Art And Craft

Close Your Eyes

I like to make things myself, relying on a variety of arts and crafts skills. It could consist of sewing, cutting and pasting, drawing and painting, and more. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a project come to fruition. When I deem it successful, I am on cloud nine.

Sometimes the things you undertake are out of the ordinary. One such example was the day I fabricated my own sleep mask. I live in a house with a big window in the bedroom that lets in a lot of light—too much sometimes making it difficult to stay asleep in the morning to complete my eight-hour requirement.

I thought of buying one on line and surveyed the scene. These are not expensive items, but they do come in all shapes and sizes. Still wanting to do my own, because I didn’t get the chance when I bought a pregnancy pillow to comfort me while I sleep, I looked for ideas. They are all designed to shut out light and to create a blackness that is conducive to falling and staying asleep. Not a ray will penetrate most. Then it is a matter of a comfort fit. The material has to be soft and not irritate the delicate skin around the eyes. The strap, usually elastic, has to fit snugly, but not too tight. You don’t want to notice that you have the sleep mask on.

Printing out some examples from the Internet, I started to see a consistency that I wanted to emulate. I was going to make a pattern and hand sew some selected materials. I didn’t want something too thick or so thin that it didn’t even matter. It is like the baby bear’s porridge. It had to be just right.

A variety of materials seemed to suit the project from sateen, terry cloth, velour and cotton to memory foam of the Tempur-Pedic kind. That brand offers a more expensive mask at around $30. Others are far less. Making my own wasn’t about saving money, but customizing the fit, texture, and size.

When wearing a mask, you don’t want to feel any pressure that will disturb your sleep. Thus it must conform to the contours of the face. It has to feel snug and cozy, at least somewhat pleasant and relaxing. The first task is to take your cranial measurements including the circumference of your head. Next you measure from temple to temple. Finally you measure eye to eye. Make the pattern large enough; you can always cut it down. Decide how you are going to attach a strap. It can be as easy as a bit of elastic (a bit low budget) or a nice adjustable piece of half inch fabric.

You want a washable surface unless you plan on making new masks all of the time. Eye makeup, sweat, and dirt can mar your item, sometimes imparting an undesirable smell. An absorbent material is best. After cutting to your specific requirements, try on the mask before final sewing. Be sure the mask is somewhat padded or lined before closing up the seams. Reinforcing the edges will ensure longer wear.