That would be me. I am not afraid to admit it. I have become stiff necked – which is why I am sitting here trying my hardest not to move (yeah right – with a toddler around?) with a heating pad.
I woke up a few days ago knowing immediately that I had slept wrong some how as a pain shot down the side of my neck and into my shoulder when I turned it a certain way. It will go away by the end of the day and after a good nights rest.Ummm…. yeah, its worse. So this morning I awoke desperate for a heating pad. My heating pad was broken and had been tossed, and my little microwaveable one made of wheat had long since gone the ways of all the earth.
I’ll just make a new one, I thought. So I hopped on line to see if there were any pointers I needed to be reminded of. One major thing had changed – deer corn (or feed corn – the non-cracked kind) was recommended over every other kind of grain. Partially because it holds its heat better and it poses less hazards than the others – fire type hazards from drying and over cooking, etc.
But, I don’t want to go to the store and try to haul out a bag of corn, I thought to myself. I hurt now, I want one now…Then the crying and the sobbing starts – no, just kidding. But the idea of trying to bend over a sewing machine with a stiff neck did NOT sound like fun. Then I hit on a quick tip for those in a pinch and I thought… DUH.
So, I did what the tip suggested. I grabbed a ziploc freezer bag (microwaveable) filled it 3/4 full of rice, left it open a bit to vent and nuked it for 2 minutes. Then I sealed the zipper and dropped the hot rice filled ziploc bag into a pillow case (the material on a towel was too thick – I wanted to fell the heat!) and slapped it on my neck…. ahhh relief. It works until I get time to make a new corn bag for myself. 🙂
So, if you want to make a microwaveable heating pad (I loved mine for my super cold feet in winter – though I think my hubby liked it better than me, because then I didn’t stick my icy feet on him trying to warm them up 😉 ) here is how:
What you need:
Fabric – nothing fancy, Cotton blends are best because of fire hazards in the microwave. The suggestion I found that I am going to do this time is to make my corn filled bag out of cheap muslin and then make a pretty slip cover for it. For one bag two 9X22 inch strips are recommended -one for the bag and one for the cover. You can make it any size or shape you want, really – just be sure to only fill it 1/2 – 3/4 full so it will mold around body.
Corn – (not cracked corn) during hunting season you can pick up a 40 lb bag for $4 (or so) at Wal-mart, or you can find it other places. One 40 lb bag will make up to 20-22 heating pads, depending on size – you might decide you want to make some bigger pads, etc. Because it is a natural product there is a chance that there may be a weavil egg or two laid in it. Because of this you want to keep your corn in a sealed container, and if you don’t use it, feed it to the birds. The Site I gathered the most info gave a ton of info on the benefits of corn vs. other grains and instructions for killing off any eggs in the corn, which I will mention later – and I will post the website too.
So what you do is you fold your strip in half and sew your corn bag on two sides – leaving one side open and fill it with approximately 4 cups of corn – more if you are making a bigger heating pad. Then sew the open end shut. For a slip cover, hem raw edges on the short ends – or surge if you are lucky enough to have a serger, then fold in both ends, over lap the short edges a bit. Sew down the long sides and voi-la you have a slip cover. Slip covers are nice because it makes it easier to clean.
Before you use it heat your corn bag in the microwave for three minutes, let cool, then heat again, and possibly do this a third time. This will get all moisture out of the corn and kill any eggs or germs in the corn.
Your bag is now sanitized and ready to go. When you use it, heat it for approximately 2 minutes – it will stay warm for an hour or two. If you are reheating a bag that isn’t completely cool yet, only heat it for 1 minute.
If you want more info on why corn over the other possibilities, why not add essential oils and things, and other useful information, such as cleaning instructions, check out this fabulous site done by a gal who researched these for a hospital – it is loaded with info, plus photo directions on making the heating pads – in case I gave lousy directions. 😉
They make great gifts – and are cheap to make. So, may our necks be softened and our feet be warmed. 🙂
P.S. If you need an icepack you can also toss them into the freezer.