Heating Pad Tutorial
So this is a project that’s been in the back of my mind for months, but it took finding the perfect fabric to get motivated and get going on it. When I laid my eyes on Amy Butler’s LOVE flannels, I knew it was time. I chose this vibrant, yet soothing flannel and got busy.
See, there’s a particular day each month *ahem* that makes me yearn for a good, heavy heating pad, but by the time my body reminds me that I want it….well, I’m just too crabby to sew. This month, though, I’m prepared.
Gorgeous, right? If only you could feel, smell and pet it. It turns out that Amy Butler’s super-luxurious flannel + rice + lavender essential oils = heaven. In case you were wondering.
I didn’t have the details for the heating pad worked out in my mind, but I find if I just start cutting fabric….it just all works out. Usually. This was one of those fortunate times and I’m thrilled that it only took my one shot to achieve the sectioned heating pad glory I was after. I was nervous that I would fail at achieving the sectioned design that I was picturing in my mind, but I came up with a little trick that makes it super easy.
Ready to begin? You know you want one! I knocked this one out in under an hour while still in my pajamas this morning.
Cut two 19″ x 8″ rectangles of high quality flannel. I bought 1/2 yard of this one and it’s enough to make 2 heating pads.
Serge (without cutting fabric) one of the short ends of each piece. (I don’t like raw edges.)
Pin your pieces right sides together.
Serge 1/4″ along the two long sides and the other short end. This short end will be the “bottom” of our project for tutorial purposes.
Then, on your open end (top) start sewing approximately 1″ from the side with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Continue around the fabric until you return to the top edge and stop when you’re about 1″ into it again. That makes very little sense, so here’s a pic:
Now you’re nice and reinforced. We want this thing to be sturdy and never leak so much as a grain of rice!
Cut diagonally across all 4 corners without cutting into your seam.
Turn it right side out, make your corners nice and square, press it and topstitch along the edge.
Starting at the seamline at the bottom of your project, mark the pad into six 3″ sections using a chalk pencil. My lines didn’t show up very clearly in the pictures, but you get the idea.
Put 4 1/2 cups of uncooked rice (or flax seed or whatever filler you prefer. I like the weight of the rice. ) in a large zip baggie and throw in some of your favorite essential oils. Shake! Shake! Shake!
Now, take 3/4 cup of your rice/oil mix and dump it into your heating pad.
My concern was how to contain the rice long enough to sew the barrier seam. Hmmmmm…..A-HA! A temporary barrier! I pinned the rice back about 1/2″ away from my marked line leaving just enough room for the presser foot to pass by.
The problem with that was that it was a tad difficult doing it with the pad lying flat on the table (or my bed as you see in my pics. ) So…..I hung it from my ironing board using my iron to weight it down. Work with gravity, baby.
Stitch it up and repeat for all 6 sections.
After filling your final section, sew your barrier seam near the top edge and then the folds in and zigzag the very edge.
That’s the toughest part…and it’s not even so tough. And…you’re done!
You’re final product will measure 18″ x 7″ which is ideal for abdominal cramps, sore lower back or tense neck.
It rolls up nicely to tuck into a bedside drawer.
And I’m pretty sure that my next project will be a cute little drawstring bag in a coordinating fabric. Perfect for storage and for gift-giving. I’ll keep you posted on that project. EDIT: Drawstring Bag Tutorial has been added!
Stick it in the microwave for around 2 minutes. Of course, this time varies from one microwave to the next. Just be very careful not to overheat (it will stink and can hurt ‘cha!).
Also….you can store it in your freezer for cold therapy on an injure knee, back, etc…
So…there you have it. Now get busy!