Aching muscles needn’t bother you any longer when you make a microwaveable heating pad to ease those occasional pains. Flannel is perfect since it’s warm, cozy, and holds heat well. To make a warming pad for the back or stomach, place the right sides of the fabric together and cut 2 rectangles out of the cloth. Sew 3 sides shut, leaving one side open for stuffing. Stuff the heating pad with deer corn or rice.
Rice tends to be heavier than the deer corn and the deer corn is inexpensive, retains heat well, and can be found at most farm and garden stores. You can add herbs, like chamomile or lavender to the pouch for a relaxing, herbal aroma when heated. Fill the pouch-not too full-and sew closed. You can make a washable covering for the heating pad, in case you will be using a medicinal rub with the warmer.
For the neck, place fabric, right sides together, and cut a curved piece of fabric that will wrap around the neck. This should be U-shaped and should stretch a third of the way across the shoulders, and wrap around to the front of the neck. You can attach ties for securing the warmer around the neck, or sew on velcro tabs.
Knees can get some relief when you design a heating pad especially for them. With the knee pads, people usually want the heat on the kneecap, but they don’t want a thick pad behind the knee. You can make these by sewing a square or circular pad for the knee, then sewing on wide elastic for stretching over the knee, or velcro for attaching the pad to the knee.
A similar but smaller one can be made for elbows. Wrist and ankle warming pads can be made in the fashion of the knee or elbow pads, or you can make the type of warmer that goes all the way around the wrist or ankle. Measure around the ankle or wrist, and cut the rectangle to fit. After sewing and stuffing, sew on velcro tape for fastening, or string a piece of elastic from one side to the other.
Large pads, which may not fit in the microwave, can still be made simply by sewing the large pad in sections, then joining the sections with velcro. These are great for placing on a chair and sitting on, or throwing on the bed for snuggling. One large pad can be made for baby and folded into the microwave for warming. Lay the baby, stomach down, on the pad to soothe a tummy ache.
Since microwave temperatures vary, be careful not to heat the pads up too hot. Place a large pad in the microwave for a couple of minutes, feel to see if it’s warm enough, and add extra time, if needed. For small ones, begin at one minute then check to see if sufficiently warmed. Several pads can be warmed at once by stacking them atop each other.
After using the warmer, you can re-heat the pad, but you’ll need less time to warm it the second time around. Never leave the pads heating in the microwave without supervision. When not in use, store at room temperature.
Launder in cool water, but do not throw in the dryer. Hang dry instead. The pads can also be made, kept in the freezer, and used for migraines and sprains.