Tuesday, March 11, 2014

diy heating pad tutorial.

generally speaking, im not at all shy about the fact that i have about one million health problems. i mean, i dont go out of my way to make a big public show about it, but if you ask me, i wont lie: various types of chronic pain and i have basically been inseparable since i was, i dont know 15 or 16 or something. its not something i really complain about all that much, and i definitely dont want any special treatment over it, its just what i have to deal with. maybe one day ill write a more serious post about living with invisible illness, but today is not that day. 

today I'm going to show you how to make your own super-cute heating pad. these are very, very useful for things like period cramps and muscle spasms and hands that just WILL NOT stop hurting because, i dont know, the wind blew a slightly different direction today. i (obviously) use mine all the time. but the thing is, the one i had was just rice sewn into a (clean) sock, and it was really ugly. not only was it ugly, but the sock was stretchy (like socks usually are) and that made the rice pool in the ends and it would flop around and refuse to lay flat (which was a pretty big issue when i needed to use it for my neck and shoulders). so i made a new one. 

and you should make one too. seriously, everybody should own one. you just pop this thing in the microwave for about a minute and you have over an hour of soothing heat that is way, WAY less wasteful than those stupid disposable ones. and I'm willing to bet that you already have everything you need to make one (also, this project takes maybe half an hour start to finish. YOU DONT EVEN NEED TO PLUG IN YOUR IRON). 

heres what you need:

fabric (a woven cotton is best, i used some leftovers from my battlestar galactica skirts because if anyone can make my pain go away its commander adama)
rice (about three cups)
marking pen of some kind (im OBSESSED with my new chaco liner, but you can just use a marker)
thread (not pictured)
small funnel or piece of paper to fold into a funnel (not pictured)
sewing machine (not pictured, though you could totally hand sew this too)

step one: measure, mark and cut two rectangles of fabric measuring 5 by 14 inches:

step two: pin your two rectangles together right sides together:

step three: sew a running stitch around all four sides of your rectangle using a half inch seam allowance, and leave a two-inch or so gap on one of the short ends for turning:

please note the gap:

step four: trim your corners to a 45 degree angle, but be extra careful not to cut through your seams:

step five: turn your fabric right side out and use a pencil or chopstick or something to poke the corners out nice and sharp:

step six: using either an actual funnel or a piece of paper (like i did because we dont have a funnel), fill your fabric up with rice (this should take almost exactly three cups of rice):

step seven: fold the seam allowances of the opening back under and pin the heating pad shut:

step eight: sew the opening shut by hand. you can use a whipstitch or running stitch, or you can get fancy and use a ladder stitch like i did, this part is really up to you:

and now youre done!

wasnt that easy? now you have a totally cute heating pad to make all your heating pad needs a little less sucky because at least its cute. 

(p.s. as soon as james saw this he said i NEED to put them in the shop, what do you think?)


  1. These are the best! :) My mom made one for all of my siblings one year for Christmas and I found out that I'd been jipped so she made me one for my birthday haha. I LOVE to use it after a long day at the salon when my feet are achy and I just can't walk or stand anymore. They are a life saver. Otherwise I'm down for the night and the rest of my day is shot because I can't leave the couch.

  2. I was JUST going to say - you need to put these in the shop. If you make one with Hello Kitty fabric, I will buy one YESTERDAY. I have a few invisible illnesses too. So, we're twinnies. I NEED ONE!!!! <3

  3. Wow! I have been wanting a heating pad for a while now but didn't want to go out and buy one, and had no idea it was simple to make! I I have TMJD, which equals a ton of headaches and jaw pain, and sometimes I get gallstones, which heating pads are supposed to help. So thanks for sharing! I will be sure to try and make one sometime soon. Plus, I think these could do well in your shop :)

  4. yes! its a super simple project, and useful for SO many things! honestly I'm really regretting that i didnt make us some cute ones earlier... i have a lot of large scraps of fabrics that wont work for bows, these would be a good use for them...

  5. thats two votes for putting them in the shop! i guess i need to borrow a costco card for some more rice...

    (p.s. im SO happy to have made an invisible illness friend, I've never had one before!)

  6. True Story, this could not have come at a better time. I've been using a heating pad on my lower back for the past couple nights!

  7. I've been meaning to make a heating pad for months, this is a great tutorial. Also, I love your pin cushion! It's super cute!

  8. isn't it funny how that happens? you're thinking about something for a while and then BAM somebody else is blogging about it?

  9. aw, thanks! you don't even KNOW how long I've been meaning to replace our old ugly one....