If you are thinking of keeping costs low this winter you may be considering making some of your Christmas presents. There is nothing easier or more appreciated that giving a comforting heat pad. You can heat it in the microwave or chill it in the freezer, whatever the weather it is a much appreciated gift for young and old alike.
When needed the pad should be heated for 3 minutes in a microwave. The big advantage a Comfort Heat Pad has over a conventional hot water bottle is that it is never too hot and it will not leak!
Filling – 1 kilo) of wheat, if available, if not buy some dried cereal food from your local pet store. I use a cereal mix for chickens which is high in wheat and it makes a good substitute if wheat is not available. Before you fill the pads you must place the wheat/cereal on a baking tray and place in a warm oven to dry out completely. You will be surprised at how much moisture is retained in the cereal. If you do not do this then your heat pad will get damp when you heat it up the first few times.
You need to make an inner and an outer pad. Choose cotton material for both pads, using a good quality cotton for the inner pad. I cut an old pillowcase to size. Use an attractive design for the outer bag.
Inner pad – cut a strip of material approximately 34” x 18”. Fold in half lengthwise, right sides together and sew the bottom and side seam.. Turn inside out. Pour half the filling into the bag and sew across the middle. Fill the top half with the rest of the cereal, turn under hem and sew across.
Outer pad - Cut a second strip of material slightly longer and wider, half an inch is enough. Fold in half lengthwise with right sides together and sew the bottom and the side seams. Turn the bag so the pattern is on the outside. Place the inner bag inside the outer bag and hand stitch the top hem. If you prefer to use a sewing machine then use a long stitch. It enables you to easily remove the inner bag and wash the outer bag from time to time.
Once you have made the heat pad you might like to try a smaller sized version for keeping your hands warm in your pockets. Two little pads will not stay warm for as long as a large one but they warm up your hands very quickly.
The size I have given is conveniently flexible. You can wrap it around cold or hot shoulders or feet. It is large enough to give you a good warm area in your bed.
With the exception of the cereal, which is cheap to buy, you may already have pieces of material available which will serve well and save any extra cost. But you must ensure that you use cotton and not a synthetic material as it is going to be put in a microwave oven.
Happy sewing ! I guarantee you will make one for yourself as well...incidentally, I have not had to replace my filling and I have been using the pad for 2 years now.
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