Hi there! Are you staying warm in whatever part of the country you live? We’re really going through some cold, windy days here in the Northeast, but I know this cold weather is an especially big shock to some of you Southerners.
Today’s post couldn’t be more appropriate if I tried(!). I’ll be showing you how to make your own heating pads from thrifted scarves. You can use them for warmth or to ease your aching muscles. It is a great upcycling project using an every day item in an inventive new way.
One of the scarves I decided to use for this project, I already had on hand, having picked it up last year at Goodwill for $1.50. Made partially of cashmere, it’s very soft and comforting.
To make these heating pads you will need scarves that are 2-ply, in other words, they are not a single layer of fabric, but two.
Last week, I found this coordinating, all cotton scarf at a local thrift shop for $1.00. I’m not sure what those plaid pockets on each end were designed for, but later in the post, you’ll see how I put them to good use.
I’m linking up today with my fellow Thrifty Chicks for January’s DIY challenge — scarves or hankies. Check out all of their nifty projects using the links at the end of this post.
“Stuffing” for the pads consists simply of rice, and if you’d like to scent them, you can add the essential oil of your choice. I added lavender, along with a handful of lavender buds.
NOTE: You can stuff your heating pad with a variety of fillers, including buckwheat or different kinds of dried beans.
There are no precise size requirements for your hot pad, so depending upon how you plan to use it, you’ll want to adjust the size. Will it be for your neck? lower back? feet? your lap?
I made a few in different sizes. This striped scarf was 8″ wide; I cut two lengths from it, one 10″ and another 7.” I have enough left over for several more projects.
Once you’ve cut your scarf to the desired length, turn it inside out and sew one of the ends.
Clip off the corners to make them less bulky.
Fill them to the desired level (don’t over fill) with plain or scented rice. I recommend adding just a few drops of essential oil at a time. Mix with a spoon to evenly coat the rice with the oil.
[TRUE CONFESSION: I added 15 drops of lavender oil to about 3 cups of rice for my first heating pad and yowza, it came out a mite too strong. However, I’ve noticed that over the past couple of days the scent has toned down considerably.]
Enclose your pad by sewing the open end shut by hand, making tiny stitches to prevent any rice from escaping. At 6″ wide, the red scarf, promised to make the perfect heating pad for my neck. I cut a 12″ piece and it turned out to be the perfect size.
I thought they seemed a little plain, so I decided to add some wool flowers for accents. I’m lucky because I have a Sizzix (manual) die cut machine that allows me to easily make flowers from thrifted boiled wool jackets (no frayed edges with boiled wool!).
[NOTE: I’ve included links to the Craft Supply section of my blog shop, which now carries items from Amazon that I regularly use for many of my projects (or very similar ones). There, you’ll find my Big Shot Sizzix machine and a Bigz flower die that’s similar to the one I use (Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers).]
To make the flower “centers” I just sewed a star shape and then I adhered it securely to the heating pad.
They’re a nice touch.
So what did I do with those plaid pockets? I removed them from the scarf, filled them with rice and then tucked the ends in and sewed my new “hand warmers” shut.
My daughter stole the long red one and took it with her to college. She says it’s perfect for slinging around her neck whenever it aches. Don’t you love it when someone else appreciates your DIYs?!!
The hand warmers fit perfectly on my hands and warm them right up after just 30 seconds in the microwave. The larger sizes take about 2-3 minutes to heat up.
I find with this frigid weather that I’ve been using them quite regularly, both to keep warm and to sooth my aching neck muscles.
Thanks for joining me today for my upcycled scarf project. You know how much I enjoy transforming old stuff into new stuff, and it’s so nice to have friends to join me along the way 🙂 Stay warm out there!!
Check out another creative reuse for scarves:
I hope you’ll take time to visit the other Thrifty Chicks!
1. How to Make Flowers from Hankies by Shoppe No. 5
2. Homemade Heating Pads from Thrifted Scarves by Adirondack Girl @ Heart (me!)
3. Valentine Handkerchief Charger by Lora B’s Create & Ponder
4. DIY Valentine’s Wreath by The Interior Frugalista
5. Little Hankie Bird and a Hankie Project Roundup by Little Vintage Cottage
6. Quick & Easy Repurposed Scarf Draft Stopper by Thrifty Vintage Rebel
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