Heating pads are commonly used to treat sore and cramping muscles. While the heating pads sold in stores are usually electric, you do not absolutely need a heating pad that plugs in. You can make your own out of corn and other basic materials.
What You Will Need
To make a heating pad, you need only two main components: an outside layer and a filling that can be heated. To create the outside layer, you will need about half a yard of fabric for one heating pad, a sewing machine or needle and thread, scissors to cut the fabric, and feed corn (not popcorn). If you would like your heating pad to release a pleasant aroma when it is heated up, you can also add an essential oil to your filling. Essential oils that are supposed to have a calming effect include lavender, chamomile, sage and lemon.
How to Make the Pad
Begin fashioning your heating pad by cutting a piece of fabric. A good size for this piece is 20 inches by 14 inches. Use a heavy cotton fabric to better protect your skin from the corn kernels once they are heated. Fold the piece of fabric in half lengthwise so that the side you want to show is facing inward. Sew one of the short ends and the long side so that there is one-fourth of an inch outside the stitching, then turn the fabric inside out so that the correct side is on the outside. To push the bottom corners all the way out, you can use a common utensil, like a butter knife. If you plan to use an essential oil in your heating pad, pour the feed corn into a bowl, sprinkle oil drops over it and mix well. Make sure that you are not using popcorn. If you use popcorn, the kernels will pop when heated in the microwave instead of just heat up. After thoroughly mixing the corn and oil, fill the fabric bag you sewed halfway with corn, then stitch the last short side together.
How to Use the Pad
Once you have finished the heating pad, it can be heated up in the microwave. Depending on your microwave, it will take anywhere from two to three minutes to get the kernels warm enough. Be cautious when using the heating pad the first few times. It is very easy to get corn kernels too hot and they can easily burn you, especially if you have used thin fabric.