Y’all. Y’ALL…I am just so proud of myself, that I have to stop and brag for a moment about my mad skills. Ok, maybe it’s not that impressive, but I’m impressed with myself…and Mountain is impressed…and my mom, and a few friends. Basically my entire entourage (of like 5 people). Oh didn’t you know? I’m kind of a big deal. 😉
Ok, but seriously. I did something that I never imagined I would ever do. Are you ready?
Wait for it.
I. Learned. To. Sew.
On a sewing machine.
I know. I’m still in shock myself. Here I am, 30-something years old, and I had never touched a sewing machine. Until two weeks ago. I had this perfectly good sewing machine that I bought second hand for like $5, two years ago (TWO!) with good intentions to actually learn how to use it. My sweet Grandma even serviced it for me and gave me a cheat sheet of the various tensions and stitching options and everything, and it just sat there on my bedroom desk, mocking me. Each day…month…year…passing by, making me feel guilty that I haven’t even tried using it, after my Grandma put so much time and effort into making sure it worked, and even sewing a machine cover for it!
It wasn’t until Mountain Man got a nasty case of poison ivy/oak – turned to cellulitis, and two of my Crunchy Mountain Kids had ear aches, did I feel the urge to break that bad boy out and sew something. My man was sitting in his chair one afternoon with the electric heating pad on his arm to help with the pain, and The Nugget was complaining of his ear hurting. I’d been applying my oils, of course, but the poor Nugget is not exactly compliant when it comes to his ears…or his mouth…or his arm…or really anything. Bless his heart, but that sweet boy just falls apart when things aren’t going quite right. So I had the bright idea to make him a rice heating pad with some lavender in it that he might like to lay on, to help ease the ache in his ear, and bring him a sense of calm – sort of a two birds one stone situation.
So I did it. I didn’t even think twice about it. My mama will power kicked in, and I sat down and just did it! Now, by no means am I considering myself an expert in this area, but if I can do it, anyone can. And I’m not just saying that. Seriously. ANYONE can do this. I actually became so proficient in making these, that I couldn’t stop myself from making a bunch. I made several for gifts, and even took the time to make one for myself. Mom win!
Here are the ones I made for myself and the kiddos. From left to right: Batman for The Nugget, Superman for J-Man, Sweet Little Owls for Little Miss T, and some Retro Owls for Mama. These measure about 13″x4″ and are perfect for your neck, stomach, across your lower back, really anywhere you need some relief!
So I’m going to give you some easy step by step instructions on creating your very own lavender rice heating pad!
What you’re going to need:
- 100% cotton fabric – any size (I went to Wal-Mart and got some super cute prints for less than $2/ square, and I was able to make 2 heating pads per square
- Sewing Machine and thread (kinda obvious, but still…)
- Iron and ironing board
- Enriched white rice (seriously, do not spend the money on brown rice because it literally makes no difference, when you aren’t eating it)
- Lavender essential oil – I use only dōTERRA essential oils for their purity and quality
For attention, here’s my oldest, rocking his heating pad. He’s such a good sport. 😉
I obviously made all of mine this length, but you can totally customize these however you like. For this tutorial, I am actually going to make smaller ones that I can use as hand warmers. Because when you live in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it gets COLD in the winters. And if you’re anything like me, you’re always cold. So as long as I’m making warm things, I may as well make something to help my pitiful little fingers stay warm while I’m out enjoying the snow!
Here we go!
Step 1: Choose your fabric, and cut to the size you need. I cut my fabric to approximately 10×10. Keep in mind that the finished product will be smaller, so if you want a specific size, I’d go up about 2 inches all the way around.
Step 2: Flip fabric over and iron flat.
Step 3: Fold fabric in half, iron so you have a crease, and cut fabric in half (if you are making hand warmers. If not, simply iron and leave as is)
Step 4: Make sure your settings are where you want them. I chose a 7 tension, with the other settings at a 0 and 3.
Step 5: Place one of the longer open sides of your fabric under the foot and set the foot down to hold the fabric in place. Following the line guide next to the fabric, gently press down on the pedal and guide the fabric through. It’s ok if your line isn’t perfect. Once we flip it, you won’t be able to see any of the imperfections. Yay! Repeat this with the other long side, leaving the shorter end open. (I like to tie off the string for good measure, although I’m not sure it’s completely necessary).
Step 6: Once both long ends are sewn, carefully turn the fabric inside of itself.
Step 7: Fold the open end in and iron to keep in place. This will help you get a cleaner edge when you hand sew this last end.
Step 8: Fill with rice, being sure to leave about an inch empty toward the top of the opening. Hand stitch the end closed. I like to start at the left and push the needle through the fabric from front to back, and over the top and repeat. I think these little hand warmers turned out perfectly! What a perfect fit!
**I did not use Lavender for the hand warmers, but the heating pads only. The number of drops you will use, will depend on the size of heating pad you make. The larger ones pictured, had 20 drops of lavender mixed in with the rice. I poured the rice in a large bowl, added the rice, stirred it will with a spoon, and distributed the rice among the heating pads**
(I am pleading to my seasoned seamstresses…if you have ANY feedback for me, I’d love to hear it! Like I said, this is literally the first thing I’ve ever made, so I’m ready and open to learn!)
I hope you all learned something new, or at least had fun watching and reading about this amateurs excitement on learning how to use a sewing machine. Look, Mom… I’m all grown up! 😉
Did you try this, or have an idea of something you’d like me to try to make? Comment below! I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas! Happy crafting, everyone!