Make yourself a HOTT cuddle buddy for those chilly nights!

There is nothing quite like toasty tootsies!

Hey guys! So I’ve been getting a lot crap from my friends lately for not posting something in a while. Hahah… oops! And it’s not that I’ve forgotten about you guys or this blog…. its just that I always have a couple of projects on the go at the same time, so it takes me longer to complete them because my energy/ efforts are spread out between the different projects. So here is something that I’ve been making for a long time for myself and as gifts. Its something that I could never live without, that my mother made for me when I was a little girl.

Now I know the concept of hot bags isn’t all that new, but this is the only bag that has worked for me. I use to use hot water bottles, but found them too stiff. I’ve had rice bags…. but they don’t hold the heat very well. I’ve use the little gel snap bags that you boil, but found them inconvenient if you weren’t near a stove and needed to reheat them. On a funnier note… the hot bag I had made a long time ago I just burnt recently (Oops!) I accidentally put it in the microwave at work for 20mins….. not 2mins. AAHHHH!! I tell you… nothing smells worse than a burnt hot bag 😦 -Oh well… I never liked that bag anyways, it was filled with hard wheat and I didn’t really like the way it smelled when you heated it up. (SUPER earthy) So in my desperation for a hot bag I bought a “Magic Bag” for $20. WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY! It smelled even worse and whatever they filled it with, little fibres would sneak out of the bag onto your clothes and make you itchy all day! Not to mention that they didn’t section the bag off so all of the “beans” would slide from one side to the other and not stay where you needed them. As well it didn’t have a removable cover that I could wash- Ewww!! But enough about my love-hate relationship with hot bags.

For my “More awesome than a magic bag- bag” you will need:

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-A sewing machine (or if your REALLY adventurist then some hand sewing needles)

-Some cute flannelette (That fuzzy stuff pj’s are made out of- not to be confused with fleece! Its around $10 a meter to make 2 large bags you only need a 1/2 meter)

-Some unbleached cotton (roughly $4-5 a meter)

– 2 1/2 – 5 cups of pot barley (about $.23 per 100 grams SUPER CHEAP!)

-Some co-ordinating thread

Step 1: Decided what size of bag you want. The longer ones are great for draping over your shoulders/ neck, or wrapping around your toes (my fav!). While the smaller ones are great for tummy aches/ cramps, joint pain or cuddling in bed while you fall asleep.

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Step 2: Cut your unbleached cotton out according to the size you want. (Sorry I don’t have any specific sized or pattern templates…. I’m kind of a spur the moment type of girl. Most of my recipes and crafts/ patterns don’t really prescribe to standard amounts or size.) For the long hot bag I cut it out at 5 1/2″ wide…. by how ever long you want it. I think I just used the length of the fabric (salve-edge to salve-edge). I think I had about 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Step 3: Sew! I cut my fabric out on the fold so I only had to sew down the 2 sides. Turn right sides out and iron.

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Step 4: Mark out even sections on your bag that you will fill with barley

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Step 5: Fill! I poured about 1cup of barley into the bag.

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Step 6: Section off with pins to hold the barley back while you sew it shut. Continue filling and sewing.

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Step 7: Before you fill the last section turn the raw edges under and iron. THEN fill with the last of the barley and pin shut and sew.

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Step 8: Place your bean bag on top of your flannelette and estimate (sorry… again no real specific way of measuring this part) and cut out. Make sure to cut out ONE big strip because we are going to fold the fabric back over on its self to create an opening to slip the bag into (this also means less sewing). I always leave myself more seam allowance than necessary and trim the excess. Better to have more than not enough!

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Step 9: Double fold the ends of your strip (to create a nice finished edge) and press. Then sew them down.

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Step 10: Place your bean bag on top of the strip with the good side of the fabric facing up. Then over lap the ends of the strips over the bag near an end. Pin on either side so you know where to sew, and then carefully slip the bag out and sew. Trim the edges if you need to, turn it right side out and press.

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Step 11: Insert the bag into the cover (this might need some coaxing)

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Step 12: Put it in the microwave for approx 2mins (All microwaves vary in power so be careful not to burn your bag the first time you heat it up!)

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Step 13: Enjoy! From all of my experience Barley works the best to hold the heat longer, not smell so earthy, is pretty cheap, and not make you itchy!

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12 thoughts on “Make yourself a HOTT cuddle buddy for those chilly nights!

  1. Thanks! I have made these bags before but used feed corn. I called the horse store today and the sales dude told me “ICK – corn has so much sugar that it will always smell burnt. You want whole oatmeal – about $1/kg.” Comments? I could try pot barley too, I guess. Bulk barn is closer than the feed store …

    • Hmmm… I haven’t tried oatmeal I think because its a flat type of grain and I don’t think it would hold the heat very well. As a note the Bulk Barn should carry pot barley… or even pearl barley. I have used hard wheat before as well, but I just didn’t like the smell, and found that it didn’t hold heat quite as well.

      But yes I totally agree with not using corn. As well… you might end up with a popcorn bag. Haha… not exactly what you are aiming for.

    • Be very careful with feed corn as I filled a water table up with it at my classroom and we came in after a weekend and there were bugs in the corn by the hundreds!

  2. I make these and use corn, its smells like popcorn ! My mother used hers ever night for a year for her feet when in bed..Never smelled burnt! Only replaced it when it looked worn out..I used the thick fabric placemats, fast ,easy and not much sewing.

  3. Hi, I am new to sewing and want to make these as Christmas gifts. What is the benefit of unbleached cotton? I have an old cotton bed sheet I can cut up or some white flannelette. Will either of those work in its place?

  4. Siempre e querido uno pero me dijeron que con grano de mais pro se hagusana pronto o sea se le hacer gorgojos y no sirve hoy si lo voy hacer gracias

  5. Thanks for the great instructions! The oats that the feedstore meant (in the top comment) were whole oats – also known as oat groats. They hold their heat wonderfully well and don’t smell gross either πŸ™‚

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