I have been wanting to make this project for a while now after seeing similar things on Pinterest (check out this cute one). I have migraines that make my neck and shoulders really tense and having a nice hot pack to drape around my neck would be fantastic. Unfortunately, the only time I would think about making it was when I actually had a migraine, and that just isn't happening. But, finally, this weekend, I pulled out the materials and set to work. Here is what you need:
- 1 standard size pillow case (makes six packs)
- Long grain rice and/or deer corn (each pack holds approx. 4 cups)
- Essential oil (I used a sinus blend containing eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender)
- scissors (or rotary cutter and mat)
- sewing machine
- measuring cup with pour spout
I started by washing, drying, and ironing the pillow case, then cut it into the three strips. I sewed up the open sides, but not the top (just turn inside out and sew a straight seam), giving me three long pouches. I had originally planned to make just three packs this size, but realized they were excessively long. So I cut them in half and sewed up open bottom seams.
I filled three of the bags with rice. It is a bit tricky getting the rice into the opening, but using a measuring cup with a spout and going slowly helps. After pouring in about half of the rice, I added 2-3 drops of the essential oil and shook it a bit to disperse. Be careful not to over-fill the pouch: otherwise it won't drape nicely.
For the other three bags I used shelled corn (also called deer corn). In theory, the corn holds the heat longer than the rice, but I think both work just fine. I found the corn at Tractor Supply Company. I added essential oil to these as well.
Once the pouches were full, I turned the open edges inward about half an inch (almost like make a reverse cuff). I ironed a crease in, and then sewed a straight line across. I know I could have made a prettier finish on these, but it was quick and functional.
I ended up with six of these, and we tried out a rice pack and a corn pack, putting them in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds with half a cup of water for safety. They felt fantastic and smelled amazing. While I am not looking forward to my next migraine, at least now I will have something soothing to put on my neck. I think these would also work great for lower back, knees, or anything really. And, they would make a great gift!