Wednesday, April 8, 2015



DIY Heating Pad - for shoulders and neck

December 17, 2014

Guess what??? Teacher's gifts are due on Friday! Okay, teacher's gifts are an expression of gratitude and adoration for those patient individuals who spend every day with our little monsters teaching them to read, write, and be nice. LOL. Well, whatever your kids' teachers are to you, you might be scrambling for last minute teacher gifts like I was yesterday. That's why I wrote this tutorial.
This cute heating pad is 24'' long and 6'' wide, just perfect to wrap around your neck and shoulders. Heat it up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and then relax, relieve stress, and ease your tired muscles. 
This is how I wrapped mine up. Are you ready to get sewing?
For each DIY Heating Pad, you will need:
  • 8 strips of fabric 3 1/2'' x 6 1/2''
  • 1 backing strip 6 1/2'' x 24 1/2''
  • 3-4 cups of rice (or other grain for filling)
The fabric I used is Riding Hood by Josephine Kimberling for Blend Fabrics. That print on the far left below reminds me of a cosy afghan. And it has all my favorite colors.
1. Arrange the 8 strips in a pleasing combination.
2. Sew them together with a 1/4'' seam allowance.
3. Press all the seams to the side in the same direction. This is important.
4. Lay the pieced strip right sides together with the backing strip. FYI... I don't really cut my backing strip until my front is done, then I lay the front on top of the backing fabric and cut around. It's easier that way and then they are already RST ready to sew.
5. Stitch around the rectangle with a 1/4'' seam allowance, leaving a 4'' opening on one short end. Stitch again a second time to reinforce the seam.
Note: the seam allowances should all be pressed toward the end with the opening.
6. Clip the corners (without cutting the stitching), turn right side out and press. Press the seam allowances at the opening to the inside.
7. Each little compartment will hold 1/3 to 1/2 cup of rice or other grain (I've heard that you can also use barley, buckwheat, flax seeds, etc. I always use rice).
Pour 1/2 cup of rice through the opening and shake it all the way down to the bottom (the first compartment seems to need the most rice). Pin across the first seam.
All the seam allowances should be pressed toward the opening at the top so you can topstitch just above the seam, right on top of them. Sew slowly, smoothing away any rice that may try to get in the way.
Fill each of the next compartments with 1/3 - 1/2 cup of rice, then pin and topstitch above the seam. 1/2 cup makes a nice full compartment, 1/3 cup makes it more squishy. I like it somewhere in between.
8. When you get to the last compartment, fill it with only 1/3 cup of rice. Use plenty of pins to hold it closed.
9. Sew all the way across the top to topstitch and close the opening.
Wrap up and gift!
By the way, these also make great cold packs. We keep ours in the freezer for bumps and bruises. Then it easily heats up when we need it warm. 
You could also add a few drops of essential oil (like lavender) to the rice before filling. 
Looking for more teacher gift ideas? I've also given them Ribbon & Vinyl Zipper PouchesWrist Strap Keychains, and 2 Sided Zips.
Happy sewing!


  1. I have never used Microwavable Heating Pads before but I have been wanting a heating pad for a while now but didn't want to go out and buy one, and had no idea it was simple to make! ...sounds really neat though. this is a great tutorial.

    1. I'm glad this was tutorial was helpful. Thanks so much for dropping by we really appreciate it. Have a nice evening, Linda