Using Tea to make an Aromatherapy Rice Pillow from a Felted Cashmere Sweater. - The Magic Onions

Using Tea to make an Aromatherapy Rice Pillow from a Felted Cashmere Sweater.

Yesterday, I felted two of my favorite cashmere sweaters (click on the link to see how easy felting a sweater is). Felting turns your sweater from a relatively loosely knitted weave into a strong, tight weave. The hot water, detergent and agitation, mats the fibers together and your sweater becomes a lovely, fluffy piece of felt.

What I love so much about working with sweater felt is that the felting process provides you with a fabric that not only comes in so many wonderful colors and textures, but is also totally ‘cutable’! When you cut a felted sweater, it will not unravel, it will not fray… it will give you a lovely clean edge – just the perfect medium for a person like me who doesn’t sew all that much!
Yesterday, my children weren’t feeling so very well. They needed comfort and I suggested we make a soothing Aromatherapy Rice Pillow for them. Not just any Microwavable Rice Pillow… oh no! Our one would be made from felted cashmere! Can you imagine how luxurious this would feel to a poor sick baby?
filling our aromatic rice pillow
We needed a felted cashmere sweater, a needle and thread and scissors…
a felted cashmere sweater
And for the aromatherapy part, I provided a selection of my sweetest smelling teas.


Cut the arm off the felted sweater, just under the armpit. Then cut off the cuff so that you have a tube to work to make a rice pillow from a cashmere felted sweater
Turn your tube inside out and sew one end of the tube closed.
Like this…
Turn your tube the right way and you will have a cleanly sewn bottom to your rice pillow.
Now for the fun part of choosing your favorite tea to add it’s wonderful aroma to the rice.
using tea to give our rice pillow a wonderful aroma
K chose my Ruby Red Chai – not surprising as it’s the tea she drinks when she’s not feeling well.
She opened the tea bag and mixed the brown leaves into the rice, a therapeutic activity in itself.
Then she spooned the wonderfully aromatic rice into her rice pillow.
Please note how I turned over the top edge of the tube so that tea leaves did not get stuck onto the outside of the rice pillow. If your child is anything like mine… one little itch from a stray stalk of tea would have the rice pillow thrown indignantly into the corner, never to be touched again. A Princess and the Pea I have here!
Fill the felted sweater tube up with the rice until it is about an inch from the top. If you wiggle it gently on the ground, the rice will settle and you’ll get a better idea of how much more rice to add.
We had to interrupt our rice pillow to give Timone a nut.
Our felted cashmere rice pillow
When our rice pillow was adequately filled, I sewed it closed. Please don’t look too closely at my sewing… as I said earlier, sewing isn’t my strong point *blush*, *blush*.
our microwavable aromatherapy rice pillow
We popped K’s gorgeously aromatic rice pillow into the microwave for 1 minute and put it into her bed to warm and sooth her as she read her favorite book.
aromatherapy rice pillow from a felted cashmere sweater
She is feeling much better, thank you, although she walks around with her sweet smelling mauve pillow as if it’s her newest best friend. Now I have orders for one from Mr T AND A Good Man… seems like I’m going to be busy felting sweaters!
Blessings and magic.

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Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. Nice! Is it wrong that I was happy this morning when my husband put on a beautiful rust colored cahsmere sweater and it had holes in the front??? Yes! No I can craft with it. Thanks for the tutorial on how to felt the sweaters – I wasn’t sure exactly how to do it.

  2. I love this Donni, a cashmere sweater, how luxurious and with the aroma of a special tea, how wonderful. Thanks so much for your amazing craft ideas:) I now need to go and search my clothing cupboard…

  3. using the tea is such a great idea! I love it when I can use what I have in my home for a project.

  4. Love it! I made some for gifts this year using dried beans. Now I want to redo them with the rice and tea! I will be on the lookout for some cashmere sweaters too.

  5. What a great idea! I’m going to share your blog post on my facebook and twitter pages so my friends can enjoy it too!

  6. I wouldn’t have thought of using tea. What a sweet smelling idea. I love that she wants to carry it around with her and that your other two loves want one as well.

  7. I wouldn’t have thought of adding tea either but I am so glad you mentioned it. What a bonus! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the squirrel picture. We used to have a little squirrel friend many years ago at our house out north. Your picture brought back many memories!

  8. Love the idea of adding the tea!!! and I love felting jumpers!!!!!

  9. oh delights of delights!! very nice, posted on believing nature too!

  10. My kids are so jealous and want to know how you get to feed squirels by hand!!!


  11. Words cannot describe the squirrel love I am feeling at this moment.

    I so wish we could feed our squirrels by hand!


    P.S., And, of course…I love your cozy little goodly smelling pillow–such a pretty color, too!

  12. Lovely! We all have rice bags, ours are just plain cotton though so now I’m feeling a little deprived. ;-) I’ve never thought to put tea in to give them a nice scent. We use ours all the time even just to take a little extra warmth to bed on cold nights. Smaller ones also work great as comfort for headaches.

  13. Perfect timing! Thanks so much for sharing this idea!

  14. just gorgeous! I’ve always used corduroy, lavender and wheat for my heat pillows, but I will try your method instead as it looks so much more soothing. Especially with the tea. I never thought of that!

    Very clever. Thank you for sharing!

  15. What a fantastic idea! My little girls is always asking for a warming pillow and I have never got round to making one…. yet! Just a question though, do you use a special kind of rice or will any sort do the trick?

    Thanks for the post, I am off to find my stash of felted sweaters post haste!!

  16. I am now following you. I love your creative posts!

  17. That is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  18. This post was so timely as Friday I was attacked by a painful tooth infection! I had just read your post and thought a warm thing on my face might help the pain. I improvised with a clean fleece sock that I filled with Jasmine rice, all we had on hand. I nuked it for a minute and put a scrunchy around the open end, and ta da, some welcome pain relief! Yours is lovely but if you ever need one super fast, try a sock!

    Thank you for this!

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  20. Thank you for sharing this wonderful craft. I’ve thrown away wool outfits in the past that I have felted by accident and didn’t know the treasure I held in my hands. Thanks for opening my eyes to the possibilites.

  21. Nice blog!! very interesting.I prefer to read this kind of blogs because is useful because i am very curious for everything, usually i want to know new things. this is the reason why i like to know. Actually i told my boyfriend that buy viagra and the result was really great.

  22. Have you ever tried to use a piece of sweater to cover your cell phone it’s really nice I saw it T.V and they use acrylics to make some flowers It’s so cute.

  23. I was doing research on making my own rice pillow and you popped up!! Sure glad too – your blog rocks!!


  24. Nice post!! thanks for sharing!


  1. […] a sweater with a mixture of rice and your favorite tea or dried herbs, and stitch the ends shut as The Magic Onions shows, and you’ve got yourself a pretty, fragrant pillow you can use as-is or microwave a […]

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