Saturday, April 17, 2010

make it: an aromatherapy heat pack

It seems like I'm always rubbing or rolling my shoulders lately.  I think crafting/sewing is taking its toll on my neck, shoulders and back.  So, I took a brief break from my ninth craft till Christmas - a delicious array of felt foods - to whip up this little aromatherapy heat pack.  I can tie it around my shoulders or neck and keep working on those little felt foods that seem to have me in all the wrong positions when it comes to proper posture.

I love lavender.  The smell is so calming.  And heat is so soothing, so what better pair than lavender and heat to make me feel like I'm getting a spa treatment while poking my fingers with needles as I'm sewing felt bread.  (Maybe I can think of the needle pokes as acupuncture!)  You too can go to the spa right in your own home.  If you are like me "going to the spa right in your own home" is the closest you'll ever get to going to the spa.     

Grab the following materials:
2 - 21 1/2 x 5 1/2 rectangles of flour sack or other very breathable material
1 - 22 x 6 rectangle**
1 - 22 x 6 rectangle of matching or contrasting color**
1 - 2 inch strip of a heat fused velcro (both sides)
2 - 10 inch strips of ribbon
1 1/3 cups of rice
1/2 cup of dried lavender - This makes a great heat pack without the lavender too.  You can also use essential oils found in a health food store or hobby store.  Simply add a couple drops to the rice depending on strength of aroma you want.  

**The super easy way to make this is to just use 2 rectangles that measure 22 x 6 for the outside cover.  Unfortunately for me, I did not go the super easy route because I wanted to use up some fabric scraps on this project.  So I pieced together two panels measuring 22 x 6 with fabric scraps and old jeans before I began this project.  

Let's get started:

1)  Sew three sides (2 long sides and 1 short side) of the flour sack rectangles together leaving a short side open for filling.

2)  Trim excess off edges, cut corners at a diagonal and turn. 

3)  Pour 1/3 cup of rice and 2 tablespoons of dried lavender into flour sack.  Sew off this compartment and repeat until you have four compartments of rice and lavender spread out through the length of the flour sack.  This helps keep the rice and lavender evenly distributed throughout the aromatherapy heat pack.

4) Turn in end, pin and sew shut.  Done with the inner bag.  Put aside.

5) Take one 22 x 6 panel and one ribbon.  Double fold the end that you want to be the opening (this end won't be sewn shut) - folding the ribbon into the fold about 1 inch in from the side edge and iron.  Then sew. 

6) Take other 22 x 6 panel and double fold the end that you want to be the opening (no ribbon this time), iron and sew.

7) Take velcro and place one piece directly below the double-folded edge on each panel. Adhere velcro with iron using package instructions.  (You may sew around this is you want extra secure velcro strips) 

8) Pin panels right sides together with the other ribbon pinned to the opposite end of the other panel 1 inch in from the side edge.  (This ribbon is sandwiched in between the two pieces.  See ribbon end sticking out below.) Sew around three sides, leaving top where velcro is open.  Trim excess off edges, cut corners off and turn.

9) You may want to trim edges of ribbon with pinking shears and/or use Fray Check to prevent fraying. 

10) Insert flour sack bag into cover, heat for 30 - 60 seconds, and enjoy while cooking, sewing, crafting, reading or playing a board game with the kids. Tie down around shoulders for shoulder pain.  Tie up around neck for neck pain.  Take outside cover off and throw in wash for easy cleaning.   

These make great gifts in various sizes.  Below I've included a picture of a smaller one with the starting fabric measurements of 9 x 6 that I made for a friend's birthday.  I made a flap and button closure for that one.  It was meant to cover eyes or forehead. 

Make it and . . .

craft on!


Unknown said...

Great job and a great gift. I like my rice bag, hope it helps to releave some of your crafting stress. A massage works really great, too!!

mommyof2tuties said...

AWESOME Job!! The Tute IS GREAT thanks for sharing.

julia said...

love that it ties on no falling off great job

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans said...

Great idea! I Love it! :)

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans said...

Just wanted to let you know that I featured you here:

Jess said...

Umm I definitely need to make myself one of these :)

Bird said...

This is such a good idea! :)

It would make a fab favor or party gift!

Thanks for linking up to my PARTY Link Party!

Oh, come back on Sunday for a show off of fave links?!


LuckyStarErin said...

You have some great projects here! I always wondered how to make these. They are perfect gifts.. I want one! I guess I can make it for myself now. Thanks for sharing your talents:)

avisiontoremember said...

That is such a great idea! I have a link party on my blog on saturdays at I hope you can stop by the party is still going on :)

Misty @Creative Itch said...

Love this idea...I could use a few!! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!

Laura said...

What a cute idea. Thanks for linking up!!

CraftyMummy said...

Lovely! I have one with rice in it, but lavender would be great!

Urban Academic said...

My homeschooler, who needs to learn sewing to satisfy his (yes, his) practical arts requirement, will be making a number of these this holiday season as gifts for friends and relatives. It's practical, inexpensive to make, uses only natural items, and helps to teach the concept of sustainability and respect for our resources, by repurposing fabric scraps. It's a win on all fronts!

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