DIY Heat Pack
The DIY wheat heat pack is an ideal beginners sewing project and can help use up any unwanted scraps of material. The bags work out to be a few pounds each in cost and are very simple for children to follow as well. Rather than a single use heat pack or worse a disposable heat pack these will last for years!
You will need:
1 needle and thread
1 tape measure
1 pack of pins for securing the material
Or have a look at a beginners
1 bag of wheat (I will link at the bottom for where to find this!)
Some scraps of recycled material.
Start by measuring the material to around 15cm by 30cm, if the scrap of material is under this, just pop less wheat in! This is an ideal beginners project as it does not need to be exact in any way. Once the material is cut fold it in half so that the pattern is facing inwards and the lighter side is therefore outwards. You are ready to start to pin your material in place to hold it ready for sewing. I am choosing to hand sew as a beginner I do not want to use a machine.
Now you are ready to sew, I am including a how to video following the image here..
Filling the bag
Once you have sewn the first two sides of the fold, ensure that the final side has a gap big enough for a finger to fit through easily. This makes you ready to turn it inside out, once again as a beginner you must not feel worried about this process and I have a video with tips for you to watch and pause as often as you like.
I have then made a funnel from a piece of card recycled from the outside of a food pack. This makes it free and reusable and very much suitable for beginners who may not want the financial investment at the start.
You can then move on to sewing up the finger hole in the side. This is very much a beginners project or a supervised child’s project and they make great gifts.
For a nice beginners sewing kit you could go much worse than this,
Some commonly asked questions;
Can I wash a Heat Pack?
Roughly speaking, no you can’t and that is not to say you can’t clean with a damp sponge. Because you tend to stuff with wheat or rice it means that you would struggle to wash at a low enough heat for them to to not absorb too much liquid.
How long do wheat heat packs last?
Basically the better you treat them the longer they last. I recommend just blasting for thirty seconds at a time in the microwave, then shake them up a bit and go for another thirty until they are nice a snuggly heat, not too warm!
What is in a heat pack?
So in this example I have used wheat as I have a good source of organic wheat which is cheap, but in another pack I have used up some old rice from the cupboard. There is no one best material, although rice is certainly easy enough to come by in the supermarkets.
Are they potentially dangerous?
If you over heat them in the microwave they can be. This is a risk to take into account when looking at how long you microwave the heat pack for. I do not like an overly hot heat pack as I use it to sooth my aching muscles after a long day at work. Do not walk away from the microwave if you have set it for a long time.
Who are they suitable for?
You can use these in the microwave or you can wrap them in a bag for the freezer, so I would say they are suitable for everyone from an athlete with a torn ligament to someone with arthritis or a bad back. A friend of mine has Raynaud’s disease, which affects his circulation in his extremities so I have made him some Pocket Hand Warmers and they are perfect for a quick blast in the microwave and then just pop into your pocket for a gorgeous warm feeling all the way to work.
For me a pair of heat packs for back pain that are microwave proof is just so convenient. This will make a lovely gift for a loved one.
Alleviating pain associated with Arthritis
I have also found an interesting article on the benefits of hot and cold therapy for arthritis. Follow this link to find out more about pain relief and ways to increase mobility. The pocket heat packs are perfect for a friend or relative who suffer.
For a few similar scrap material projects have a look at these ideas below. It is a lovely idea to have matching scrap projects, but don’t get too carried away with perfection in any of them!
All of these projects are designed to be frugal. I want you all to have a go at cost effective, green crafts. So let me know how you get on! Good Luck. Happy crafting! AS far as I am concerned these are perfect frugal gifts and sit in the zero waste category. So if you are interested in other ways to become zero waste around the house we have an article on Zero Waste No Spend Kitchen Wins again very much aimed at beginner level! We also have started to look at the no spend challenge and people come back to me to ask how we manage to gift give still. I think that pocket heat packs are a great gift. To make them that little bit more special you can create aromatherapy heat packs by popping a few drops of essential oils on to a pre-microwaved pack.