Introduction: Keep Toasty With Hot Corn Bags
Winter is cold and unforgiving.
You bundle up all day in layers but want to de-layer for sleepytimes. You get into whatever you sleep in (or whatever you don't sleep in, you do you) and brace yourself for the cold sheets...except they aren't cold, they are gloriously toasty and smell a teeny tiny bit like popcorn.
THIS COULD BE YOU.
Now, you might say, "why don't I just use an electric heating pad?" and to you I say, "why don't you preemptively burn your house down while you are at it" j/k, it could work but cords and all that are annoying and these are super portable, turn off all by themselves, and definitely won't burn your house down.
So maybe you buy in to the idea of a natural heating pad and you are wondering "why corn?"
Gee, I'm glad you asked.
Between some of your best options (corn, rice, flax seed), corn is less likely to burn or mildew and retains heat much longer. Also it smells comforting. Oh, and if you used rice, you would have to wait for the rice to cool down completely before heating it up again - not so with corn!
Step 1: What You'll Need
One bag of feed corn will make about 20 sets of warmers; each set includes a back warmer, neck warmer, and two hand warmers.
1. 50lb bag of feed corn (pretty much the only size it is sold in) - $12-14 at a tractor supply or feed store
2. 2x fat quarters of all flavors of fun fabrics (stick to 100% cotton, absolutely no synthetics) per set of warmers (We chose colorful quilting patterns that each friend or family member would like and gave them as gifts.)
3. sewing machine
6. washing machine
Step 2: A Note on Measuring
I eyeballed everything. I will give you estimates or approximations of what worked for me but just know that if you deviate a title here and there, it is absolutely not the end of the world. Your warmers are going to be amazing.
Step 3: Cut Your Fabric
Your largest should be roughly 11x11 or so. Bigger bags need to be heated longer and run the risk of singing the fabric in the microwave when heated. Keep it reasonable.
Step 4: Sew
Place squares right sides together and sew a simple straight stitch, closing three edges. Flip the bag inside out, fill about 1/3-1/2 with feed corn, then fold down the last edge and top stitch the last side (meaning sew it shut on the right side of the fabric).
Repeat with the neck warmer and hand warmers (you can fill the hand warmers 2/3 full).
Step 5: Sterilize the Corn
Wrap the corn bag in a paper towel, heat the bag in a microwave for 3-4 minutes. The paper towel may be very slightly damp. Let the bag cool down for a few hours. Repeat one more time.
Step 6: Enjoy or Gift!
I wrote up a little instruction card for each set before gifting them. The bigger ones may need 4 minutes in the microwave to heat, the neck warmer somewhere in the 3-4 minute range, and the hand warmers don't usually need more than a minute to heat up.
Once heated, they stay warm for a while (not forever or anything but enough).
The back and neck warmers (back warmers shown in Unicorn and Grumpy Cat, neck warmers shown in Adventure Time and Foxes) we use all the time but especially at night when we heat them up and stick them under the covers by our feet before teeth brushing time. Then when you crawl into bed, things are just the right amount of cozy. We use the hand warmers when going to take the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood (shown in Unicorn).
If you don't feel up to it, you can always get them here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BrickaBracShop?ref=l2-shopheader-name