Traveling, reading or watching television may put pressure on your neck and shoulders, making them stiff or painful. Trying to sleep when travelling in the car or on an aeroplane can be uncomfortable as well, whether you go without a pillow or try to use one with a standard shape. When you know how to make a neck pillow, however, you can eliminate many of those aches. You can even make a scented neck pillow that will lull you to sleep or pep you up.
Make a horseshoe-shaped pattern on tracing paper. The pattern should be at least 6 inches wide (15.24 cm) to allow for proper seam allowances, and it should reach around your neck with 1 1/4 inches (3.175 cm) of extra space.
Fold your fabric in half with the right sides together. Most fabrics will work for this project, but softer textiles will be more comfortable on your neck. Flannel or soft knits work well; recycle an old shirt for a “green” option. Cottons and denims also work, but you will need to pre-wash the fabrics to remove the sizing before making your neck pillow.
Lay the pattern on the fabric. Pin them together. Cut out the pattern.
Remove the tracing paper pattern, but keep the fabric pieces pinned together. Stitch around the pillow, leaving one of the short ends open.
Trim the seams to 1/4 inch (0.64 cm). Turn the pillow right side out.
Mix uncooked rice and herbs together for a filling in the pillow. For a calming, sleep-inducing blend, add 1 cup of dried lavender and chamomile flowers to the rice. For an energising blend that stimulates mental acuity, add 1/4 cup of cinnamon chips and cloves to the rice. You can also use 1 cup of dried peppermint leaves.
Pour the rice mixture into the neck pillow, stopping about 2 inches (5.08 cm) from the top.
Fold the seam allowance from the open seam inside the neck pillow. Hand-stitch the opening closed.