Looking for a quick and easy DIY gift for someone you love? We’ve got the perfect idea for you. I’m here to show you step by step how you can make this quick and easy microwaveable heart shaped heating pad. Perfect project for a beginner and advanced sewer. Great project for kids too! Make these heating pads using bleached drop cloth and cotton napkins for a really inexpensive but useful gift. Want to learn how? Grab your sewing machine and I’ll show you.
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These microwaveable heating pads really do make a great gift. The best part? You customize the size, the fabric and what blend of essential oils you scent them with. Not only are they great to heat, but you can also put them in the fridge or freezer for a cool pack as well. They are a great sewing project for kids and can be made from almost any fabric you have sitting around. These are great for repurposing old shirts or other sentimental clothing items you have around the house you aren’t sure what to do with. Would you rather just watch a video tutorial? Watch it here. Or scroll down towards the bottom of this post and it will be there as well. These are great to make and have the kids decorate them with fabric pens or fabric paint. Such a heart warming gift for someone you love.
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Supplies you’ll need to make these adorable heart shaped heating pads:
- 2 pieces of fabric (front and back) Like the striped cotton napkin I used for mine? You can find those here. This is the cotton drop cloth I use. Great if you are going to make a bunch of these.
- Whole Flax Seed (1-2 lbs) depends on the size you want to make as well as how full you want to make them. You can find the flax seed here.
- Sewing machine
- Essential Oil of your choice. This is one of my favorites to use when I make these. You can also check out the list of my other favorites below. Essential oils are totally optional. Don’t know what to scent your gift with? Consider purchasing a bottle or two of essential oils and let the receiver of your gift decide.
- Printer paper or construction paper for making a pattern.
- Sewing Pins. These are some of the ones I have and they come with a magnetic sewing pin pad. Bonus!!
How to make these reusable heating pads:
- Choose your fabric. The size pieces you’ll need depend on the size you want to make. For reference, the ones I made in the tutorial video were 9.5 ” tall by 9.5″ wide. Drop Cloth thats been washed is a great inexpensive fabric.
- After you’ve chosen your fabric, give it a little press with an iron. If the fabric isn’t wrinkly, you can skip this step. I just have found its easier to cut out and work with fabric that is nice and flat.
- Grab a piece of construction paper, newspaper or printer paper and a pencil. We’re going to make a pattern. If you really enjoy making these and love the size, you’ll have a pattern for later and you won’t have to scramble to re-invent the wheel.
So far so good? Ok, lets continue.
- Fold the piece of paper in half. Starting at the FOLD, take your pencil and draw half a heart on the paper.
- Next, with the paper still folded, grab a pair of scissors and cut out the shape you just drew. Once finished, open up the heart shape you just cut and check the size and shape. Love it? Great! you’re ready to move on. If not, fold it back up and keep trimming until you get the desired shape and size you want.
- Take one piece of your fabric you’re going to use that you’ve already pressed. You have two options here: you can lay your fabric totally flat and pin your pattern piece flat in the center of your fabric. Now I’m going to show you how I do it that I’ve found makes this a lot faster. Ready?
- Fold your first piece of fabric in half and lay flat. Next, fold your pattern heart in half. Lay the folded edge of the heart onto the top of your fabric-folded edges together. The folded edges should be onto of each other like this (see below). Pin in place.
You can do it! Let’s press on:
- After you have your pattern pinned to your fabric, it’s time to get your scissors and start cutting. Don’t be scared, you can do this!
- Take your scissors and cut 1/4″ to 1/2″ away from your pattern all the way around (see picture below). You’re doing so gives you the added seam allowance you’ll need when you start sewing. That just means that the pattern you made is going to be the size of the finished product. Not giving yourself seam allowance will still give you the same end result (a beautiful heart shaped heating pad), but it will be slightly smaller since you didn’t give yourself this allowance for sewing it together. Confused? Have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments section below-I’m here to help.
- After you’ve cut out your fabric, un-pin it and take a look at the shape and size. Make sure its what you want. If not, fold it back up and continue trimming away until you’ve reached you’re desired look.
- Next, take the FABRIC you just cut into a heart shape and fold it in half again. Pin that onto the other piece of folded fabric. Folded edges together. Just as you did before with the paper pattern and the first piece of fabric. Now you’ll already have the seam allowance in and you won’t have to worry about cutting the two pieces exactly the same with the same size seam allowance. Here, I’ll show you what I mean (see picture below).
Doing great, getting close to the sewing part of this tutorial. Woo hoo!
- If you plan to use flax seed or rice thats been infused with essential oils, now is a good time to pour the flax seed in a large bowl, add some drops of essential oils (as much as you’d like to achieve the desired scent) on the flax, mix and set aside. Making sure the flax seed or rice has been coated with the oils. This will provide that amazing smell and effect you get from using essential oils.
- Now open up both of your fabric hearts that you’ve just cut and make sure they are the same size. They should be. You created an awesome pattern and followed the directions precisely. Lets move on to the next step.
- If you are using a fabric that has a print or a “pretty side,” you’ll want to face both “pretty sides” of fabric towards each other. In sewing terms this is called “right sides together” sometimes abbreviated RST (on sewing patterns).
- With RST, pin the edges of the hearts together. This is going to help keep them in place while you sew around the edges. For this particular pattern, I recommend leaving 3″ from the point down the right side and 3″ from the point down the left side unstitched. This is going to be the opening you’ll use to put your flax seed into the heat pack.
Head to your sewing machine, we’re ready to start sewing!
- With your machine threaded and ready to go, place your heart shaped fabric pieces that are pinned RST under your presser foot. For my heat packs I feel like 1/2″ seam allowance is good. If you make you’re seam allowance too small you run the risk of the tiny flax seed sneaking out any mini cracks in your seams if its not sewn perfectly straight. Better to be safe then sorry.
- With you’re presser foot down, slowly begin to sew. Make sure you back stitch 2-3 stitches at the beginning and at the end of your stitching. This will make sure that the seam doesn’t pull apart when you are filling it with the flax seed or rice.
- When you come to the center of the heart, stop sewing and make sure your needle is in the down position. With the needle down, list up the presser foot of your sewing machine and turn your fabric hearts so that you are now beginning to sew up the other side. Doing this will give you a nice crisp seam for your project. Very professional looking. No boxy corners here, you’re doing great!
We’re getting closer! Keep up the good work!
- Finish sewing down the other side of the heart, making sure you stop and backstitch about 3″ from the end. Just like you did for the opposite side. Backstitch 2-3 stitches. Oh wait, did I say that already? Yes, it’s thats important.
- Now that we have finished sewing and left an opening to fill, lets ease the seams a bit. Ease the what now?! No big deal, I promise. Grab a pair of scissors. If you’re new to sewing, a small pair of scissors may work better for you. Around the curved parts (top of the heart), make tiny “snips” around the corners every inch or so being careful not to cut through your stitch line. This will make your corners nice and rounded looking wen you go to turn this and press it. Worried you’ll cut through the stitches? Don’t worry, you can totally skip this part, its not a huge deal I promise. See the picture below. Hopefully this will show you exactly what I’m talking about. you can also watch this part of the video as well.
Ready to turn? Yes, I think we are.
- Put your hand into the opening of the heart that you just created. Grab a little piece of the fabric and hang on tight! Slowly pull the fabric from the inside towards the opening and out. You’re now turning your project RSO (right sides out). That just means the pretty side of your fabric will be facing outward so you can see it. Look at what you just created! Bravo!
- Now that you’ve turned your heart RSO (right side out), head to your ironing board and give it a quick press. Use your hands and fingers to push the corners out and give your heart its nice shape.
- Once you’ve pressed your heart nice and flat, you’re going to iron down 1/2 inch (or whatever you did for your seam allowance) around the bottom open edges of your fabric (both sides). See picture below if this sounds confusing. This is going to make it so you don’t have any raw edges when you sew this closed. You can also just sew it closed and skip this step but you’ll have raw edges of fabric exposed and it will fray over time with frequent use.
- After pressing the edges of your fabric towards the inside of your heart, its time to fill. Finally!!!!
- Take your flax seed that you previously infused with essential oil and slowly begin filling your heart. I find that about half way is the right amount. Keep in mind that the more full you make this, the more challenging it can be to sew it closed.
Ready to sew it closed? Heres the easiest way Ive found to do this…
- Take some of your sewing pins and pin horizontally across the heart. Keeping the flax seed (or rice) to the bottom of the heart. The pins will be working to keep the flax seed in one place making it easier to sew closed. Once you’ve pinned horizontally, pin the opening closed as well. Again, if you don’t have sewing pins, no worries. Use mini office binder clips.
- Now that everything is pinned in place, head to your sewing machine and lets sew this heat pack closed. Finally!!
- Once you’ve sewn the opening closed, carefully remove all those pins. You should have a lovely little seam to keep all those flax seed inside.
You did it! You’ve now finished this adorable, reusable heat pack thats perfect for the once you LOVE on Valentines Day.
Now that you’ve finished this handmade gift, I like to check it by throwing it into the microwave and seeing what the optimal amount of time to heat is. Depending on the size and how full you made it, I find 1-2 minutes is perfect.
Since you’re sewing project is now complete and you know how long to heat it, make an adorable printed card that has a message as well as directions for use. I don’t know about you but I LOVE homemade gifts! As I mentioned above, if you used a plain fabric, you can have kids decorate these with fabric pens for a truly personalized gift.
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Do you have a favorite DIY gift for Valentines day? Post pictures below. I love to see others handmade creations.
Shop for items used in this post:
- Farmhouse striped cotton napkins
- Whole Flax Seed
- Drop Cloth
- Essential Oils I use: Muscle Relief, Stress Relief, Lavender, Quiet Time, Patchouli
- My FAVORITE sewing machine
- Sewing Pins with bonus magnetic pin cushion
- Havel mini scissors for snipping threads
- Olfa cutting mat
- Wool Pressing Mat
- Clover Mini no-steam iron
Optional Items for a kids creative spin on this project:
- Non-toxic fabric pens (I found pens to be easier and far less messy)
- Non toxic Fabric paint
- Mini office binder clips (if you don’t want to use sewing pins)
At the end of February we’ll be heading to Canada to check out the status of our log home build!! We’ll get to see our house as its being constructed like a linkin logs kit. It will be put on a truck sometime in March and start the journey down to its new home here on the river. You won’t want to miss this!
Check out the other Valentines post from some of my fellow blogging friends. We have some great things to share! Make sure you subscribe so you never miss a post or update.