Sunday, February 12, 2012
Some Like It Hot!
Just before Christmas, I came across a tutorial for making rice hot pads, and I thought these would make some great gifts for family. I whipped up a couple of sets for my husband and kids, and they were an instant hit. My mother-in-law is now crazy about them as well and wants to place an order for more!
I had had hopes of starting my Etsy store well before now and offering some of these for sale for Valentine's Day, but I am still working on getting things organized. I made the hot pads shown above for the soon-to-be (hopefully this week) sewVery shop as well as these.
I also have a couple of sets made using Spiderman fabric. And as a side note, just because I made some hot pads using University of Alabama fabric in no way means I am a Bama fan! My blood runs orange and blue (and cotton Auburn fabric is difficult to find where I live)!
Rice hot pads are pretty simple to make, but I added a couple of extra features to make mine more decorative and easier to clean. As you can see, some have rick rack trim or piping on the edges, and all of them have a looped ribbon on one end in case you want to hang them on a hook for storage or to carry them with after they are heated in the microwave.
A lot of the hot pads I've seen online don't provide the user with an easy way to remove the rice so the outer bag can be washed. On my hot pads, I left one end open and added a velcro closure so the interior muslin rice bag can be easily removed and reinserted after the cover is cleaned. This was a really important feature to me since in my house, we primarily use the hot pads to warm up our feet!
My version of rice hot pads are made using left over fabric from other projects. Most end up being roughly 4" x 6" in the case of the Heart and Love ones above, but the Alabama hot pads are slightly bigger measuring 5 1/2" x 7". I like to make them in sets so we can have one for each foot, or we can warm up a couple of spots in the bed, or we can put them on our achy muscles!
My two kids love these, and every night they request we have a "Hot Pad Party" and read books. Then, before bed, we reheat the pads and put them in the bed to warm it up while we brush our teeth! It's wonderful crawling into a nice warm bed.
I usually heat up our hot pads for 60 to 90 seconds on high in the microwave. They are very hot at first, hence the need for the ribbon so you can safely carry them to the bed or sofa. Heated this long on high in the microwave, they will stay warm for at least a half hour or sometimes a little longer. I am always very careful not to let my kids have them until they are a safe temperature to touch, and I would recommend that anyone who uses these do the same.
I've read where these work great as cold packs, too, but I have yet to put one in the freezer. Maybe I'll get around to trying that next. But for now, I think we'll keep them hot around here!