Many people suffering from chronic neck pain prefer to use a neck pillow made from buckwheat hulls because of their comfort and therapeutic effects. This type of herbal pillow cradles the neck and upper spine, easing pain and relieving stress. Buckwheat neck pillows are portable, and are great for reading, lounging around or traveling.
Follow these simple instructions to make a simple square or rectangle buckwheat neck pillow of your own.
Step 1: Choose Fabric for the Inner and Outer Covers
You should choose some lightweight fabric for the inner cover that will hold the buckwheat hulls, such as cotton. Many people prefer netting or mesh, provided it is tight enough to avoid letting and hulls escape. For the outer cover, use colored fabric or one that has patterns, but it is always recommended to make sure it is machine washable, since you will be tossing it in frequently to keep it clean.
Step 2: Buy Your Buckwheat
Purchase the best possible buckwheat hulls from craft stores or health food stores, picking ones that are organic and roasted rather than vacuumed. The amount you purchase should depend on the size and shape of the pillow you wish to make.
Step 3: Cut the Inner and Outer fabric
Using a sharp pair of scissors cut two pieces of the fabric for your inner cover. These should be at least two inches bigger in length and width than you want the size of your finished therapeutic pillow to be. The two pieces of fabric you then cut for your outer cover should be the same size as you have cut for the inner pillow cover, expect one side should be an inch longer for the opening.
Step 4: Sew the Inner Fabric and Fill with Stuffing
Turn your inner fabric inside out, one piece on top of the other and sew the sides together, leaving one side open. Turn it right side out and fill it with the buckwheat hulls, making sure you do not pack them too tightly, since you want a little movement so your pillow can conform to the shape of your neck. You can even add some lavender or crushed cinnamon bark to the buckwheat to make your herbal pillow smell nice.
Step 5: Close Inner Pillow Cover
To close the open side of your inner fabric, turn the raw edges in a little and stitch the strip of hooks and strip of loops to each side with a sewing machine. This way you can easily refill your inner pillow whenever you want, or wash the inner cover.
Step 6: Outer Pillow Cover
Take the two pieces of the fabric for the outer cover and stitch three edges together on the wrong side. After turning it to the right side you can add piping or decorative lace to one of the sides if you want to enhance its appearance, but make sure you stitch the piping ¼ of an inch in from the edge of the fabric. Now slip in your smaller buckwheat neck pillow through the open side. You can either hem the open end and leave it open like a standard pillow, or use fabric glue after turning the raw edge over.