Friday, February 19, 2010

How to make a wheat bag

I love wheat bags.  They make amazing heating pads.  They're great for cramps, neck or back aches, or to warm up your feet in bed.  I choose to use wheat because I like the smell of it when it is heated up, but I know others have used rice.  I did some research on it, and apparently feed corn (not pop corn) is the best to use because it holds heat the longest.  Since I'm fresh out of feed corn and have a ton of wheat in my basement, wheat it is!

You can use any material you want, but I think it is nice to have something pretty to comfort you when you feel crummy.  This bag was actually going to be a tote bag, but when I started putting it together I didn't like it, so I turned it into a wheat bag.  So, these aren't the normal dimensions of one.  I'll tell you the proper size in the directions.  Just remember that my pictures will look a bit different than yours.

Color A:  Cut 1 rectangle 11 in. x 9 in.
Color B:  Cut 2 rectangles 11 in. x 5 in.
Color C:  Cut 2 rectangles 13 in. x 4 in. (if you don't want to make the handles, you can use 1 in. grosgrain ribbon.  You'll need 2 pieces that are 13 in. long.
Decoration:  2 pieces of 3/8 in. grosgrain ribbon that are 11 in. long.

1. Lay A right side up so that it is 11 in. high and 9 in. wide.  With right sides facing, sew both B pieces to either end of piece A.  I used 1/2 in. seams.
2.  You can iron the seam open, or you can "finger press" it.  I just used my finger and pushed on the seams.
3.  Turn it over and pin your ribbon on top of the seam.  Carefully sew down both edges of the ribbon.  Since the seams are 1/2 in, you are sewing them flat when you sew the ribbon on.  The ribbon looks pretty, but it also reinforces the seam so it won't come open and let your wheat spill out.
4.  If you are making your straps, you will need to fold each one in half lengthwise and iron the seam.  After ironing the seam, open it back up and fold each side in so that it touches the fold you just ironed in.  Then fold it back in half and iron it again.  When you get done, you should have a 1 in. strap that is quite thick.  Pin it in place, and then sew down each side.  I forgot to take a picture of this step, but I think if you look closely, you can see where I sewed it in the next picture.

5.  Once your straps are done, or if you are using ribbon, fold it in half and lay it on the right side of the fabric.  Line up the edges of the strap to the edge of the bag.  Make sure that you place the straps on the bottom half of your material because you will fold it down over the straps before you sew it.
6.  Fold the bag in half, and pin the straps in place.
7.  Sew the straps in place using 1/2 in. seams.  Then sew down the long side of the bag leaving a 3 in. opening in the middle of the bag.  Make sure your opening is in the middle.  It is much harder to fill it and sew it up if it is on an edge near the handles.  Flip your bag right side out.

8.  Using a funnel, fill the bag about 2/3 full.  If you don't have a funnel, you can roll up paper into a make shift funnel.
9.  Once the wheat is in, very carefully sew up the opening.  Now your bag is done and ready to use.
All you have to do is pop it in the microwave with a glass about 1/2 full of water for 2 minutes and enjoy it's warmth (and yummy bread smell).  These can be quite hot when they first come out.  PLEASE use with caution around children!

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