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December 8, 2013

Brrrrr! Quickie craft project from yours truly!

With this winter (Wait, what? It's still technically autumn??) cold snap gripping the country in its icy clasp, any type of heat pack seems like a pretty darn good idea. Since completing this little project last month, I've seen a few DIY tutorials out there, but I actually made mine by winging it, which turned out just fine. :) I use my heat pack in bed when my toes are almost always icicles, and it has made a huge difference!

Winging It Rice Heat Packs by Nico Jaye

Here are the step-by-step winging it instructions! They might look lengthy, but that's just because I know I like things explained out to me when I do crafty stuff. I figured you guys might like that, too. :)
  • Step 1: Towel-Covered Rice Pack
    • Sewing
      • Using a tight seam, sew two 100% cotton square washcloths together on the edges (if there's a right vs. wrong side, then sew with wrong side facing out). I did this by hand, but now that I have a sewing machine (YAY!), I'd say maybe use a zig zag stitch or something? *shrugs* :) IMPORTANT: Sew three sides completely and then leave an opening on the fourth side that's about 3-4 inches long to insert the rice.
      • Flip towels so that the right side is facing outwards. Sew the two towels together using a seam down the center. The seam shouldn't start at the edge of the towels. Instead, the seam should bisect the center of the towel and be about 60% of the length. I left about 1-1.5 inches from between the edges of the towels and the start and end of my seam. This seam is to ensure even distribution and movement of the rice.
    • Rice: Fill towel pack with uncooked rice (hrmmm, don't use instant rice, either) until it has a pretty good layer when lying flat. If you're gonna lie it down to test layer thickness, definitely remember to hold the opening closed! I think I ended up using about 2 cups. Pin the opening together and sew the rice pack closed.
  • Step 2: Pillowcases
    • Because I don't enjoy the idea of smushy rice, I realized it'd be pretty darn impossible to wash my towel pack. Thus, I decided to make pillowcases to ensure it'd stay clean. I used cotton flannel for my pillowcases, which are nice and soft against my feet, and I also designed them so that I wouldn't need to use buttons or zippers to keep them shut. :) Bonus: The flannels were on sale at Jo-Ann -- SCORE!
    • Cutting: Cut one piece of fabric in the size 28 inches x 13 inches. On the two short edges (the 13 inch sides), sew a little of the edge under so that there isn't a raw edge.
    • Folding:  I tried to make a little picture thing to illustrate this step! :D 
      • Place the piece of fabric so that it's lying flat and horizontally in front of you (right side facing up, wrong side facing down). NOTE: This is how the fabric will be oriented for all of the folding, so there's no need to flip the entire thing over or rotate it at any point.
      • (1) Fold a little flap of ~4 or 5 inches on the righthand side over until the long side of your fabric is only ~23 inches. Now you'll have a little flap with the wrong side facing up.
      • (2) Fold the lefthand side of the fabric over until you have folded the fabric in half, leaving the side closest to you ~11.5 inches. The folded fabric should now be ~11.5 inches x 13 inches, and the fabric side should all be wrong side facing out.
    • Sewing: Sew the two sides that are ~11.5 inches long shut. To reinforce the seams, I sewed a couple of times over the connector point where the little flap was on the inside of the folds. Now flip the whole thing right side out, and you should have a pillowcase with a little foldover flap. Tada! I made three pillowcases so that I could rotate them around when in the wash.
  • Step 3: Stay warm!
    • Pop the rice pack minus the pillowcase into the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes to heat it up. Watch out when handling it straight out of the microwave because it'll be pretty hot.
    • Tuck the rice pack into the pillowcase and enjoy!
I hope this little creation helps keep at least some of you warm this season--just as toasty-comfortable as all of the great holiday stories out there! :)

Hope you all are staying warm and that you have plenty of warm and fuzzy fiction to keep you cozy this season!

Curling up with her heat pack and holiday stories,

P.S. I actually have another warm-and-fuzzy cartoon that my awesome friend Natasha provided to give y'all a taste of the flufftastic scenes in store for you with Different Strokes. Check out this cutie right here:

Heee! Poor boy. *squishes him*

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