These microwaveable heating pads are a quick and easy project, and they make a great gift. Use some of the fabric from your stash to make several for friends and family. If you add dried lavender to the filling, they’ll even smell nice when you heat them up.
These instructions make a heating pad that’s 6-inches wide and 18-inches long. It’s a good all-purpose size. If you want to make a different size, just adapt these instructions to suit your needs.
What You Need:
Warning: Since you’ll be microwaving these, it’s important to use 100% cotton fabric and thread. Other materials may be flammable. If the fabric you want to use isn’t stamped 100% cotton, use something that is. This isn’t the time to guess.
What You Do:
Cut out two 8″x20″ rectangles of fabric to create the front and back for your heating pad. I cut mine out of a soft flannel.
I used my Olfa rotary cutter to cut mine out. Just mentioning this because it took me years to find a rotary cutter that was actually worth anything. This is the one I have. It’s the Olfa 45mm Deluxe Handle Rotary Cutter. I buy no-name replacement blades because they’re loads cheaper. Any 45mm rotary blade will fit this cutter, even pinking blades.
Since I knew I’d be making several heating pads, I made a template to speed up the cutting, and I labeled it, so no one would “help” me by throwing it away.
Once you have your fabric cut, pin the two pieces together, with the good sides facing in. Then, sew a one-inch seam around three sides. Leave one of the short ends open. To make the heating pad as sturdy as possible, I recommend sewing around the outer seam a second time.
Then, trim around the edges, and flip the fabric right-side out.
Fold the open edge in, and pin it in place. Then, make a line two and four inches down from the top of your fabric.
Sew along these lines to create three tubes. These tubes will help to keep the filling in place, so it doesn’t all slide to one end when you’re using it. Once you’ve done this, your heating pad is ready to be filled.
White rice is an excellent filling for microwaveable heating pads. It holds heat for a long time, and has a REALLY long shelf life. You can use straight rice to fill your heating pad, or you can do what I did, and mix it with dried lavender. This will give the heating pad a nice scent, which will become more pronounced when you heat it up. Lavender is known to be calming, so it’s a great choice for heating pads.
To fill your heating pad, roll up a piece of paper to create a funnel, and insert it into one of the tubes. Fill the tube to the top. Then, repeat the process with the other two tubes. The rice will settle, so you’ll need to go back and add more filling to each tube. Continue adding rice, until you have just enough room to stitch the edge closed. You want your heating pad to be really full, so the filling won’t have much room to shift around.
Once you’re happy with the fill, pin the tubes shut. Then, stitch the end of the heating pad up. Go over the seam a second time to reinforce it. Here’s what your finished heating pad should look like.
When I give these as gifts, I fold them in half (you’ll have to play with the heating pad a bit to get it to fold). Then, I tie a tag around the center with the heating instructions. Since allergies seem to be more prevalent nowadays, I also list the filling ingredients on the tag. You can never be too careful.
Here are the instructions that I put on my tag:
Microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. Test temperature before applying to your aches and pains. To reheat, microwave for 30 second intervals, until desired temperature is reached. Can also be used as a cold pack, by placing it in freezer.
I plan to give these to several people on my gift list this Christmas.
More Homemade Gift Ideas
These hand warmers are another quick and easy project. They don’t require much fabric, so you can even make them from scraps.
And these reusable food wraps are yet another gift that you can make from your fabric scraps.