Flaxseed Heating Pad

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Introduction: Flaxseed Heating Pad

About: I'm a designer at Instructables. I have a degree in fashion design and like to sew, get crafty, and attempt to use power tools.

Temperatures are getting colder, and the holidays are around the corner. Stay warm this season with a flaxseed heating pad! These make great last minute gifts as they are cheap and easy to make, or make one for yourself to ease tense muscles and warm cold toes this winter. I've been using mine almost ever night - it's a great way to unwind at the end of the day!

Step 1: What You Need

Supplies for this are limited and easy to find. Just make sure your fabric and thread are cotton to avoid melting in the microwave :) You'll need:

- Strong cotton fabric, denim or upholstery weight is best (check for upholstery samples at your local fabric store, they are cheap and are the perfect size for two of these!). If using a quilting weight cotton I have doubled it up with denim for durability.

- Cotton thread

- Flax seeds for filler. You can use rice or other grains, but flax has the least smell when warmed and maintains warmth for a long time. For a roughly 5"x20" pad I used around 2.5 lbs/5 cups of flax seeds.

- Lavender for scent if desired. A handful goes a long way, I use a half oz per pad.

Step 2: Sew Rectangle

First decide what size to make, and cut out a rectangle of the appropriate size. I found that a 5"x20" tube was a good size for draping over shoulders, and therefore needed an 11" x 20.5" piece taking seam allowance into account. However as this is a very forgiving project no need to be exact :) Shorter ones work well for the lower back, or make a very small one as an eye mask. Lots of options!

Start by sewing a tube right sides together, leaving one short side open. Clip the corners, and finish with a zig zag to keep the edges from unraveling.

Step 3: Fill Pad

If using lavender, mix the lavender buds evenly in the flax, and fill the pad a little more than halfway with the flaxseed/lavender mixture. Much more than two thirds full and the pad starts being difficult to bend, making it less useful for draping over shoulders, arms or legs. Less than halfway full feels underwhelming. For this size, I used 5 cups total, which was around 2.5lbs of flaxseeds.

Once filled, fold the open end of the pad inwards for a clean edge and sew shut, making sure there aren't any gaps where flax seeds could leak out.

Step 4: Microwave Directions

That's it! To warm your pad, microwave it for roughly two minutes, with a shake at the 1 minute mark to avoid hotspots. If giving this as a gift, I've included an explanation card :) Attach with string and a safety pin if desired, and I've included a PDF and PSD here in case you would like to edit the text.

Enjoy and stay warm this winter!

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    4 Discussions

    A physical therapist told me you can use these as ice packs too. Just store one of these in the freezer.

    1 reply

    Nice. I have used woven cotton or linen kitchen towels, and white cotton washcloths make nice square ones.

    I found that flaxseed goes rancid and starts smelling like stale oil in less than a year, where wheat-berries, the kernel minus the wheat germ part, stay good for several years. Rice crumbles within a short time.

    1 reply

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I will see how this one fares in terms of rancidity. Helpful tip.