My friend, Cindy, gave me a rice filled heating pad for my birthday one year that she made herself. At least once a week I toss it in the microwave for a few minutes to heat up the rice and lavender (and I think she also put in orange peels!) I use it around my neck and shoulders after a long day in front of the computer. It is more perfect than anything I could find in a store. They are great tucked under your sore back or to slip into your cold bed to warm it up before you hit the hay. I figured I could make some myself and would keep a look-out for the same type of fabric she used, a stretchy corduroy that is so soft but won’t slip and slide when I put it on.
Turns out the Liz Claiborne store in our local outlet mall was closing shop and every item was $3 each. I found a whole rack of colorful stretch corduroy pants. Not exactly my style, but I snagged the best colors in the largest sizes I could find. I knew they would be perfect for making the heating pads- two to a pair! There are plenty of ways to make these pads and lots of things to fill them with. Here’s my version.
I cut at the leg seams and created large flat sections of fabric for the front and back of the pad. One pair of pants had sewn-on back pockets that were screaming to be used. I cut out a pocket and trimmed out the innards.
Laying two different colored pieces of fabric together I cut out the biggest rectangle I could. Once pinned together I folded back an end section and pinned on the pocket. I sewed around the pocket with a zig-zag/applique stitch. (Darling pin cushion from Jane’s Designs!)
Then I sewed around the rectangle reinforcing the edge with a zig-zag stitch leaving a section open to turn the piece right side out and to fill with the rice that I had mixed several drops of Lavender oil in.
It took about 8 cups of rice total for mine. Once filled, (I may have over-filled mine a bit,) I hand-stitched the opening and flattened out the pad on the table to determine the sections I would sew. Sectioning the pad helps keep all the rice from falling into one area. I created grooves to sew as I went and made a total of 4 sections. If you aren’t adding a pocket, I would suggest doing like my friend did and sew one long seam down the middle and creating three seams on the short side for a total 8 sections.
Once finished, you can heat for 2-minute increments until you have it just right but not too hot.
Give as a gift with some fun things tucked in the pocket such as a book, reading glasses, an eye mask made from the remainder of pants fabric, or a favorite tea and a lovely note. When gifting, don’t forget to make a cute tag with heating instructions.