Homemade Christmas Gifts: How to Make the Best Heat Pack (It’s Not Filled with Rice!)


Christmas is right around the corner, and if you’re making gifts this year–you’re running out of time! If you want a quick, easy gift, try making heat packs. I have a little secret for you–my heat packs aren’t filled with rice. Nope. They’re filled with flax seed. They also have a removable, washable cover. That’s pretty awesome.

Why flax seed? Well, the little seeds are filled with lots of oil. When that oil heats up, it stays warm for a long time, and it will never get that ‘scorched’ rice smell. Also, heat packs filled with flax seed are considered to have a moist heat. They’re really, really wonderful, and I used to sell a ton of them.

I don’t craft for profit anymore, but I still make these for friends and family. If you would like to make one (or six), here’s what you’ll need for each pack:

For the Pack

7″ x 44″ cotton quilting fabric (I like muslin for the packs)

1 1/2 lbs flax seed (you can buy whole flax seeds at health or natural food stores

For the Cover

7 1/2″ x 44″ terry cloth or other machine washable fabric (minky and polar fleece are also nice)

You’ll also need a sewing machine, thread, pins, and a ruler.

To Make the Packs:

1. Fold the cotton so you have a rectangle that is 22″ long. Sew 1/2″ around the whole piece, leaving about three inches open to fill. Turn and press.

2. Measure seven inches from the seam at the side, mark a line. Measure another seven inches, mark another line. These will be your stitching lines after you fill the pack. (Refer to the picture)

3. Fill the pack with flax seed. Top stitch around the entire pack.

4. On a flat surface, spread the flax evenly through the pack. Where you have your first line marked, use the side of your hand to make a line in the seeds. Pin this line and sew through both layers, being careful to keep the seed away from your stitching area. Repeat the process, and then stitch the second line. This step will make sure you have your seeds evenly distributed in the three pockets.

To Make the Cover:

1. Fold the cover fabric so you have a 22″ rectangle.

2. Sew a 1/2″ seam on both sides (do not stitch the fold).

3. Turn under the raw outside edge 1/2″ and stitch. I like to surge this edge before I turn it, but that’s up to you.

That’s it! You’ve made a flax seed heat pack!

To use:

Heat the pad in the microwave on high for 60 – 90 seconds. Do not overheat, and do not microwave a synthetic cover!


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