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It seemed like the warm weather stuck around forever! But I looked at the forecast recently and saw a chance of snow! Winter is definitely coming. With winter comes colder weather, illness, aches and pains, and more. Nothing feels better on those cold days when you aren’t feeling 100% then cozying up with a warm blanket, heat pack, hot cocoa, and a little pain relief. Today I am excited to share with you my Winter Toolkit including how to make this Easy DIY Heat Pack.
I always tend to over do it in the winter. Sometimes it is shoveling the sidewalks for all the neighbors (I love doing that little act of kindness) or rearranging furniture to fit in our holiday decor, I often find that I have worked myself too hard and my muscles are sore or tired. Not to mention if you have one of the many colds that circulates making your muscles weak. But that is okay, because I have a whole winter toolkit that helps me feel better so I can continue being supermom (or at least trying).
One thing I love to have in my winter toolkit is a nice warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa. After being outside in the cold, or if you are dealing with aches and pains it is so nice to curl up with a blanket and a warm cup of cocoa.
I also like to make sure I have plenty of Tylenol® on hand. Tylenol® can temporarily relieve minor aches and pains and also reduce fever. I always like to pick up a couple different types of Tylenol®. Extra Strength Tylenol® is perfect for those minor headaches that you sometimes get now that the kids are stuck inside all day. While Tylenol® PM can help relieve aches and pains while also helping you sleep when your mind is racing, forming all those holiday to-do lists.
During the winter though, I often find that my biggest struggle is keeping up on mom duty- changing diapers, taking my son to and from school, hosting parties, baking, running errands even when my muscles may be sore. As a parent I do not get a day off, even on those achy days. That is why I make sure to have Tylenol® 8 HR Muscle Aches and Pain. It helps me take control of my pain and take back my day so I don’t miss a beat. It temporarily relieves minor aches and pains from headaches, muscle aches, and more.
By far my favorite item in my winter toolkit is this easy DIY heat pack that you can use over and over again. They are super simple to make and would make a great beginning sewing project. They also make great gifts.
To make these you will need:
- Fabric that can safely be heated in the microwave, preferably a strong cotton or twill.
- Sewing machine and thread
- Wheat or rice (uncooked)
- Scissors/fabric cutter
To start you need to cut two pieces of fabric the same size. You can make them any size you want. For a neck heat pack, I suggest 6 inches by 18 inches. For hand warmers you will want probably 6 inches by 6 inches. You pick the size. With one yard of fabric I was able to make 8 large/neck wheat packs and 2 pairs of hand warmers.
Now take the pieces of fabric and place them right sides together (if there is a right/wrong side). Pin them together. (You can see how to pin the fabric on the longer pieces below.)
Now you will sew together 3 sides of the fabric, leaving one side open. (This is how you will turn the fabric right side out and how you will fill the heat pack up.) I like to use a 3/8 inch seam.
Before you turn the fabric right side out, you can snip the corners (see picture below). This will make it so you can get a cleaner corner when you turn the fabric.
Now turn your fabric right side out. Once you have done that you can fill it with the wheat or rice. I chose to use wheat because my parents have a whole bunch of it and let me come get some (can’t beat free, right?). You will want to fill it about 2/3 full.
Once you have filled your heat pack with wheat or rice, you will need to fold the open edges in so you can sew it shut. You can hand sew the edge if you want it to look pretty. I choose to just use a machine and go as close to the edge as possible. (I am not a patient person when it comes to my DIY projects, and so there was no way I was going to hand stitch these things closed.)
Once you have sewn the remaining edge, your heat pack is ready to use. Now you just place it in the microwave and heat it up to the desired temperature. Different fabrics, sizes, etc heat differently so start low (1 minute). You can always make it warmer.
One cool thing- these heat packs can also be placed in the freezer to create cool packs. I suggest putting them inside of a bag so the fabric doesn’t stick to other items in the freezer, but it works great. We love to use them for this in the summer.
Now that you have your DIY heat pack(s), you can add anything you want to your winter toolkit. Maybe you want some warm, fuzzy socks or a pillow. I seriously like to head to Target on the first cold day and just wander around and find things I would put in my winter toolkit.
While at Target, be sure to check out all the great Tylenol® products they have to help you handle the aches and pains that come with this season. You can find them in the pain relief aisle at your local Target.
What will you have in your winter toolkit? Will you be making one of these easy DIY heat packs for yourself or someone else?