My bedroom gets very chilly in the winter, so I decided to make myself a bedwarmer. It is easy to make (great for beginners), and only takes about a minute in the microwave to get warm. Leave it in your bed for five minutes, take it out, hop in, and enjoy a cozy and toasty night's sleep! A great bedtime bonus for kids and adults alike.
Step 1: Materials
You will need the following supplies and tools:
For the bedwarmer:
One 32 by 44 inch piece of cotton fabric (cotton works better than most fabrics in the microwave)
4 cups of rice
Thread to match
For the case:
One 16 by 16 inch piece of cotton fabric
Thread to match
Erasable fabric marker
Step 2: Bedwarmer: Sew a Rectangle
Fold the 32 by 44 inch piece of fabric in half the long way (16 by 44") with right sides together, then pin two of the open sides of the rectangle. Sew the two sides closed with a 3/4 inch seam. If desired, snip a slit in the seam for each corner directly toward the point of the corner, close to the stitches (to prevent "wedgies," as my sewing teacher says). Turn the piece right side out.
Step 3: Sew Slots for the Rice
Using your erasable pen and yardstick, draw two lines dividing the piece into thirds down its length. The lines will be approximately 5 inches apart. Pin both sides of the piece together along the lines. Make sure you are using the color of thread you want, because your stitches will be visible, and sew, starting from the closed end and stopping an inch before coming to the open end.
Step 4: Measure the Rice Compartments
Divide the bedwarmer into 12 equal compartments by drawing 3 lines across it the short way. The lines will be approximately 11 inches apart. Do not begin sewing yet.
Step 5: Begin Filling With Rice
Pour 1/3 cup of rice in each of the three slots. Now sew the bottom compartment closed. Add 1/3 cup of rice to the next three compartments, sew, and repeat until the last row of compartments is full of rice but not sewed shut.
Step 6: Finish the Bedwarmer
Fold the open end inside on itself and pin (as if you were putting cuffs on your pants, but so the cuff was hidden.) Sew closed. For speed, you can just sew over the top of the end (this is what I did). For a nicer look, hand-sew using an invisible stitch. Congrats, the bedwarmer is finished! Now we'll make a case for it.
Step 7: Make the Case
For the case, take your 16 by 16 inch piece of fabric and fold it in half, right sides together. Pin two of the open sides and sew, as we did with the bedwarmer, but do not turn right side out yet. Now we will hem the opening. Fold the open end out on itself (the opposite way we folded it when finishing the bedwarmer; more like a regular cuff), then fold it again, so the fray end isn't showing, and pin all the way around the opening. Sew around the opening. You can do the anti-wedgie snip on each of the corners, then turn right side out. Your case is done!
Step 8: Using the Bedwarmer
To use your bedwarmer, fold it along the stitching and put in the case. About 5 to 10 minutes before bed, microwave the bedwarmer in the case for 1 minute. If needed, microwave for up to a minute more. Take the bedwarmer out of its case, spread it out in your bed and put the covers on, and come back to a cozy, warm bed!
The bedwarmer in its case can also be used like an ordinary hot pack for sore muscles, cramps, etc.
Some variations on this project could include longer or wider dimensions, a greater number of compartments for the rice, or a case that would make it like a fuzzy blanket. I didn't make it bigger because I wanted to make sure it would fit in the microwave and heat quickly, but I think a bit bigger shouldn't be a problem. Also, I think a fuzzy case would be nice, but if you try it make sure that all fabrics are microwave safe, or warm the bedwarmer separately before putting into the case.