How To Make A Microwave Heating Bag
Instead of using electric heat pads & blankets or hot water bottles for your aches and pains, these microwaveable packs are just the ticket!
They’re known by a few different terms such as: bed buddies, stress busters, rice or magic bags, corn cozies–but they’re basically all the same thing.
These serve a dual purpose as you can also keep them in the freezer to use has a cooling pad or freezer pack when needed.
If you’d like to learn how to make them, you’ll find a tutorial below along with tips for different kinds of fillers to try and directions for using them.
No pattern is necessary, simply cut two pieces of cloth in the size/shape you wish (leave a seam allowance about 1/2″). More detailed instructions are found below.
Some prefer regular square shapes, others prefer tubes or more rectangular shapes. Experiment, whip up a few different sizes and shapes to try.
These are really easy to whip up as well as cheap!
- Uncooked rice
- Feed corn
- Buckwheat hulls
- Flax seed
- Cherry pits
You can also add the following to the above for a soothing, fragrant sack: Spices, herbs, essential oils.
- Ideas: lavender, rose petals, ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, peppermint oil, crushed mint
- If using: Mix herbs, spices and essential oil with choice filler (such as rice) and let sit in a sealed container for a few days (occasionally stirring). This will help set and distribute the fragrance a bit.
- Cotton: (plain, prints, flannels, denims)
- Alternate ideas: old socks (sew or knot end closed), washcloths, old towels
You can also make cozy, removable & washable outer pouches, this is especially nice to do when giving as gifts.
- Fabric Ideas: use old towels, fleece, velour knits, pretty fabric prints and flannels (don’t microwave anything other than cotton fabrics). The softer & fluffier & better!
- Cut and sew the fabric in the size and shape you want (usually a large washcloth size works well).
- Leave an inch or two open on one side so that you can fill pouch with your choice of filler (about 1/2 to 3/4 full, more or less as you prefer). You don’t want it too full though, the sack should be able to mold itself around your body when you apply it.
- Once it’s full, sew opening closed either by hand or machine (keeping filler pushed to the opposite side of bag while sewing).
If wanting a removable cover, just sew a “pillowcase” idea with your soft, plushy fabric by making it a little larger than your pad and leaving an open end (make sure to finish off ends by sewing a hem). Or you can add a strip of velcro to close it. Careful: Make sure to never microwave this cover unless its content is full cotton. Remove cover to wash as needed.
Filler Suggestion For Headache Soothers
Rice (or other grain listed above) and a mix of:
- Dried lavender
- Rose petals
Directions For Use
Heat for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on size. Do not leave unattended “just in case” the filler smokes or starts on fire. As a precaution, you can set a cup of water inside along with it to add moisture or spritz sack lightly with water first. If you add spices and herbs, this is a good idea to do.
If You’re In a Pinch:
- If you need something “now” and don’t have time to sew one, try filling a ziploc freezer bag (use the microwaveable kind) 3/4 full with uncooked rice, seal shut. Zap it for a minute or two then wrap in a hand towel and use as needed.
- You can also fill a clean tube sock, tie closed the open end, heat and use as needed.
These are glorious to use for aches and pains, or just to pamper yourself after a long, hard day–but be careful before applying to body. Shake it first, feel around and check that it’s not too hot and won’t burn, especially when using on a child.