diy – hot pack

Well, the weather in Colorado has been…let’s just say schizophrenic.  One day it’s 68 degrees and the sun is shining, people walking around in shorts and a t-shirt.  The next day it’s snowing and there’s an inch of ice on the ground!  I will say that, even with its crazy, constantly changing weather, Colorado is still one of the prettiest places to live 🙂

Anyways, since for some parts of the country, there are still chilly days, I thought I’d share a super easy sewing project with you – a diy hot pack!  For those of you who only know how to sew an almost straight line with your sewing machine (hello, fellow sewing novices!) this is the project for you – super easy!

Okay, here’s what you’ll need:

  • fabric (I used flannel because it’s a little thicker and had a little stretch to it)
  • coordinating thread
  • rice (to fill the hot pack 🙂
Step 1:  Cut your fabric
I asked for a 1/3 of a yard at the store, then just cut out a rectangle that I thought would be big enough.  I ended up cutting mine to 10″x17″ but it’s totally up to you and how big or small you want it.
Leave the fabric folded in half like it was when you bought it.  When you cut, cut through both sides of the fabric.

Since you cut through both sides of the folded fabric, you really end up with a super long rectangle with a fold in the middle.

Step 2:  Start sewing!

Here’s the part where you break out your sweet sewing skills!  Turn the fabric with the right sides (the part you want on the outside) facing each other.  Start at the side with the fold and sew a seam around the three open sides.  Leave a gap at the end, an opening about 3 inches long.  Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Here you can see where I left the gap.  This is where you’ll turn it right side out and put the rice in.

Step 3: Turn the fabric

Using the gap in the seam, turn the bag right side out.  When you’re done, the seam you just sewed should be on the inside.

Step 4: Fill the bag

Alrighty, here’s the fun and potentially messy part 🙂  You’ll need rice and a funnel.  I tried using a funnel from my kitchen.  Yeah, that didn’t work.  I ended up making a funnel out of a piece of paper.  Just roll it into a cone shape.

Employ the help of the nearest preschooler to pour the rice as you hold the funnel.  Place the skinny end of the funnel into the gap in the seam and fill the bag with rice 1/3 to 1/2 of the way full.

Step 5: Sew the bag shut

Once the bag has enough rice, fold the fabric around the gap in on itself like this:

Now you need to close the gap.  You can either sew a new seam, just over the gap or sew a seam all the way across that side for a more finished look.  I went with the second option.

Here you can see the seam that goes all the way across the top.

To use your hot pack, you’ll need to warm it up in the microwave.  How long you warm it will depend on how big it is and how much rice is inside.  My 10×17 hot pack takes about 2 minutes and 45 seconds to warm.  I’d start with about a minute and then check to see if it’s warm enough for you.

Okay, that’s it!  Make them, use them, give them away!  Who doesn’t want a little instant comfort on a cold day?  So easy and practical 🙂  Enjoy!

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