It’s been so cold and damp here that I immediately thought of the soothing relief of hot packs. Simple enough!
There are many “how to’s” across the internet about how to make microwavable styles with either rice or dried beans. One thing I have learned is that the legumes (because of their larger size) tend to hold the heat longer.
If you decide to whip a few up for yourself, be sure to use only all cotton fabrics and threads (since microwaves and polyester don’t play well together.
I made small packs, for a sore neck or shoulder, beginning by cutting 20” x 5” strips of muslin. Fold in half, bringing the two short ends together. Sew along the long sides, so that the piece is connected on three sides, and open at the top (short end).
Fold in thirds lengthwise, and sew along the two folds (which results in three “tubes” open at the end).
Roll an index card into a funnel to direct the slippery little beans into the tubes. Don’t fill all the way, since the pack will be more comfortable when flexible.
After the tubes are full, fold the opening end over twice, an stitch down securely. There! now you have the heat pack itself finished. Easy, huh?
But we have to make it a bit prettier, don't we? Next comes a little slipcover that can be removed for washing. You can even choose material with motifs that reflect the personality of the person who will be receiving this cozy gift. The one above made out of pink Girl Scout try-it material is for my Brownie daughter.
The cover fabrics should also be cut in a strip, just a bit larger than the muslin. I cut mine 21" x 6". Then, even with the seam allowances, it will still have plenty of room to slip over the pack.First, fold the two short ends of the strip over twice and stitch to make hems. Then, with right sides of the fabric (design side facing design side) together, offset the ends and stitch up the sides. Think of an eyeglass case with a fold-over flap. Overlap the ends on one side of your case, and finish stitching the sides together.
Turn case right-side-out, and slide your hot pack inside. (See the lil' guy peeking out?) Fold the last flap closed, and you're ready for gifting.
Remember to attach a tag letting the person know that the hot pack can be heated in the microwave for about one minute, and that the cover is removable for washing.
I think I'll test one out right now....aaaaaaahhhhhh!
Have a cozy Valentines Day.