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Sunday, December 13, 2009

How to Make a No Slip Microwave Heating Pad

They go by many names: microwaveable heating pad, hot rice pack, bed buddy, aromatherapy heating pad, hot wheat bag, flax seed heating pad, cherry pit pack, hot therapy pillow, herbal heating pad, and buckwheat heating pads to name a few. Basically they are all some sort of heating pad that you heat in the microwave and use to soothe those achy muscles – ahhh!

Husband tried one at a friend’s house while recovering from a torn side muscle. He said that the bag’s size and shape did the job much better than his electric heating pad (which we sadly left at home.)

I decided to make him one but improve the design a little bit by making chambers so the heated contents wouldn’t slip away from the part of his body that needed the heat. By using a kitchen towel for my project he can also use it as a homemade moist heating pad if he likes.

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Toasty warm!

It was the perfect project to try out this sweet little addition to my sewing room – a free to me serger! My mother didn’t want it anymore and just gave it to me. (Then I threaded it and understood why.) Still, I'm not one to look a free serger in the mouth so thanks mom!

You will need:

Cloth: a kitchen towel, cloth placemat (which is what the one our hostess had was made out of), flannel (oh so cozy), or other sturdy fabric. Thread
Filler: buckwheat hulls, flax seed, cherry pits, wheat hulls, or rice (not quick cook rice) all work well.
Sewing machine or serger
Scissors
Funnel (makes life easier when filling the bag)
Straight pins
Optional: dried herbs – lavender, rosemary, clove, mint, etc. for aromatherapy goodness

I used rice as my filler and dried mint from my garden because both are pantry items and time was of the essence, Husband was in pain.

Make it:

1. Fold the cloth/towel/placemat in half. Pin three sides of the cloth/towel/placemat together.

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2. Sew/serge three sides of the cloth/towel/placemat together. I used the serger.

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I bought the kitchen towels on super duper clearance. Woo-hoo!.

3. Take out the pins and turn the bag right side out.

4. Use the funnel to pour your filler into ¼ the bag, toss in some dried herbs if you like, and pin the cloth bag closed.

5. Sew the bag closed to make a chamber. I jumped over to the sewing machine to do this because I couldn’t figure out to do it on serger without teaching Blitzkrieg all sorts of new and interesting words.

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Remember to remove the pins as you sew, you're less likely to break the needle by sewing over pins that way.

6. Use the funnel to pour your filler into the next ¼ section of the bag, toss in some dried herbs if you like, pin the cloth bag closed, and sew as you did in Step 4 and Step 5.

7. Before sewing the last chamber at the end of the towel, tuck the ends of the towel inside the bag, pin closed. Finish by sewing the seam shut.

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Remember to remove the pins as you sew, trust me on this one.

8. Heat your homemade heating pad in the microwave oven for one minute. Take it out of the microwave, put it on those achy muscles, and say ahhhh!

Homemade herbal heating pads make excellent gifts too!

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