
1. Fold the fabric over, right sides facing each other, and place your template on top.
2. Trace around the template with a pen. All the templates (except for the teddy template) have a built in seam allowance of 1.5cm. By changing this you can make your pillow slightly larger or smaller. (For the teddy, draw around the template, then draw another line approximately 1.5cm larger as the seam allowance.)
3. Cut the 2 pieces together. (Tip: if your hand is unsteady, pin first.)
4. If making the heart: take one side of the heart and sew little ribbon crosses on the right side of the fabric and tie off at the back. To sew crosses, use a needle with an eye large enough to thread the ribbon through, e.g. a fine tapestry needle. If making the teddy: take one teddy and sew in eyes, nose and mouth with black or dark coloured wool.
5. Pin the 2 pieces of fabric together with the right sides facing. Sew around the edges leaving a 5cm gap. (For the teddy, leave the 5cm gap somewhere between the arm and leg.)
6. Snip around the edges with scissors. This will make the shape sit better once it’s turned right way out. (For the teddy the snips should be close together, and pay particular attention to the tight corners.)
7. Pull the pillow through the gap, turning it the right way out. Use a chopstick to help push out tight corners.
8. Fill the pillow 3/4 full with wheat, adding a small cup of lavender as you go.
9. Hand sew the gap.
Making pom poms for the star pillow
1. Wind wool around a stiff card (10 x 3.5cm), then slip off.
2. Tie wool tightly around the middle with a long piece of wool (so that you can tie pom pom to star).
3. Snip looped edges of pom pom.
4. Tidy up any long bits.
5. Thread tapestry needle onto long ends of wool, sew onto star and tie off.
Step by step instructions for the rectangle pillow
1. Take two pieces of fabric 48cm x 15cm.
2. Sew three edges together leaving one long edge unstitched, then turn right side out.
3. Press down seam allowance on unstitched side.
4. Divide into 3rds and sew up division lines.
5. Sew 0.5cm in from the edge all the way around, leaving small gaps on the pressed-in side in each of the 3rds.
6. Fill 3/4 full with wheat, adding some lavender as you go.
7. Machine sew the gaps shut.
How to use your wheat pillow
As a hot pack:
Put the pillow into a microwave oven. Place a cup of cold water in the microwave next to the pillow. Microwave on High for 3 minutes. (Warning: do not overheat the pillow.)
As a cold pack:
Place the pillow in a plastic bag and then pop it into the freezer. Leave for an hour.
- 1 x 10 kilo bag wheat @ $6 – makes 8 to 10 pillows
- 1/2 metre x velveteen or cordoroy @ $4 – makes 3 to 4 pillows
- 1 large cup lavender @ $3.50 – makes 2 to 3 pillows
- ribbon @ $2-$3 – makes 2 pillows
- wool @ $2-$3, or use what you have at home – you need very little