Friday, October 9, 2009

Easy-Peasy and Soothing Too: Heat Pack Tutorial

There's nothing like the reality of getting older combined with new and exciting budget concerns to really get your muscles tied up in knots. I use these microwavable heat packs religiously all year long, but they are especially comforting in the colder months. If you already have one, you know the kind of relief I'm talking about. If you don't ... you're in for a real treat! I made three different heat packs to show you a variety. The actual process is very simple and they make a great gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your Christmas list.

1 new, washed hand towel
20" cotton or nylon webbing
Thread to match
2 1/2 cups rice

1) Cut your hand towel lengthwise so it measures 10" wide.
2) Cut webbing so you have 2 pieces 10" long.
3) Fold towel in half lengthwise, right sides together and pin easing in any difference in length. (the binding edge will be slightly shorter) Stitch twice at 2/8" for extra strength with minimal bulk.4) Tuck one length of webbing to the inside of one of the openings, making sure there are no twists in it. Match up the ends of the webbing with the edge of the fabric. Pin and sew at 5/8" two times. Trim corners.
5) Turn right side out using a blunt chopstick to get the corners square. Now scoop 1/2 cup of rice into the tube and let it fall to the very bottom.
6) Lay the piece out and pin 5" from the bottom securing the rice inside. Stitch here to close the pocket of rice. Add another 1/2 cup of rice and pin 5" from the last segment. Sew. Repeat 3 more times.7) When you reach the last section, turn the fabric inside about 1/2".
8) Tuck both ends of the last webbing piece into this section and pin securely.
9) Stitch twice very close to the edge and you're done!To use: Microwave for 90 seconds to start. Place on neck or back and let the moist heat work its magic. (These are great on your abdomen for cramps too.) If it's not hot enough, heat in 30 second intervals. 2 1/2 - 3 minutes is usually perfect for me, but every microwave is different. DO NOT scorch the rice or you'll never get the smell out. Store in a cool dry place away from food.

Alternate method: Follow steps 1-4 above. Then pin lengthwise 1 1/2" from each side of the tube and 1" from the open end. Stitch to make 3 separate tubes. Pour 3/4 cup of rice into each tube using a funnel. Shake the pack so the rice can fall all the way to the bottom. Once these are all filled, follow steps 7-9 above.Alternate Fabric: These area also great made from polar fleece. Just cut a rectangle measuring 10"x26". Follow all the steps, but make 4 sections 6" long instead.These striped towels from IKEA remind me of candy canes and would be so cute from Christmas. Stay tuned! I'll have another how-to with the remaining towel pieces shortly. Fun!

1 comment:

  1. I really like this. The towel colors are so cute. Love the handles.