We all get aches and pains now and then which require the use of a heating pad, but sometimes the “traditional” heating pad that you plug in is impractical not to mention it uses up costly energy.
Instead, here is a super quick way to make your own bean bag heating pad using scrap cotton fabric and your choice of fillers. I can’t stress enough that 100% cotton fabric is the only choice to use, if you use any other type of fabric, you run the risk of melting it in the microwave (definitely not desirable).
Fillers can be any type of dried rice, hulled grain (like wheat or barley) or small dried beans. You can even add a fragrance for some “aromatherapy”, like Lavender or fragrant essential oils. Just mix the fragrance and fillers and place in a seal-able container and allow to sit covered for a day or two to distribute evenly.
To make the heating pad, cut one rectangle (or whatever size/shape you desire) of cotton fabric large enough for its intended purpose. This piece was a remnant of the table runner I wove and measured 19″ wide x 11″ tall.
Fold the piece in half with right sides together, then sew up the 3 sides leaving a 3 inch opening.
Turn right side out and press seams flat.
Now add the filler to the bag. To make it easier, make a funnel out of a plain piece of paper and pour the filler into the bag. Only fill the bag about 2/3rds full as you want it to be flexible. Slip-stitch the opening closed and voila! your very own bean bag heating pad.
To use, just heat in the microwave on high for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.
I have been using mine after each loom threading marathon session as it is an awkward, tedious and muscle fatiguing job. I just drape it around the back of my neck and let the soothing heat radiate and release the tension for about 20 minutes and then I am able to get back at it.
Flax seed is another good one to use. I have one that has all the elements in a muslin tube that is anchored into the more decorative outer covering. I love it!
I had not heard of flax seed as a filler – but the stuff is very expensive here, so I don’t think I would spend the $$$ on it for filler! 🙂 plain, cheap white rice will do! 🙂
I use Feed Corn. You can buy it at a feed store, it’s inexpensive, it hold the heat far longer than rice and it’s Bug Free. I found out about it from opening one of my favorite store bought bags to see what was inside.
I bought some grape seed from Whole Foods and the doggone stuff “hatched” on me!!! No thank you…
Great tip! Thanks for sharing! and the grape seed story had me cringing 🙂
I have one that I made years ago, and it is filled with lentils!
I guess that is for the folks who don’t know what to do with lentils? 😉
I was drawn to the fabric, even though I did a search for bean bags. When I saw the fabric, I thought, “This has to be loom woven. It’s gorgeous!” I have not made a bean bag in years, but I was recently gifted with one. Now I’m thinking of making some for the holidays. Most like I’ll machine embroider a design onto the bag, but weaving is another option. If I have the time.
Thank you Opal for your kind comments. Yes, the fabric is loom woven, my latest passion that I wish I had more time for as well 🙂 It would be easy to set up a relatively small warp and weave up to 6 at once, I currently have a 5 yrd warp on for tea towels that I have to get back to !
I have a bean bag given to me and it does feel good when heated. I want to make some, so it sounds like corn is the best of all the fillers. Thanks
Have fun! I love mine
I would like to say thank you for you amazing post it help me a lot. Just made one for my mother in-law and she’s loving it
You are welcome!! 🙂
I am completely in love with the fabric you have used for this bean bag!! It is incredibly beautiful and I looooove the colour combination as well as the pattern! Is it for sale? Any fabric that I can find for my bean bag will pale in comparison with yours! It looks like wool – but as you emphasize using cotton, I suppose it can’t be wool…. And how come wool is not recommended? Is it because of the microwave? If I have any muscle aches, or even just a cold, wool would be my go to solution any time!
Hi Kristina! Thank you so much for your kind comments on my bean bag fabric, unfortunately it is not for sale. It is 100% cotton and handwoven by me on my floor loom. You can certainly use wool, just make sure to use 100% cotton sewing thread to sew it up with. If you use polyester, it will melt in the high heat of the microwave 🙂
Well done!! Amazing, in fact! Thanks for your reply. I will make sure to use cotton thread 🙂