Making a Hot or Cold Pack

hot or cold pack

These hot or cold packs are so comforting for all kinds of aches and pains. They are basically fabric pouches filled with rice and any herbs or essential oils you like. We primarily use them cold and keep them in the freezer so they are ready to go when we need them. When I have a headache, I put it right over my eyes and a combination of the cold and the weight of it, is very soothing. I also like to add a little lavender for a calming scent, but that’s totally optional. Mo doesn’t care for scented things in general and when she has a headache, the lavender particularly bothers her, so we make unscented ones for her. You can also put this in the microwave to use warm. We don’t have a microwave so I can’t tell you how long to heat it – I’d try it for a short time to start with to see what works best for your microwave. We have put this in the oven on a piece of foil and that worked well. You just have to be patient while it heats up. Put it on a low setting and warm it until it’s as hot as you like it.

These also make great gifts! They go together quickly and are easy to customize to the recipient. I’ve made them for everyone in my family, at least once. 🙂

Start with 2 pieces of fabric,  12″x18″. One piece will be used for the lining only, so does not have to be fancy. In fact, I like to use up pieces that I no longer care for the pattern or cut from something that I can recycle like an old shirt or sheet. The fabric that shows on the outside can be anything you like. I would stick with cottons or flannels – you don’t want something stretchy or too heavy that would feel weird on your skin. A soft chenille might be nice or even a fleece if you are thinking of using it warm. Stack your outside/pretty fabric on top of the lining and from here on out, treat them as if they are one piece. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, so you now have a rectangle that is 9″x12″, that is a double layer of fabric. Sew the edges, leaving a 4-5″ opening that you will use to turn right-side out and add the rice. Turn right-side out and poke out the corners really well. Top stitch all around, except for the opening. Pour in 4 cups of rice. I use plain old white rice, nothing fancy, but you can also use buckwheat hulls or small beans. If you want to add any dried herbs or essential oils, add those with the rice. Top stitch the opening closed and that’s it! 🙂 You can also follow along with the video below.