DIY Neck Pillow

Does anyone else find sleeping on an airplane ridiculously uncomfortable?

Here’s the way it goes for me: lean back against the headrest; fold tray down and rest on arms (facial orifices just inches from unimaginable germs left from laptops, kleenex, babies, etc.); inevitably jerk awake as hurtling towards the stranger in the next seat. Repeat.

Last February, with a big trip to Jamaica coming up, I decided it was time to rectify this situation once and for all (without springing for SkyMall’s monstrous face rest). So before flying off to the Land of Wood and Water, I decided to pick up a needle and thread for the first time in a long time and sew my own neck pillow.


The Process

This only required a few simple materials:

  • the ol’ needle and thread
  • pillow stuffing
  • fabric, which I took from an unloved pair of pajama pants wasting away in my closet

In case you haven’t noticed, the crotch of a pair of pants looks an awful lot like a neck pillow. (See Fig. 1.)

Fig. 1. (Don’t worry, I did not use khakis for this pillow.)

In an effort to keep things as simple as possible, I cut out the crotch of the pants, and voilà! The inside of the pillow was already stitched! (I might not advise this approach, but more on that later.)

The process was easy-peasy after that. I flipped the fabric inside out to conceal the seam, and used a simple running stitch to sew the pillow together. About halfway through, I flipped the pillow right-side out and continued.


As I pulled through that final stitch and tied it off, I marveled at the final product. Wow–it looked like a crotch!

This neck pillow was made for walkin’.

Baby Shorts or not, when I placed this baby around my neck and rolled my head around it to test it out, it was a fluffy, magical cloud.


The Verdict

So, did this neck pillow live up to all the expectations I had? Did it solve my sleeping woes?

Not really. I’m becoming more convinced that neck pillows just weren’t made for the sleeper self-conscious about conking out with her head back and mouth agape. (Spiders: need I say more?) That being said, this makes for a really cozy sleeping pillow. En route to Jamaica, I ended up resigning myself to putting it on the tray table and sleeping there, hunched over again. However, it worked perfectly as a barrier from the germs.

If neck pillows do work for you (and I hope they do), go ahead and make your own, and let me know how it goes for you! Also–if you have tried that monstrous sleeping face rest from SkyMall magazine, will you tell me how you like it?

Easy DIY Conversation Piece

I found myself in a manic fit of creative energy the other day, the type where I MUST. MAKE. SOMETHING. NOW! I could have turned to baking, to drawing, or even to–I don’t know–writing?

But no. This was the type of fit where nothing but crafting something with an empty Zicam bottle would quench my artistic thirst.

Luckily, I had one on hand. Taxed with the mission of deciding what to create with it, I let my mind wander. The best it could come up with was “roll it in loose tea leaves and see what happens.”

Well folks, this is what happened:


I’ll give you a moment to collect yourselves. I know it is hard to handle.


Whew-ee! Is it hot in here, or what?

Not to brag, but to call this a work of genius would be an undersell. This is a tour de force of creativity on the level of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and a classic that rivals Homer’s the Iliad. I usually don’t like to toot by own horn, but I think this piece warrants it.

You might be asking yourself “what is it supposed to be?” If it has to be anything, here are some ideas:

  1. It is a decoy bottle used to drop off small illicit materials, such as expired Hit Clips. One simply slips the contraband inside the bottle and leaves it in a dirt patch somewhere. Blends right in! IMG_4980
  2. It is a fake ant hill. An upgrade from the Whoppie Cushion, this is a prank that’ll leave your friends in hysterics, especially when you put it right next to the kitchen table.

Ultimately, these two could work, but what I really think it is is a conversation piece. Everyone needs one in their home, right? Something that gets people chatting, laughing, ogling.

This. Is. That. Piece.

I can’t tell you how many times friends and guests alike have said “Wow, what the hell is that?” or just screamed in response. Instantly, we have something to talk about, and soon they’re marveling at my creative prowess. Just the other day, a couple of friends were over for tea, and one of them caught sight of the Majestic Ant Colony. “Uhhh, what is this?” Her awe was obvious. I told her exactly how I made it, and she responded, “Wow, you would think this looks good.”

I’m taking that as a compliment!

Anyway, I won’t make a tutorial for this thing, because what is there to explain? Just go batshit crazy for 10 minutes, and there you have it: a conversation piece sure to impress and amaze.