advertisement

advertisement

No Thanks
Let
Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Project

Homemade Heating Pad

Here's a Good Thing that will be useful after a long, hard day at work: a homemade heating pad using dried cherry pits.

Materials

  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Fabric (about 1/2 yard will make at least one)
  • Machine-sewing thread in coordinating color
  • Bone folder
  • Scissors
  • Dried cherry pits or buckwheat
  • Lavender oil (optional)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Fold a 20-by-14-inch piece of fabric in half lengthwise, right sides facing.

  2. Step 2

    Sew one short side and one long side with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

  3. Step 3

    Fold the open end out 1/4 inch and press it.

  4. Step 4

    Clip the corners, being careful not to cut into the seams. Turn the fabric right side out.

  5. Step 5

    Use a bone folder to push out the corners and make them sharp.

  6. Step 6

    Fill the bag a little less than halfway with dried cherry pits or buckwheat. If desired, the pits or buckwheat can be mixed with a few drops of lavender oil before filling.

  7. Step 7

    Close the open end of the bag with a top stitch.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, May 2008

Reviews (147)

  • meanddubby 8 Dec, 2013

    To avoid issues with the essential oils wearing off so quickly, I use dried herbs from a local shop. Lavender and peppermint are fabulous for migraine relief, and the herbs don't lose their potency as quickly as oils do, and stand up to frequent use and heating/cooling.

  • ShannonMarie1212 10 Feb, 2013

    I took the suggestion of many reviewers and used flax seed (less than a dollar a pound) and lavender oil. The oil was the most expensive part of the project and I found it wore off quickly and was not necessary. The flax seed is easy to find (WinCo) and heats/retains heat very nicely. For these measurements, I used 7 cups (about one and half pounds) per bag. I made a dozen of these for Christmas gifts and people tell me they use them every day! They are great for warming cold toes!

  • johnlewis 5 Feb, 2013

    This inputs for a heating pad makes sense too and am sure it would really work well. I have already tried it out with corns and beans ,it gives amazing aroma with the purpose.
    Heating Pad works magic. When gentle heat is applied on a painful area of your body, blood vessels in the surrounding area gets expanded and blood circulation is promoted.

    Thanks for sharing !!

  • MaddieM15925 13 Nov, 2012

    I have used rice in the past for pain and it gives off a weird odor.......I have seen to use wheat but does that do the same? Do either dried cherry pits or buckwheat do that too? I want to make these as Christmas gifts but want to use something that won't smell!!!! Help please?!?!?

    Thank You! :)

  • Azoldbag 15 Feb, 2012

    Thanks for all the great ideas here! I've seen these bags in a shape to cover the eye area too. good to remove eye puffiness when the bag is chilled. Also, I have found that when I work with a food product, it's best to freeze it first. I do it about a week. This works well for macaronni too, if you use it for craft projects with kids. No bugs then!

  • ojolie 15 Feb, 2012

    This is a great treat for many ailments. I would suggest not overusing the same filler too many times as they can become very dry and start to smell like it is slightly burned, especially rice and beans. It is easy to refill and use again. I have done this for years. Depending on the amount of filler, I have heated mine about 1 1/2 - 3 min, increasing by 30 sec until the warmth you desire. Enjoy!

  • ojolie 15 Feb, 2012

    This is a great treat for many ailments. I would suggest not overusing the same filler too many times as they can become very dry and start to smell like it is slightly burned, especially rice and beans. It is easy to refill and use again. I have done this for years. Depending on the amount of filler, I have heated mine about 1 1/2 - 3 min, increasing by 30 sec until the warmth you desire. Enjoy!

  • mringrose 15 Feb, 2012

    I use flannel to make the case. Then I use rice as the filler. I add Eucalyptis oil, rosemary oil and ginger. Great for sinus congestion, aches, cramps, sprains and strains,. We always have some around the house,. One in the freezer for cold and one for the microwave that we put in for 2 1/2 minutes.(each microwave time varies).

  • marthashandmadehome 15 Feb, 2012

    Hi does anyone know where you can buy cherry pits in the uk please.

    thanks

  • nannai 15 Feb, 2012

    How many minutes should the Pad be heated for in the microwave. Most require 2-1/2 to 3 minutes, does the same apply in this case?

  • RitaKate 15 Feb, 2012

    One should use cotton or wool flannel for this pillow. Also an inner pillow of cotton would allow you to slip off the cover for the microwave and make it washable. Wash all fabric before sewing to get rid of sizing used in the weaving process -- especially before using in the microwave. Remember wool felts in the washer so it should be handwashed.

  • Sissy 15 Feb, 2012

    What are the heating instructions...trial & error?!

  • knohren 12 Jan, 2012

    You can also use plain ordinary rice as the filler. It can be microwaved or put in the freezer for cold compresses.

  • balsamsue 25 Nov, 2011

    or try using dried balsam...available by the pound at
    www.vtbalsam.com
    You'll love it!
    SLOW DOWN AND SMELL THE BALSAM!

  • pomocny 21 Nov, 2011

    I recommend buying cherry stones, that are already dry and clean, ready to be used. You may buy it http://www.cottonbarons.co.uk/cherry.html
    Enjoy making your own favourite cushion!

  • craftysagittarius 29 Sep, 2011

    Now I know why Martha suggested cherry pits. I used rice as recommended by many of you on these comments. I also got bus, little moths. I can't get rid of them. Tried freezing, microwaving and they're indestructable, they just don't go away. Can anyone help? The rice idea is so economical, but may have to switch to cherry pits.

  • Angela2 22 Feb, 2011

    I tried using rice and it got bugs! So now I use wheat berries available at a feed store or the local food coop. Very reasonable.
    Enjoy.

  • BarbJKM 17 Feb, 2011

    I've made these for years. I use fleece and fill with white rice. I don't use any perfume type scents because sometimes it can become to strong smelling when heated. I only heat mine for 1 minute on high power. Be careful not to over heat them. Obviously too much heat can cause burning of filling or material. It continues to heat up after removed from microwave. Also, I use an empty paper towel roll to fill with like a funnel. Keeps it from being messy. We all love them.

  • froglee 12 Feb, 2011

    I use deer corn in these and microwave for approximately 3 min. I also Velcro one end and that way when the bag becomes dirty I can dump the contents into a bowl and wash my heating bag in the washer and dry it and then just refill it. You put a pillow case on a pillow but the pillow will still absorb the body oils and smell this way I have fresh one anytime I want

  • Simplicity1 8 Jan, 2011

    Try using flaxseeds instead, and you can add your choice of essential oils as well. FYI: Flaxseeds hold heat better! Hope this helps :)

  • OBXdreaming 30 Nov, 2010

    I am using white rice. I have not had any problems with anything burning. I am giving these out for Christmas Presents this year.

  • Bluegal2007 25 Nov, 2010

    I have made this with white rice and it doesn't burn as long as you don't leave it in longer than 2 minutes. I usually do one minute and then turn it over to finish the other minute. They really work well.

  • Pattispurplecraft 19 Oct, 2010

    Two problems lately! Within the last week I've had two different bags start burning in the microwave. The latest one had lavender buds added but it was the same as the original bag I made just like Martha's. Both times the turntable had been turned off and the bags heated for almost two minutes...that is when it started to burn. Didn't happen if I folded it in half and didn't drape it over the microwave tray. Quite puzzling!

  • Pattispurplecraft 16 Oct, 2010

    I have made some out of cherry pits (the cherry pit store), whole buckwheat seeds and lavender oil. They were wonderful at first but have developed an unpleasant odor over time (less than one year). Anyone else have this problem? Might try cedar shavings and or dried lavender next time as well as making removable covers for them.

  • darbrooke 26 Jul, 2010

    I have a collar-shaped heat pad that is just perfect around your neck and doesn't tend to fall off when you move. It has a line of stitching across your shoulders so that the wheat and lavender sit evenly around the neck.

  • Cat73 7 May, 2010

    My Dr's. Office has one made from red fur in the shape of a heart, and if you need a fingerstick for a blood sample they heat it up and have you hold on to it for a couple of minutes to bring the blood to the surface. Great for people with cold hands, (and "warm hearts")!

  • MiltaryMom 1 Apr, 2010

    I live close to Traverse City and I never thought to use them! I have been using flax seeds from a farm and lavender. But I must try the cherry pits! thank you for this information!

  • DearRondi 21 Feb, 2010

    These are great for warming children's beds! Put them in ahead of time to warm the sheets and no more complaints.

  • DearRondi 21 Feb, 2010

    These are great for warming children's beds! Put them in ahead of time to warm the sheets and no more complaints.

  • josien 4 Feb, 2010

    This is a great project. I made 5 allready and filled them with rice. It works great 3 min on 750 and they are nice and warm. My family loves them.

  • AllHallowsEve 28 Jan, 2010

    Cool, it's working :)
    This is an excellent project.

  • AllHallowsEve 28 Jan, 2010

    Testing...my comments never post

  • RSYoung 24 Jan, 2010

    Disregard the previous posting. I read the suggestions for rice, beans or flaxseed.

    Thanks.

  • RSYoung 24 Jan, 2010

    Can you use something else besides cherry pits or buckwheat to fill the pad that can be safely used in the microwave?

  • diflan 23 Jan, 2010

    Are you new to Martha Stewart, Julie?

  • ginasews 21 Jan, 2010

    I make these often, and I always use mostly white rice with a little jasmine rice. Boy does it smell good, and it's a relaxing scent too!

  • sries 21 Jan, 2010

    rice is also fantastic and holds heat well. i made a set of small ones for my desk at work using colored girls socks to warm up my hands...

  • vanessameredith 20 Jan, 2010

    Don't use popcorn unless you are only usng it for a cold pad. Beans work best for a heating pad.

  • schmidtzoe 20 Jan, 2010

    Won't the popcorn pop?

  • tina_md46052 20 Jan, 2010

    Any sort of dried bean will work, including popcorn. The rounder the bean, the better.

  • grabja 20 Jan, 2010

    Can you use any kind of dried bean?

  • Jflook 20 Jan, 2010

    I agree, you need to add how long to microwave

  • doramoreno 20 Jan, 2010

    In the vdeo she says it can be microwaved for a few minutes or even put in the freezer.

  • maggitaffi 20 Jan, 2010

    I agree, how do you heat the bag? I assume, in the microwave but........?

  • 1bearlady1 20 Jan, 2010

    It would be good if you include how to heat the bag.

  • Defessa 20 Jan, 2010

    I've used pads with whole flax seeds. They contain oil, so they heat quicker and stay hot longer.

  • SweeTart 20 Jan, 2010

    I use cracked corn from teh feed store. Smells like popcorn when heated, so make sure you've got some in the house when you suddenly crave it! Cover is key so can be cleaned. These things get close to the body!

  • ewan 20 Jan, 2010

    its very good.especial a working mom like me.

  • mednerd 2 Mar, 2009

    I* made these smaller to use in a shoe box to keep new born puppies warm while birthing the other puppies.

  • shellshell 12 Feb, 2009

    Top quality Flaxseed is a good choice for filler. It has a natural oil that lengthens the time it stays warm. Spritz with water before microwaving, and heat no longer than 3 minutes. Lavender very nice added. Perhaps more expensive than rice etc, but you may find it's well worth it. :o)

  • colecomer 12 Feb, 2009

    I make these and use WHITE RICE. Fab!

  • ggonlsd 3 Feb, 2009

    Can I use beans?

  • vintagenanc 26 Jan, 2009

    I make slip covers for my heating pads for special occasions, like christmas, easter, etc. When they become dirty I replace with new cover and wash. This saves on the heating pad itself becoming dirty.

  • wmagick 23 Jan, 2009

    I use flax seed. It is small, and sits well in my pad. It heats well, doesn't have much of a smell, smells like popcorn. Keeps its heat well.
    Blessings,
    ---<-@

  • hollytracks 15 Jan, 2009

    I use white tube socks w/ white or brown rice. Tie sock on end. Micorwave. When dirty dump out rice and wash sock. Each time I wash sock I re put lavender oil on rice. Works for heat and cold pack. All my family uses this method. Didnt like sewn bags .

  • ecampbell34 14 Jan, 2009

    THIS IDEA IS HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD. YOU CAN ALL KINDS OF DRIED ITEMS. MY MOTHER-IN-LAW USES DEER FEED (WHICH IS LARGE HARDENED CORN) U CAN GET IT @ WALMART A HUGE BAG FOR VERY CHEAP! USE SCRAP FABRIC FOR THE BAG THEN MAKE A SIMPLE COVER THAT U SLIP OFF AND WASH. THESE ARE THE PERFECT HOMEMADE CHRISTAMS GIFTS JUST ADD A SIMPLE INSTRUCTION CARD MICROWAVE FOR 3-5 MIN. GREAT FOR COLD NIGHTS OR UPSET TUMMIES !

  • ecampbell34 14 Jan, 2009

    THIS IDEA IS HUNDREDS OF YEARS OLD. YOU CAN ALL KINDS OF DRIED ITEMS. MY MOTHER-IN-LAW USES DEER FEED (WHICH IS LARGE HARDENED CORN) U CAN GET IT @ WALMART A HUGE BAG FOR VERY CHEAP! USE SCRAP FABRIC FOR THE BAG THEN MAKE A SIMPLE COVER THAT U SLIP OFF AND WASH. THESE ARE THE PERFECT HOMEMADE CHRISTAMS GIFTS JUST ADD A SIMPLE INSTRUCTION CARD MICROWAVE FOR 3-5 MIN. GREAT FOR COLD NIGHTS OR UPSET TUMMIES !

  • LindaSprinkle 14 Jan, 2009

    Why so complicated. Rice works great. I make mine with inexpensive muslin, then cover it with fleece. The cover can be removed and washed when nnded.

  • meadresearch 14 Jan, 2009

    Someone below mentioned that they use tube socks. What a great idea!! And inexpensive.

  • 1Toffy 14 Jan, 2009

    I have seen these made with mixtures of different things. Buckwheat, lavender buds,rice, etc. So long as it remains dry, freezing shouldn't be a problem. The last neck and shoulder one I bought, gave instructions for heating in the micro, for 30 seconds to one minute. One minute caused burn marks or reddness on my back and neck. Be careful

  • angiewalsh 13 Jan, 2009

    In Australia we use wheat which works really well.

  • valenzgm 13 Jan, 2009

    I want to try making the heating pads and want to know what kind of rice you use. Is it regular white rice?

  • meemaollie 13 Jan, 2009

    I have made these with rice many times and it works well for heat. I have never tried freezing them with rice?

  • lindakidder 13 Jan, 2009

    You can also use corn(not popping) feed, and rice. The corn bags are a bit heavy but the rice is really pilable.
    Good luck

  • SunnyS 13 Jan, 2009

    I tried ordering the cherry pits from cherrypitstore.com but they wanted more for s/h than for the pits themselves. Are there any other resources for cherry pits?

  • SunnyS 13 Jan, 2009

    I looked at ordering the cherry pits from cherrypitstore.com and they wanted more for the s/h than it cost for the cherry pits themselves :(

  • BrendaValeria 12 Jan, 2009

    These smell wonderful when warmed if you add in whole cloves, dried lavender or your favorite essential oil with the rice. My kids love to warm these up in the microwave before bed to cuddle up with on cold nights. We also make ours with washable flannel or fleece cases so they are easy to keep clean.

  • ebgobler 12 Jan, 2009

    I've filled mine with flaxseeds (which are available in most bulk food aisles). I also make the heating pads out of muslin with little pillowcases for them so that I can easily remove them and wash the cases when required. As for heating them, I find that sitting them in the microwave in a "V" shape and heating on full for three minutes will do the trick. It can be hot in spots, so mix it around to distribute the heat before using.

  • memorymaker 12 Jan, 2009

    I've been making these things for 13 years. I started with dried corn, moved to a variety of drid beens and now my favorite is rice. It is cheap and somfter than beans since the rice is smaller. I also make different shapes for differnt places. I find in the tub shap that makeing two extra seams deviding the bag into thirds, helps keep the grain from falling all to one end. if you are trying to use it on a knee, this helps the bag stay on.

  • starrjewell 12 Jan, 2009

    Years ago I made mine using buckwheat hulls. I made travel pillows for my grandkids to use in their car seats when they fall aslep and their little heads flopped all over. They liked the sound and they were squishy to play with. I made a cover that could be laundered. Lasted forever. I heat mine. I ordered my hulls on line... get the cleaned ones. It's been years. Thanks for the reminder. I'll heat mine right now. Do try these. I think the first time I saw them was a Martha show. A good bazaa ritem.

  • Thorny_Branch 11 Jan, 2009

    I've been making these for my family for years. I use the softest tube socks that I can find. I place a scant 3 cups of dried feed corn or pinto beans into each sock and tie the end. When the beans start to crack, or smell sour (and they do!). Just toss the beans, wash the sock, and start over.

  • Stormiepe2 11 Jan, 2009

    I made mine using pearl barley. to heat put in microwave for 3 - 4 min on high setting

  • Grayson_Dempsey 11 Jan, 2009

    I am sorry if this is a dumb question, but I don't see instructions for how to heat these up?

  • sheiscraftyjax 11 Jan, 2009

    I made some of these for Christmas gifts. I used Fleece, Rice

  • TXMimi 11 Jan, 2009

    I use rice as well. In a hurry you can use a new pair of men's tube socks. Fill one sock with rice and tie the end. Use the second sock as a removable cover. Not as attractive but effective if you do not have the time sew a bag and cover.

  • JoyS 11 Jan, 2009

    I found cherry pits at www.cherrypitstore.com. They are specially cleaned for use in crafts. Some cherry pits are used for pellet fuel and don't have a nice smell.

  • sususa 11 Jan, 2009

    I make these bags filled with whole dried corn from the feed store.
    I put it in the microwave 3 minutes and use it at the foot of my bed on cold nites
    as a foot warmer and its very efficient.

  • AZ-Gal 11 Jan, 2009

    I use Jasmine Rice -- it smells so great and has a moist heat after a couple minutes warming in the microwave.

  • lauralee57 11 Jan, 2009

    I've been making these for years. I also use rice inside a muslin bag. I use hand towels for outside washable slip covers. Fold in half, sew side seams and use velcro along open edge. You can also make smaller ones with wash cloths and stick in your pockets for hand warmers and use at football games or other outdoor events.

  • newshari 11 Jan, 2009

    I think flax seeds are the best to use. They're bug free, no nasty odors and since they're loaded with oil inside, they give off a slightly moist heat after microwaving. The outer hull is so hard that they'll last a very long time. Also, I fill muslin fabric with the seeds and then make slipcovers so the covers can be washed. You can always refresh the muslin pouch with your favorite essential oil to add a wonderful aroma.

  • dmbav 11 Jan, 2009

    I love these but I make mine out of muslin and cover it with a print which I can remove and wash!!

  • BloomOn40 11 Jan, 2009

    i ordered lavendar from san francisco herb co. and filled with half lavendar and half rice. works great and smells heavenly. my 13 year old daughter made these for grandparents, aunts and uncles for christmas gifts!

  • quiltygirl2008 11 Jan, 2009

    Hi Im Lynne from PA......Could you also use dried pinto beans or white beans if you cant afford to buy the cherry pits or buckwheat? Lynne in PA

  • penelopet 11 Jan, 2009

    Just use wheat- add a cup of water when heating in the microwave before use

  • Gerkeeper 11 Jan, 2009

    You can also get dried cherry pits at: http://www.cherrypitstore.com/index_files/Page890.htm for about $7.95 a bag.

  • LadyBee 11 Jan, 2009

    i have used rice and what we here in NC call deer corn. I have also put lavender oil in it. A conventional oven does not work, because it will burn the contents and material. Look on the net and you will find a lot of info.

  • ef1 11 Jan, 2009

    I am wondering if you could use rice or dried corn and get the same effect?

  • deme423 11 Jan, 2009

    I used rice as well, but I added a few drops of cinnamon essential oil. It smells real nice when heated. I bet lavender would work very well too!

  • cookiemold 11 Jan, 2009

    I don't have a microwave - What temperature and how long do you heat it in a conventional oven?

  • CarolHudelson 11 Jan, 2009

    I heat my cherry pit bag, containing 2 lbs. of pits, for 1 minute on high in the microwave, and it's the perfect temperature.

  • majoan 11 Jan, 2009

    I'll try it with rice thanks so much.majoan

  • majoan 11 Jan, 2009

    Thank you for the heads up on beans.

  • pheasgram 11 Jan, 2009

    Hi MaJoan I have one that is filled with rice. The kind you have to cook not the instant. You heat in microwave for 3-5 minutes with a cup of water. This will give you a moist heat. You can also put it in the freezer.I hope this is help foul. I love mine.
    MaryB

  • lisasobell 11 Jan, 2009

    Beans may burn and even catch on fire, I don't know if I would risk it.

  • KendraDawn 11 Jan, 2009

    You can also put a cup or two of rice in a sock,tie the sock in a not at the top

  • majoan 11 Jan, 2009

    Hi, can anyone tell me if you can just use beans instead of cherrypits.
    Thanks

  • FouFolle 11 Jan, 2009

    Hi mjmabs, I have several of these (mine are filled with flax seeds and wheat) and I heat them for about 4 minutes on whatever is the default setting for my microwave! I guess full power. You can just try a couple of minutes and then if you like it hotter go for longer also if you do more at a time you need to go for longer. I have some which are over a decade old and I have sometimes dampened them again as it helps with the warmth retention.

  • karindotcom 11 Jan, 2009

    the site is actually just cherrypitstore.com, and thanks for that info!

  • Wexthuset 11 Jan, 2009

    test

  • ahudelso 11 Jan, 2009

    I ordered 40 pounds of cherry pits from www.thecherrypitstore.com and made 20 bags for Christmas gifts this past holiday. A friend gave me a bag years ago and it's still in use. The bag still smells like cherries when heated..

  • ccema 11 Jan, 2009

    I'm interested in the waldorf doll? How do you make that?

  • vogela1974 11 Jan, 2009

    I make these not only for necks but, I make a small bag shape (like 6 x6) and then fill them with cracked corn. They are great for babies with gas pains. When my son was little I would warm it in the microwave (for about 1 minute on high power) and then I would lay him on his stomach on top of it. It is magic! The gas just melts away and NO DRUGS!

  • ccema 11 Jan, 2009

    I'm interested in the waldorf doll? How do you make that?

  • mjbabs 11 Jan, 2009

    I am curious about the directions for heating this in the microwave. What power level? How long?

  • AbigailandJudesMum 11 Jan, 2009

    I make mine out of toasted millet with some lavendar oil. I also make waldorf dolls with the millet inside so you can heat the dolls and the baby/child can snuggle with a warm baby and go to sleep so beautifully.

  • origamidoll 11 Jan, 2009

    This is a great idea to use the hundreds of cherry pits I accumulate every summer form a sweet cherry tree in my yard. The cherries are not so big but I love them anyway and now I can clean and use those pits too! The best part is that I don't have to buy anything, since I can use recycled clothing or fabric scraps.No shipping mean less environmental impact. ( Buy local !)

  • lbuser 11 Jan, 2009

    I used buckwheat hulls. They heat up great and don't smell. I also added a cup of lavender to some. I made animals - lamb, cat, dog, for my grandkids and nieces and nephews. However, make sure you create a muslin bag first and put the hulls in it, then put this inside the cover. I had one break open and the hulls went everywhere. They are so light that I was vacuuming them up for weeks. But they were a great hit. Also, buckwheat hulls hold the heat nicely.

  • beashutts 11 Jan, 2009

    I've made them with cracked corn or lentils

  • prothmeier 11 Jan, 2009

    I have made these using pearl tapioca. It might be easier to find than cherry pits. You can get it at any grocery store.

  • time4home 11 Jan, 2009

    I have made out of tightly woven fleece, channel stitched end to end, they smelled of lavender when warm, 20 inches by 5 inches
    the channel stitch made it stand up against your neck, or for low back/hip pain it was AWESOME also for my daughter, earache, positive pressure/warmth of sleeping on pad worked, the nurse said this was done by our grandparents with a hot water bottle, now NO MESS and comfy

  • time4home 11 Jan, 2009

    I have made out of tightly woven fleece, channel stitched end to end, they smelled of lavender when warm, 20 inches by 5 inches
    the channel stitch made it stand up against your neck, or for low back/hip pain it was AWESOME also for my daughter, earache, positive pressure/warmth of sleeping on pad worked, the nurse said this was done by our grandparents with a hot water bottle, now NO MESS and comfy

  • pelican66 11 Jan, 2009

    my daughter used rice with an inner bag of muslin outer bag of leftover fleece. i think works much better. no smell at all.

  • galehester 11 Jan, 2009

    I made the cherry filled neck pillow from the cherry pits I bought from Martha's suggestion from TripleOrchards Inc. I was so disappointed witht he final result. Heated or not the neck pillow smelled awful> Like MUSTY and DIRTY and MILDEWED. Do not use cherry pits.

  • dharp 17 Dec, 2008

    I use rice for the filling. I use muslin to create a bag to hold the rice and then I create a flannel cover for the bag. This way I can wash the cover when nescessary

  • RN2639 10 Dec, 2008

    Can these be made with flannel???????

  • RN2639 9 Dec, 2008

    what kinds of fabrics? I ordered the cherry pits. do they give off a good aroma? how long to you heat it in the microwave? also, do the pits retain heat well? I hope so. I ordered a ton of pits! These will make great holiday gifts....or anytime.

  • RN2639 9 Dec, 2008

    what kinds of fabrics? I ordered the cherry pits. do they give off a good aroma? how long to you heat it in the microwave? also, do the pits retain heat well? I hope so. I ordered a ton of pits! These will make great holiday gifts....or anytime.

  • crafty_kim 21 Nov, 2008

    Thanks for the sizing recommendations. We ended up using 2 1/2 pounds per bag and they are just slightly more than half full.

  • crystalballscryer 23 Oct, 2008

    My sister and I like to use rice instead for comfy bedwarmers or neckwarmers (not minute rice, but regular grain). Rice retains the heat from the microwave beautifully. Watching Martha, it looks like the scoop she is using contains at least a cup of cherry pits, so I'd guess she added between 6 - 8 cups. You don't want to fill the bags too full, or they won't be flexible enough to drap around your neck on a cold day. Have fun; these are VERY handy on cold winter days!

  • crafty_kim 17 Oct, 2008

    Question for those that have completed this craft with the dried cherry pits: About how many cups of cherry pits did you use for your bag? I'm planning this craft for a group craft day at church and need to figure out how much I need to order.

    Thanks in advance,
    Kim

  • Angela2 22 Sep, 2008

    Stitch after adding some filling at 7", fill then stitch at 14", fill stitch closed. Making 3 compartments. Easier to shift the filling than one large bag full.
    Make the bags out of muslin and make a different covers out of flannel, like a pillow case. Cut the cases 1 1/2 inches larger and use 1/4' seam. You can wash the case and thus extend the life of your hot pack.

  • Angela2 22 Sep, 2008

    p.s. Wheat berries are available at the local co op or feed mill.

  • Angela2 22 Sep, 2008

    I use wheat berries for these bags. They have a different scent, but it's not offensive. Add a cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, or lavendar. I store them in the freezer where they are always handy for cold packs. I have not had any insect problems with wheat berries. Rice works well also, but put in a bay leaf and no bug problems.

  • frogs4ever 11 Sep, 2008

    I have a box of ground walnut shells from where I made pin cushions. Would this work? If so you can get the shells at a sporting goods store in the hunting department.

  • dotsamson 6 Sep, 2008

    Yes, do not use buckwheat hulls to microwave..as they are light weight and could catch on fire. Rice is a food product and will break down in time and have a bad odor too. And corn is ok as long as it is sterilized. I bought one once and upon opening it up, there were dozens of live corn beetles chewing away on the corn!!! So that's why I chose to use cherry seeds for my packs. They are the best! And smell like cherry wine.

  • dotsamson 6 Sep, 2008

    Yes, do NOT use buckwheat HULLS for heating as they are very light weight and could catch on fire. But you can use the buckwheat groats to microwave. Also rice is ok, but because it is a food product, it breaks down after time and smells bad. Cherry pits are the best! They hold heat for about 45-50 minutes. I was wondering about the pits from this company Triple D Orchard....the pits look very dark. The ones I've been getting are from The Cherry Pit Store and are light colored and smell like cherry wine.

  • sewnatural 18 Jun, 2008

    I have to tell you, I just orderd the cherry pits from Triple D Orchards and they are very accommodating folks. They are now processing cherry pits a special way for crafting, and are very reasonably priced....I think these natural heating pads are awsome and are going to be great for gifts....Dee

  • AngieOtt 17 Jun, 2008

    Flax seeds don't smell or sprout. And they hold heat or chill well.

  • Maddee 30 May, 2008

    hey love the idea, had one when i was a kid, but what fabrics can you use that are microwavable safe????? THANKS!!!

  • toneann77 29 May, 2008

    Besides cherry pits, I would recommend using rice. Also when placing in the microwave heat for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on size of bag. If you want, you can spritz the bag lightly with water before heating.

  • meganelizabeth 19 May, 2008

    I once gave this to someone as a gift, except it was a blanket that could be placed over your lap or wrapped around your shoulders. Just make individual muslin squares, fill them up, then sew them all together until your blanket is the desired size. Then make a nicer looking fabric casing to go over it. The good thing about that is you can remove the fabric to wash it. The blanket can also be used for a child to lay on if it is not too hot, and can be used for pets to lay on.

  • JoyS 18 May, 2008

    you can find cherry pits online at www.cherrypitstore.com. They are clean, light colored and have a nice smell. Some cherry pits that are sold as pellet fuel
    are dark in color and smell bad when heated.

  • NotYourAverageHousewife 15 May, 2008

    For Jacques55> clean dish towel folded around the pad
    ...the pad itself never applied directly to skin.

  • dbandkitty 11 May, 2008

    Does anyone have any tips on how to clean cherry pits? We just spent the day gathering cherries and I plan on saving the pits to use for one of the pillows (I think the cat will LOVE it) and wasn't sure if there was an easy method to cleaning the pits.

  • ncgator 10 May, 2008

    Whole buckwheat seeds work well by themselves or if lavender oil is added - less competing aroma that from the smell of corn. Also, you can use either buckwheat seeds or groats - but don't use hulls! Hulls work great for pillows but are not suitable for the microwave.

  • IrisButterfly 10 May, 2008

    Heating time for Magic Seamstress - 2 minutes in the microwave for whole buckwheat seeds, a bit less if you have a high power unit.... not sure how long for the cherry pits, corn or rice. Iris

  • Jacque55 9 May, 2008

    Hey girls you that have had your heating pads so many years. How have you kept them clean? I make little pillow cases for them juat open ended. with a cuff at each end.The case can be removed when soiled and then replaced after washing.

  • Yorkie7 9 May, 2008

    I bought a pad at a craft's show that had feed corn in it. I've seen them with beans (dried legumes) in it too. I then copied mine and made some for friends as gifts. You can find feed corn at any local farm store, and a $5.00 bag can make 3. You don't have to fill it all the way, only half of your pad. I heat mine for 2-1/2 min. in the microwave. Best thing when you have sore muscles! I have had mine for over 10 years!! LOVE IT!

  • NotYourAverageHousewife 8 May, 2008

    You can also use whole kernel, loose dried feed corn (un cracked corn)... like what you buy at a feed store as goat/horse feed or @ Pet Smart for squirrel/wild life feed. when you microwave the heat bag it smells like popcorn and it is a moist heat. I have had my bag now for 8 years, when not using, I store it on a plastic plate uncovered so it can breathe and not hold the moisture in. works great.

  • MagicSeamstress 8 May, 2008

    I don't see anywhere in the article mention of how long to heat. I presume it is to be heated in the microwave.

  • NJMommy 8 May, 2008

    I read somewhere on the internet that you could use "feed corn" - the kind you would put out to feed animals. It's available at Walmart. Has anyone tried this? Maybe I will try rice since it's easy to find.

  • apotie 8 May, 2008

    We have been using corn bags that are made from a special corn that you can either freeze or heat in a microwave. When I have aches

  • sewnatural 8 May, 2008

    you go girls...lets buy,make and sell USA....thanks Martha for yet one more idea to suooort our nations farmers, and promote use and purpose for which would otherwise, be a waste....

  • sewnatural 8 May, 2008

    you go girls...lets buy,make and sell USA....thanks Martha for yet one more idea to suooort our nations farmers, and promote use and purpose for which would otherwise, be a waste....

  • Echo823 8 May, 2008

    If you have trouble finding dried cherry pits or buckwheat, rice works really well.

  • amandalockner 8 May, 2008

    I have been looking to make these and decided last night to go buy the stuff to make them today. I looked around online last night trying to find something available locally I could use and found alot of people using rice so that is what I am going to try. People said you can still add essential oils or dried lavender to the rice also. *Note* Do not use quick cooking rice!

  • Autumn 8 May, 2008

    Are there other fillers that are more readily available that can be used in these? Possibly dried beans?