These microwave wheat bags make a great alternative to a hot water bottle. They heat up in just a couple of minutes and stay warm for hours on end. Plus if you make a nice fleece cover like I have it makes it very snuggly to cuddle up to in bed.
2 x 25cm squares of cotton (or one 50cm x 25 cm rectangle) – It doesn’t need to be pretty as this will be hidden. I just used a couple of scraps.
2 x 25cm squares of fleece (or one 50cm x 25 cm rectangle) I got mine from Abakhan Fabrics.
20cm strip of Velcro
Wheat grains – I used a 1kg bag and had just under half left over.
Lavender/rose petals/essential oils to scent (optional)
Place the 2 cotton squares wrong sides together and pin together. If using a rectangle fold in half placing the wrong sides together. Sew around the outside about 1cm in from the edge, when you get to the corners leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric then continue to sew. Make sure you leave a gap of around 3-4 inches to turn the fabric the right way around.
I double stitched mine to ensure no grains escape. I’m making it for my 7 year old son who will undoubtedly kick/throw it around the room and jump on it at some point so I want to make sure the grains aren’t going to come out!
Using the gap you left pull the fabric through and turn it the right way around. You can poke a pen (with the cap on) into the corners to help turn them out.
Either spoon or if you have a steady hand pour the wheat grains into the hole until the bag is around half full. I used just over half the bag of what grains.
If you are adding lavender/rose petals/essential oils to scent the bag add these now and shake the bag to mix them all up. I don’t like the smell of lavender so I used rose petals.
Sew up the gap in the fabric. If you want it to look neat and tidy it’s best to do it by hand using a stitch like this to invisibly close the gap. If you aren’t too worried how it looks being as it will have an outer cover on it then just machine stitch over the gap a couple of times to close it up. I have to admit I go for the quick and lazy option!
Set aside the inner wheat bag you’ve just made and get your fleece. I used one 50cm strip of fabric so this is shown in the photos. On the opposite ends of the rectangle you want to fold over around 1 inch of fabric onto the wrong side. Tuck the edge under so you have no raw edge showing and then place your Velcro on top, make sure it’s slightly wider than the Velcro and stitch it into place (remove Velcro before stitching).
If you are using 2 squares then pick one side of each square to make the hem, if using a print fleece make sure your print will be in the right direction when the Velcro sticks together.
Now place the Velcro onto the hems you’ve just made, pin into place and then stitch, right side of the fabric facing down.
Once the Velcro is stitched in place put the right sides of the fabric together and stitch all the way around the 3 sides (or 2 sides if using a rectangle of fabric) that don’t have Velcro.
Turn the fleece case the right way around, insert the wheat pillow and then Velcro shut. You have successfully made your heatable wheat pack.
Instructions for use
To use put a small splash of water onto the wheat pack before putting into the microwave or put a cup of water in to the microwave with the bag. This stops the grains from drying out and overheating which could pose a fire risk.
Heat for 2.5 minutes stopping halfway to shake the bag to mix the grains around, allowing an even distribution of the heat. The heating time will depend upon the strength of your microwave, if it’s not hot enough then add another 10 or 20 seconds. It’s recommended that you don’t heat it for more than 3 minutes total, and you allow it to cool completely before re-heating again.
Cuddle up to it to keep you warm. You can also use it for pain relief, it’s great for backache, tummy aches and kids growing pains. My son often gets leg pain and these heat packs really soothe him. You can make then different shapes, a longer narrow one is good for wrapping around your back or stomach for back ache or period pain.
If the fleece cover gets dirty remove from the wheat pillow to wash – Do not put the whole wheat pack in the washing machine. If making for kids you could always applique eyes and a mouth on to give it character.