You can make your own therapeutic pad—for your neck, shoulders, or back—with cleaned and dried cherry pits, which absorb heat.
Photography: Bryan Gardner
Source: Martha Stewart
Heated pits can relieve sore muscles, headaches, and cramps. Before using, microwave the pad until hot, one to two minutes (do not overheat—it can be flammable). The pad also works well as a cold pack: Simply cover it with a resealable plastic bag and chill it in the freezer.
Natural fabric (Moda Muslin, in Natural, starting from $6.60, purlsoho.com.)
Patterned fabric (Liberty of London Tana Lawn Danjo Pink Fabric, $38.40 per yd., purlsoho.com.)
Dried cherry pits (The Cherry Pit Store Dried Cherry Pits, $10 for 4 lb., cherrypitstore.com.)
Sewing needle and thread
Sheet of paper (optional)
Stitch together two pieces of all-natural fabric, leaving a two-inch opening. Turn the fabric rightside out.
Add pits until it's two-thirds full (a nine-by-six-inch pad should hold about one pound of pits), then slip-stitch the pad shut. (Tip: Use a paper cone to funnel the cherry pits inside.)
To make a pretty slipcover in a patterned fabric, you can choose one of three simple finishing styles—a slipstitched closure, an envelope-backed closure, or a zippered closure—which all provide nice options for this sewn-from-scratch pillow project. For this streamlined style, the cover is closed with an invisible seam after inserting the pillow form. Because the closure is permanent, the cover is appropriate for this therapeutic pad.