Again today, this is a gift that I can take no credit for- my good friend Crystal showed me how to make these, and a few years ago we made lots of them as gifts. As a matter of fact, she made this one (pictured above) for me! It is basically a sewn "pillow" but instead of stuffing, it has rice, lavender, rosemary, and any other fragrant herb you choose. The pack can be placed into the microwave to be heated (and it smells so good!), or even into the freezer for use as a cold compress.
I made two of these a few years ago for my mom, one in the neck warmer style shown above, and one in a simple rectangular pillow (great for tummy aches). I chose a burgundy flannel for them, since burgundy is one of her favorite colors, and prior to sewing and filling them I used some embroidery floss to monogram her initials into them. I am nowhere near a skilled seamstress (sweet Crystal talked me through every step!) or an embroidery expert, but I thought they turned out beautifully, and my mom still uses them frequently.
The great thing about this gift is that you don't have to be particularly skilled- just cut 2 squares of fabric, put them with right sides together (wrong side out), sew them together leaving a hole for filling, then turn them right-side out and fill with rice and herbs, then sew the hole shut by hand. You can personalize it for the recipient with the fabric you use, or even by monogramming it like I did.
If you choose to make the neck warmer like the one pictured, you will use a U-shaped pattern, and be sure to sew some seams going partway across it to make compartments for the rice (otherwise it would all fall to the bottom when you're wearing it), but leave a little space near the edges for the contents to move between compartments.
Here is another view:
For more photos and ideas for aromatherapy packs, check out Momma Earth Herbal Gifts.
Have you started your homemade Christmas list yet? What kinds of beautiful thrifty gifts do you plan to give this year?