Sunday, 3 February 2008

Heat bag tutorial

I have a lot of back problems and I find one of those microwavable heat bags is just the thing I need at times to help soothe it a little... however, I have 2 major problems with my bog standard shop-bought heat bag

1. All the wheat falls to one end when I use it
2. I can't find it...

Which spawns this...

My own (sheepish) lavender scented heat bag with individual compartments for the rice, so that it stays evenly distributed. I used rice as it's what I had in the cupboard.

**When heating the heat bag, put in the microwave for a max of 2 mins, it should heat up quickly and any longer may burn you**

You will need:
  • 20" x 10" piece of natural fiber outer fabric (I used a heavy cotton/linen canvas)
  • 20" x 10" piece of cotton lining fabric
  • sewing machine (hand sew if you are brave enough)
  • aprox. 200g of rice (long grain and not quick cook/ parboiled rice)
  • 9 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers
  • Ruler, Pencil, teaspoon, funnel, iron

Start out by cutting your fabric up into pieces 20" x 5"so you should have 2 pieces out outer fabric and 2 pieces of lining fabric with those measurements.

Put the outer fabric to the side for now, take the lining and consider the edges like this

(to see larger versions of the pics at any time just click on them)

Now make a 1cm pressed fold along egde A of both pieces

and now you can consider the right side (RS) and wrong sides (WS) of the fabric like this ...

Place the 2 Right sides of the fabric together so that the folds are on the outside like this

Now, sew round edges B , C & D, leaving the length of edge A open

you should have a pocket like this

Turn the pocket the right way round, so that the folds are now on the inside, press flat and even.

Now take a ruled and (here I should say fabric marker, but I dont have one) pencil, measure out and line 2.1" compartments all the way along the pocket. In the end you should 9 marked out pockets like this

Now sew up each of the marked lines and you should have 9 little pockets like this

Heres where you will need your rice, lavender and your teaspoon. In each of the little pockets put aprox 4 tsp of rice and 1 tsp of lavender. the pockets shouldnt be more than 2/3 full in the end.

Now, sew the little pocket shut, like this

Repeat these steps until you have 9 filled and sealed little pockets along the strip

Now come back to your outer fabric. Place RS together.

Considering the edges the same, fold down (towards the wrong side) and press 1cm along each edge B.

And now sew edges C, D & A so it should be a long narrow pocket looking like this

Now turn the right way round and press

Now insert your pockets in the outer fabric

And neatly sew edge B closed

There you have it, you just made a heat bag and I bet it didnt take you long.


yarndancer said...

Wow, that's so cool, I want to make one now :) Thanks for the tutorial!

Kelley said...

That is such a great idea! I love the simplicity and the fabrics you chose!

Tracy said...

Fantastic--a really great tutorial! And for something so useful and beautiful--I like that! Happy Days ((HUGS))

marit said...

Great tutorial! Thank you for the award!

Anonymous said...

The sheep fabric is too cute! (that's how they would say it in Iran). And the idea is too good :)

Sophie said...

I love your heat bag and so the cute fabric !!

Helen Cuthbert said...

This is really great and you make it look easy with really clear pictures thanks!!!

Principled Parent said...

I just finished making this heating pad following your tutorial. Your instructions and photos were perfect! It was an excellent, well-done tutorial.

Lauranie said...

The individual pockets are so smart. I have been wanting to make one of these, but it seemed like it would take too much rice. The pockets cut down on waste, now I can make one for more people on my list. Thank you.

exposure to black mold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maggie T said...

Love the pockets idea. But just wondering? Instead of cutting 20x10 fabric into two pieces - why not just fold in half and stitch short ends for the lining? Saves time and one less seam to sew. Just a thought...
Thanks for the tute! :)

Dawn said...

I've been wanting to make one of these bags for my back (and one for my husband's back)for a long time. Thank you for the great tutorial!


Sarah said...

Lovely! Thanks for this! Great idea. Like the suggestion one person made of folding lining fabric in half instead of taking 2 pieces. Also, what about putting a velcro closure on the end of the sheep fabric so you can wash the outer cover.. Just a thought!