How to Make Microwavable Heat Packs

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1. Gather Materials (this great method is from Instructables)

The basis of every great craft project begins with the gathering of materials. You will need these items:

– Thread

– Filling (corn, rice, barley, oatmeal, beans, cherry pits)

– Two pieces of cotton material.

*Additionally, you could add a few drops of an essential oil to further promote healing*

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36 comments for “How to Make Microwavable Heat Packs

  1. Gail Devion
    August 23, 2016 at 12:06 am

    I have one of these in my freezer but would like to make some new ones – where can I get the instructions.?

    Thank you

    • September 6, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Press the right arrow button at the top of the page where it says 1 of 9.

  2. October 27, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Nice, but no instructions on using essential oils. How much to use, and what odors? Many thanks.

    • Jenn @ HBI
      October 31, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Which oils you do all depends on what you’re looking for!! It’s just a nice option for you to try! I like lavender for when I”m relaxing in bed.

      • Pamela
        March 14, 2017 at 12:18 am

        If using essential oils add a drop to the filler and mix in a large bowl. Essential oils go a long way. I use white rice as a filler and the oils last for quite some time.

  3. ROX
    October 28, 2016 at 2:04 am

    What do the little tags you have on them say? I love this idea!

    • Jenn @ HBI
      October 31, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      I don’t have the exact wording anymore (accidentally deleted the document) but it was a cute little saying about staying cozy this holiday season. Then I just put the instructions on them.

  4. November 3, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I need to make some of these! I had a store bought one at one point (two, I think) but I keep misplacing the damn thing! And now that I have little ones I have a feeling that I’ll be needing them more often!

  5. Amber
    November 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    What kind of rice or corn do I use

    • Shirleyc
      November 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      I have successfully used feeder corn bought at the grain/ feed supply. Same pack still being used 15 years. I love my corn bags better than rice ones.

  6. Bonnie
    December 6, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Just have a couple suggestions. I have been making these for years and have found if you make the bag out of muslin, double stitched, then make a flannel cover that is removable and washable, it helps if someone is sick and the cover gets germy and/or thrown up on! A small tab of velcro keeps it together. I usually use lavendar essential oil ~ about 8-10 drops. To me, corn ends up smelling after heated a few times. Okay if you like popcorn.

    • Claire
      December 30, 2016 at 5:38 am

      What filling do you use instead of corn?

  7. Rachael
    December 17, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Quick question what do you think about giving as a gift to male teacher???

    • Jenn @ HBI
      December 19, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      I think it’s a great gift for any teacher!

  8. Claire
    December 30, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Does it matter what material you use? Surely you need to becareful of it catching alight or am i wrong.

    • Kim
      January 1, 2017 at 1:26 am

      You have to use 100% cotton fabric and cotton thread!! If you don’t it will start on fire in the microwave!

  9. Monica Goins
    January 4, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Happy New Year! You stated that the material should be 100% cotton. Does that also apply for socks. It does not state that for the “old sock” method. Some of my socks are a blend that I would like to use. Thanks.

  10. Monica Goins
    January 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    That should have been a ? not . after socks…oops!

    • Jenn @ HBI
      January 4, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      I’m sorry, but I guess I’m not seeing what you are seeing. Mind letting me know which slide it’s on?

      • Monica Goins
        January 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm

        Hi Jenn, I no longer have that screen available for immediate access but it was either in general conversation before the slides or on slide 1. It stated for materials, use 100% cotton and cotton thread in order to avoid catching fire.

  11. Theresa Jackson
    January 4, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    How long do you it heat for?

    • Jenn @ HBI
      January 11, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      I usually heat in 30 second intervals. This allows me to stop at a temperature that’s not too hot, and I’m not ruining any material.

  12. Crystal
    January 9, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    What is the size of the fabric that you are using. I did not see it.

    • Jenn @ HBI
      January 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Honestly you can really use any size you want, depending on where you plan on using it! Just make sure you add a bit in length and a bit more in width so that you are taking into account the filler.

  13. Margaret Foster
    January 13, 2017 at 2:02 am

    These are so useful, I am in Australia and I use wheat as a filler, it does get to smell a little bit malty after a while, but my present ones are at least 10 years old. Be careful not to overheat, as they can burn the skin or burn the fabric, the 30 sec increments idea is ideal. Make them in different shapes eg and horseshoe shape for around the neck…Very comfortable for neck pain or tooth ache. Finally, using cotton fabric is most important, synthetics will give you a melted bag if you are not careful.

  14. Kathryn Riester
    January 14, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    The legs of flannel pajamas can also be used – like the pillowcase, this means minimal sewing. It’s also a way of recycling outgrown children’s pjs.

  15. Virginia
    February 17, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Dries beans, split peas or lentils are also a great filler- no smell. I like to use a heavier cotton- like a denim so the heat doesn’t get too hot. I have a friend who puts dries herbs like rosemary or lavender in with the rice and it works well buts gets a little “dusty” after constant use.

    • Sharon
      February 26, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      I use Spelt grains. For therapy reasons they always have a moist heat.
      I get them in bulk food health food store in my town.

  16. Lee Ann
    February 18, 2017 at 2:58 am

    I use 100% cotton tube socks. Use 2-3 drops of your preferred scent. Tie your sock into a knot, no need to sew anything….

  17. Ebony Dobson
    February 27, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Can you use an elastic band instead of sewing it?

  18. Candy Cornu
    March 4, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Does The material have to be 100% cotton? or Can it be any fabric? i am dong this late at night and i can get any cotton. Also This is a REALY GOOD IDEA!!! …sry, i’m Hyper…

  19. Candy Cornu
    March 4, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Can’t* XD

  20. Tabatha Herrera
    March 9, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Just wanna make some for my kids, Im gonna use long grain brown rice (dont know if that matters or not) but how long should they microwave them for?

    • Tabatha Herrera
      March 9, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      omg i just saw the directions for the microwaving lol

    • Jenn @ HBI
      March 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      I usually microwave mine for about a minute! I’ve found that it’s really up to personal preference. Don’t heat for more than 2 minutes (ish) though, it’ll make your home smell like burnt rice!

      • Tabatha Herrera
        March 13, 2017 at 5:35 pm


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