Heating pads are amazing for muscles and backs that are sore from working out, sleeping wrong, or tweaking something. It’s always nice to have several around your house for unexpected needs!
Prepare your house with a supply of DIY Microwavable Heating Pads with this easy sew tutorial! Most people will be able to create their own in less than an hour even if you aren’t an expert seamstress. Plus, these make for fantastic homemade Christmas gifts!
I chose a scarf shape for these DIY Heating Pads as they can be used for all ages and sizes and will easily cover body parts while staying in position.
Supplies for Microwavable Heating Pads
- 7-1/2″ x 40-1/2″ rectangle of cotton
- 7-1/2″ x 40-1/2″ rectangle of flannel
- measuring tape
- iron and ironing board
- straight pins
- 9 cups of uncooked rice (4 pounds)
- 6 drops essential oil – I used lavender. You might also consider cinnamon bark or frankincense.
- Iron all the fabric.
- Pin the cotton and flannel rectangles with their right sides together.
- Arrange the pinned fabric so that one of the 7-½” ends is in your right hand. This is going to be the end where you’ll start sewing. But don’t start sewing at the top. Arrange the fabric so that you start sewing 1-½” from the bottom corner. (See image below.)
- Back stitch and then begin sewing at this point ¼” from the edge.
- Turn that corner and continue sewing all the way around the rectangle until you come back to that end. STOP sewing 1-½” from what would have been the top corner from where you started. Back stitch to lock that thread in place before finishing. (See image below.)
- This will leave about a 4 inch opening in the middle of that end.
- Clip the corners of the fabric so that the “corner” fabric comes within ⅛” from the stitched thread on the corner. This will reduce the amount of fabric in the corner so it will be a sharper finished corner at the end.
- Pull/roll up the fabric like a sock and then pull the right side out. Push out the corners carefully with the end of the scissors. Be sure not to poke the scissors through the fabric.
- Find the center of the top long edge and mark this with a pin as seen below.
- From the center pin, use the tape measure to find 6 2/3″ from that point in both directions and mark with a pin. Then measure out 6 2/3″ again going left on the left pin and going right on the right pin and mark the new measurements with a pin. There will be a total of 5 pins on the top. Repeat this on the bottom of the rectangle with another 5 pins.
- Now to prepare the rice. In a large measuring cup with a spout, place 1-½ cups of rice and one drop of essential oil. Mix thoroughly and pour the rice into the rectangle. The spout on the measuring cup with make it easier to get the rice into the opening.
- Hold up the rectangle with the opening at the top and the rice will fall into the bottom section. This will not seem like a lot of rice compared to the compartment size that has been pinned. But this amount will easily allow you to sew that compartment closed. This amount of rice also makes it easier for the heating pad to conform the shape of your neck.
- Fold up the rest of the rectangle and place it to the right of the bottom section of rice. This will make it much easier to handle while sewing.
- Sew shut the first section with a straight stitch from the top pin to the bottom pin as shown below.
- Mix another 1-½ cups of rice with a drop of essential oil, add to rectangle, move rice to the bottom, and sew shut with a straight stitch from the top pin to the bottom pin of that section. Repeat for all areas except the last one where the opening is to the rectangle.
- Before adding rice to the last area, iron the opening so that the edges are folded in and ready to sew shut.
- Mix and add last 1-½ cups of rice. Sew the end shut with a straight stitch from the top to the bottom making sure to back stitch at both ends.
- Trim all threads and your heating pad is finished!
A bonus about this heating pad is that it has built-in sections to fold it when storing!
How to Heat Up the Heating Pad
All microwaves are different. You’ll need to experiment to see what settings you need to use to get the heating pad warm and cozy without overheating the rice. The rice can burn upon overheating. DO NOT add water or get the heating pad wet before microwaving. This can lead to serious steam burns.
For this size heating pad, I start with 60 seconds on high, which is often warm enough. If it’s not quite right, add 15 seconds on high until reaching the desired toastiness.
Since this makes for a great homemade gift, be sure to check out all of our Homemade Christmas Gift ideas here!