Monday, June 16, 2014

Sponge Headache Reliever Mask

In the Southeast, the weather can be crazy.  Most of the time, when the weather changes, I end up with a killer headache.  Nothing makes my headache feel better quite like a cold compress of some sort.  The problem?  Headache masks from the store can be pricey and ice packs leak and are messy.  My cheap,easy, and mess-free way of feeling better is pretty simple.  With a few materials you will be able to find headache relief, too!

Part 1:  The Sponge

Materials:  Kitchen Sponge, Water, Resealable Bag (close to the size of the sponge), Dish Soap, Freezer

1.  Wet the sponge with very soapy water.  Get your sponge completely wet and then squeeze most of the water out.  You want the sponge to be damp, not soaking wet.  Then, add dish soap to each side of the sponge and work it into the sponge.  Add a little more water.  The soap will keep the sponge from freezing too hard while still being cold.

2.  Place sponge in the resealable bag.  The bag should be similar in size to your bag.  Get as much air out of the bag as possible.

3.  Place bag with sponge in the freezer.  Let the sponge in the bag sit in the freezer until your next headache.  It will need to sit for at least a few hours before it is good and frozen.

If you're not a person who sews, you can just get a tea towel the next time you have a headache, wrap the towel around the sponge (still in the bag), and hold it on your head.  However, if you want a way to keep being able to do things around your house or to just have the use of your hands while nursing your headache, keep reading.

Part 2:  The Mask

I used a sewing machine to complete this part.  However, you could easily hand sew this part of the tutorial.

Materials:  Measuring tape, elastic (I used 1"), fleece (slightly larger than size of sponge), fabric (slightly larger than size of sponge, matching thread

1. Cut your fleece and your fabric to fit your sponge.  The sponge I used is 3" x 5".  To allow room for the sponge and bag,  I cut my fleece and fabric to 5"x 7".

2.  Measure the circumference of your head around your forehead.  My circumference is around 21.5"

3.  Cut the elastic to the necessary length.  Subtract the length of your fabric (in my case 7") from the circumference of your head (in my case 21.5").  The number you get is how many inch of elastic you should cut.  25.1-7= 14.5" of elastic.  I like my headache mask tight; if you prefer your to be a little looser, add about 1" to the length.

4.  Sew a 1/4" hem into the top of both the fleece and the fabric.  Fold 1/2" of fabric over on both the fleece and fabric.  Pin this down, and iron the hem down on the FABRIC ONLY.  DO NOT IRON THE FLEECE. Fleece kind of "melts" when ironed.  Once ironed, sew the hem in place.

5.  Sew your mask.

  • Place your piece of fabric down with the right side (pattern side) up.
  • About halfway down on the length side of the fabric (5" side), place one edge of the elastic.  Line the edge of the elastic up with the edge of the fabric and pin it in place. 
  • Do the same for the other side of your piece of elastic.  
  • Place the piece of fleece right side down on top (elastic will now be in the middle).  Line the edge of your fleece up with the edges of the fabric.  Make sure both hems are at the top.  Pin everything together.
  • Starting at the hem on one side, run a 1/2" seam down the length of your project.  When you get about 1/2" from the bottom, stop.
  • With the needle still in the fabric, lift the foot and rotate your project 90 degrees.  The bottom of the project should now to lined up with the needle.
  • Sew a 1/2" seam along the bottom of the project.  Stop when you get about 1/2" from the end of the fabric.
  • With the needle still in the fabric, lift the foot and rotate your project 90 degrees.  The other length of the project should now to lined up with the needle.
  • Sew a 1/2" seam along the third side of the project.  Go all the to the edge and then back stitch a few stitches to lock everything in place.

6.  Flip your project right side out.  If you did everything correctly, the patterns on your fabric and fleece and elastic will now all be on the outside of the project.

7.  Place frozen sponge in headache mask and feel better.  Leave the sponge in the plastic bag and place it in the opening at the top of the mask.  Move the mask around until it sit comfortably over the location of your headache for maximum relief.  When your sponge melts, repeat part 1 using the same sponge.

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