Anyways, I was making some gifts for friends this weekend and I tried my hand at a rice filled hot/cold pack. I'm sure you've seen something similar at a kiosk in the mall. You can either store them in the freezer to use as a cold pack, or heat them up in the microwave for 30-60 seconds as a heat pack. Because they are filled with rice, they mold nicely to whatever aches. As I'm getting older, more is getting achier too!
I did have some inspiration for this project. I had read their tutorial a while ago and decided to just wing it this weekend!
So, without further ado, here is my version!
I cut two pieces of cotton and one piece of felt to approximately 16" x 8". This size ws mostly out of convenience as I had some left over fabric from a previous project and these dimensions fit nicely. (And yes, that is a towel, a.k.a. my ironing board, under my cutting mat. Super professional I tell ya!)
*Warning! If you plan to use these as a hot pack, make sure you aren't using synthetic materials in your construction! We don't want any microwave fires!
I sewed right sides together around the two long sides and one short side. For all seams, I used a small stitch setting (2, I think) to keep those seams tight. On the other short side, I sewed in from each corner about two inches and then made a right turn and sewed out to the edge of the fabric. The picture below might be a little more clear.
This was a neat little trick I picked up somewhere along the way. It makes it really easy to sew that seam shut after turning the fabric! So, clip your corners. I also trimmed my seams to 1/4" to reduce bulk after turning.
Turn your fabric right side out, poking out those corners with something to get a nice right angle. Iron down the seams.
Top stitch 1/8" along the two long sides and the short side opposite the opening. The other short side will be top stitched later. This gives it a nice professional look (people won't think you iron on a towel this way!)
Based on the size of my fabric after turning and top stitching, I figured 5 sections about three inches apart would be best. Mark these with a pin on both sides of the fabric. Or, you could draw a line with chalk (you won't be washing this, so don't use those fancy markers!)
This next step I specifically remembered from the above tutorial - using gravity to help keep rice in place! I poured in about 1/2 a cup of uncooked brown rice and used pins across to keep them in place. The amount of rice you use will vary dependingon your dimensions. This amount gave it a good amount of bulk while allowing for movement and molding. Sew across and repeat for each section. The last section is a little tricky, but you'll use the topstitching to seal in the rice.
Ahh, here it is in use! Perfect! This will make a great stocking stuffer!
Once I was finished, I figured I'd give a try at making a cute little owl one for Miss T! I call it my Boooo Boooo! I'll post that tutorial later this week! For now, here is a little teaser!
p.s. I've linked up with The Holly Bloggy Christmas, hosted by Tatertots & Jello. Head over there to be inspired by hundreds of other homemade Christmas gifts!