Stiff Necked

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. 😉

Corn Microwaveable Heating Bags

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.


Filed under health, Hobby

5 responses to “Stiff Necked

  1. Yeah – I’m a sucker for these…. bought one at the mall last year w/ essential oils in it for Mom’s xmas present and spent a fortune. I will definately be trying this out! Thanks!

    The gal who did the website I linked to is a nurse for a hospital and did a ton of research – She went so far as to outline price. If you buy a 40 lb bag of corn, which is what it usually comes to, and $4 a yard fabric the cost is like $1.20 a bag – and if you buy fabric off the bargain table at $2 a yard it is like $0.60 a bag. Crazy cheap! And I have loads of fabric laying around begging to be used. So hopefully people won’t winde homemade gifts this year. And for what these people are selling them for at the mall and stuff – maybe I should go into business. 😉 She even said how long it took – 7 hours to do 52 bags or something like that. Be sure to check out her site before choosing your filler – wheat runs a chance of drying out and causing a fire in the microwave, flax has a tendency to explode, etc. Her site was the most imformative I found. I won’t be making that many and can have them done in a few hours and ship them off to family. Happy sewing and have fun!

  2. Kellie

    You are amazing. when on earth do you have time to make a heating pad?? 😦 I plan to run to the store today or just suffer as I have no skills to make a pad. Oh man! All I can do is type!! 🙂

    Funny that you wrote that subject line. that is me today too though I didn’t sleep wrong. mine is achy joints and stiff neck. I need a full body eating pad. got a plan for those? 🙂

    have a great weekend! I sure hope you feel better

    Hee hee – now that would be a heating pad – heh. 🙂 If you are desperate and don’t have the chance, time, or plain don’t want to run to the store you can dump some rice in a ziploc freezer bag, heat it in the microwave for two minutes – leave it open to vent, and then stick it in a pillow case or wrap a towell around it (be sure to close the zippie of rice first 😉 ). That’s been working for me the last few days marvelously. Sorry you are sore too – it’s the worst. Hope you have a great weekend and get over your stiffness quickly. 🙂

  3. I have a heating pad a friend made for me back when I was a newlywed. She made it with a dish/hand towel and rice. It’s sewn into two sections, and it’s probably one of the best presents I have ever received! I have used it for normal aches and pains, for menstral cramps, for engorged breasts, for mastitis… it’s my miracle bag. 🙂

    Ches received one from a student last year that has beans in it. I don’t think it’s a comfortable as the rice, but he loves it. And it has a slip cover, too. It’s made from some really heavy-duty fabric… reminds me almost of drapery. So I don’t know what it is.

    Anyway, no matter what it’s made of, these homemade heating bads are just plain awesome!!!! 😀

  4. I am so impressed–I am now the proud owner of two store-bought heating bages–Erica had one in her closet, and feeling as miserable as I did with a pulled muscle–the one that wraps around your body. I threw caution to the winds, and bought another. For me–worth it. Wish I’d known how to make one, though. I am printing it off for my home emergemcy kit info. Thanks. And yes, now that you mention it, Sariah, it does sound familiar. I just didn’t remember.

  5. I love Samoyed sp?
    My sister in law had the most adorable one named Toby…

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