Friday, January 10

The Best DIY Heating Pillow & #158

Why is flax seed better to use than rice or other types of grain when making a DIY warmer?
Flax seed can be reheated again and again without creating an overpowering smell like rice or other grains do. That's because flax seeds are actually flower seeds. Also, while grains lose their ability to retain heat eventually, flax seeds contain 30-40% oil, which stays inside the seeds to  retain their ability to be reused. Flax seed pillows are lighter weight, and their moist heat lasts longer. 
And although flax seed pillows don't chill enough for muscle pains, they still can be used for fevers, migraines and mild swelling.  
(I found my flax seed at the 99 Cent Store!)

To make the pillow, I used 100% cotton ticking. For a pattern I used a half page glossy newspaper insert, which measures 10 X 21. This is a good length for wrapping around necks, arms, etc. Since I'm not a very good seamstress in any way, shape or form, I chose to make the pillow from one solid piece. You can make it as fancy or as simple as you wish.  I have no step-by-step tutorial for mine, because all I did was sew up one short side and the long side, inside out. Then I turned it right side out. I added 2 cups of flax seed, mixed with 6 drops of lavender essential oil. I turned in the hem on the open end and sewed it shut. Lastly I used a zig-zag stitch to divide the pillow into four squares to distribute the flax seed evenly.  Super easy.

To heat:
Microwave 40-60 seconds. Shake and microwave another 25 seconds or so until it reaches the amount of warmth needed. The pillow will stay warm longer if used under a blanket. 
Tip: I mixed my flax seed and lavender essential oil in an empty coffee can before adding it to the pillow. 

Now, just as I've said that I'm no seamstress, I'm also no embroiderer either. Those minor details don't usually stop me from trying though :). Since this warmer is going to be a Valentine's gift for my Hubby, I decided to make a washable cover for it. You can also just put your warmer in a regular pillow case to keep it clean too, if you don't feel like making a cover.  

I used an old sweater  I horded saved that my hubby was going to throw away for the cover. I used a mat and rotary cutter to cut through the sweater material. I also used the same half newspaper as a pattern, only I cut 1/4" larger all the way around. 
I used painters tape all the way around the piece to keep it from unraveling while I embroidered on it. Now I must tell you, at this point, that you can skip all of this by simply using the sweater sleeve. All you would need to do is stitch one end closed. 

But I wanted to try to embroider on it and an embroidery hoop just wasn't going to fit right on a two layer sleeve, and if I put it inside the sleeve, it would stretch the sweater in a weird way. 

I first tried this metal spring hoop, but the sweater was too thick. The wooden screw hoop is what worked really well for this sweater material. 

When I was finished with the embroidery, I zig-zag stitched the cover closed. I left the one end open which didn't need to be hemmed, because it was previously the waistband.
I've had this book forever, and I'm ashamed to say that I've never used it. Every time I see it, I feel a little guilty. It has all kinds of great info in it. 
I decided to use this really simple rope stitch and keep my project small.

Here is the finished warmer cover.  I free handed the stitching and used the pattern of the sweater to measure my stitches.  I think it came out O.K., considering that I really winged it! I think my hubby's going to really like it. 

Welcome To The 158th Masterpiece Monday!
Boogieboard Cottage

1. PLEASE. LINK. BACK. Please include a direct link back to my blog party.
2. Feel free to link up any of your masterpiece's whether they're crafts, recipes, decor, thrifty finds, etc. (Please no direct links to etsy or other sales sites.)
3. Please do not pin from the party, go to the original blog and pin from there.


  1. Your husband is going to love your gift! Thanks for hosting the party, Mary!

  2. Thanks for hosting! Happy 2014! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  3. Thanks Mary - I did not realize this about flax seed and I make these heating pads. My cats love them, too. :)

  4. Thanks for hosting, Mary. Somehow I seemed to have missed the last couple of parties so I linked up a bunch of stuff today - hope that 's ok, lol. Love your heating pads. Is there nothing you don't make?! I wish I had half the creativity you possess. Your photos on your last post of your tablescape are stunning! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oooh those heating pads - here in Wisconsin they would be a big hit! Thanks for hosting the party. Jane

  6. Hi lovely lady.
    Your Husband is going to love your Beautiful gift. Thanks so much for hosting your party for us today. Have a great week.

  7. Cute idea! Thanks for hosting each week.

  8. Thanks for hosting, and for explaining why flax is better for these warmers! Love your embroidery choice! LOL Cute. ~Zuni

  9. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

    Flower seeds