Around our house someone is always in need of a boo-boo bag. There always seems to be a mashed finger or toe that needs an ice pack. We also always have our share of cold fingers and toes. Since I wanted an item of dual purpose I decided to make a pack that could be both heated and cooled.
I don’t know if any of you had corn bags when you were you but I distinctly remember on cold winter afternoons heating up a corn bag and cuddling up for warmth. I also distinctly remember that corn is awful at capturing cold.
I’ve heard of using buckwheat as well but since I don’t regularly shop at locations selling buckwheat nor did I want to have purchase 25+ lbs at one time that wasn’t one that interested me either.
That’s when I discovered rice. Actually G discovered rice. I love that little man with all my heart but dang can he get on my last nerve sometimes. One night as I was cooking dinner he decided to help by throwing random pantry items in the bottom drawer of the freezer while I was looking in the other drawer. I didn’t realize until the next day that he had managed to stick rice, a jar of salad dressing, and some dry beans in the freezer despite my knowledge. This was when the realization of cold packs filled with rice began.
I also needed to test the heat quality of rice. So I got out another bag, nuked for 30 seconds and warmed my fingers in a wonderful cup of warm rice. Who knew rice was a super cheap, super wonderful possibility?
These could be made using fabric or felt, which is what I opted for. They can also be made in simple squares, rectangles or a fun shape, like I made.
-basic sewing supplies (machine, thread, pins, etc.)
-felt (or fabric)
-heart template (optional)
-rice (1lb did six hearts for me, but this is dependent on how full you fill them and the size of your shape)
-needle and thread (for blind stitching the seam)
1. Determine your shape. I wanted a heart, so I got on the computer, accessed Word and entered a smart art shape. I resized my heart to be 6.5″ tall by 5.5″ wide. This way it was a fatter, not skinnier heart.
2. Gather your felt in piles of three.
3. Trace the heart pattern onto the back (not patterned, if using patterned felt). I used a regular ink pen which you couldn’t see after sewing it up!
4. Pin those suckers together! It’s very helpful!! Then cut!
5. Match a front to back with right sides together (important if you have patterned felt). I used a simple cream on the back, three pretty pattern ones and three plain fronts. (I made six.)
6. Sew around the edge leaving a turn hole.
7. Clip and turn.
8. Poke out the seams otherwise you get a blob. My mom gave me this super tool, I’m not sure what it’s called but it works well to push out the ends.
9. Grab your filler. I used 1 lb of brown rice for the six hearts I made.
10. Whip stitch or blind stitch the seams closed. I still haven’t perfected my blind stitch so no pictures of that one!
Remember when heating that too long and it’ll burn you. You assume all risk here!
They are also great cold too!