Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuestorial- Heating Pad

This time of year is all about making or buying for others so today’s Tuestorial will be all about you! While prepping for craft fairs hunched over at your table or at outdoor craft fairs in the cold, this DIY heating pad will come in handy.

You can use fabric scraps laying around (can make it quilt-style) or FabMo finds for this easy sewing project. It’s useful for aches and pains, or just to warm up your toes. Enjoy! 

Materials Needed:
  • ½ pound of whole buckwheat (easier to find and less likely to burn in the microwave. It’s also hypoallergenic since it’s actually a fruit, not a grain. Whole Feed Corn is popular too, but harder to find).
  • Cotton fabric- dimensions are up to you, but a good standard size is 8.5  inches tall x 12” wide (knitters, you can knit your bag in the dimensions you desire then line with cotton fabric!)
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Funnel or piece of paper to use as funnel
  • Essential oil of your choice (optional). I choose to add tea tree oil to my filling since I had this on hand, but lavender or peppermint would be a good choice too!
Chop, chop!
Step 1:

Prep your filling and fabric. If you choose to add an essential oil to the buckwheat, add a few drops in a bowl with the buckwheat and gently mix together. Put to the side to use later. I recommend doing some research if you want to use another filling (like rice or beans). Some can easily explode when microwaved or not retain heat as long.

Cut two pieces of your fabric to your desired dimensions. If you are using 100% cotton, it might be a good idea to double layer or make an insert for the heating pad so it’s thick enough to stay warm and protect you. I used a thicker cotton blend so no insert was needed. 

Left: Sew edges first. Right: Sew lines after turning right side.
Step 2:

Sew your two pieces together (“good” sides facing each other), leaving a few inches on top to add your filling. Turn right side and push corners out.

At this point, you can also sew lines down the bag to help keep the filling in place and distribute the heat more evenly (about 1.5 inches apart). If you do this, be sure to leave an opening at the top of each section to add the filling. I used a bright thread color when doing this since it will show and add an element to the design. 

Step 3:

Use your funnell or piece of paper to add your filling. Fill a little more than half-way. You can either use your sewing machine to stitch-up the opening or hand-stitch it. 

Can roll it up too to reach any aches or pains! 
Ready for the heat!
Step 4:

Now it’s ready to use! Heat in microwave for 2-4 minutes (depending on size). It is suggested to put it in the microwave with a glass of water or lightly spray with water before placing it in the microwave. As long as you have your eye on it while it’s warming up, you should be good to go. Always test how hot it is before handling since some areas could get hotter than others (depending on your microwave).

If you search Pinterest, you will see several ideas on how to turn this simple craft into a creative Holiday gift. You can sew it together using fun designs or fabrics, customize the size so it fits around shoulders for a headache solution or knit a fun top design!

You can also put it in the freezer if a cold compression is needed (just put it in a Ziploc freezer bag first!). Enjoy!

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Our Team Captain about joining SFEtsy!


Lisa Spinella said...

The San Francisco herb company in the mission is a great source for the lavender and other fillings!

evenhoward said...

I've heard cracked corn (not tiny pieces, but basically cut off the cob) is great for these. Let me know if anyone else wants to go in on a big bag because it doesn't seem to come in small amounts :)

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