Making a scrap-busting heat bag

During the week I made a couple of heat bags designed for the neck and shoulders.

I made them out of scraps.

Wait a minute, don’t I only do zero waste? Why am I doing things with scraps? Yes, I do generate scraps, but now they’re all of the useable rectangular type. Typically they’re the end of a length of fabric, from my stash, the op shop or where an online purchase can only be made in .25m increments. (Take a look at my scrap sorting here.)

heat bag piecing the fabric
I pieced together some strips.
Improv quilting book
This book has lots of good ideas for piecing together fabric.
(I borrowed it from the library, even though I’m not a quilter, and it was so good I bought a copy.)
heat bag pattern
When I had a big enough piece I cut out a square with a hole in it.
I made two heat bags, one smaller and one bigger. For the smaller one (the top measurements) I used pieced fabrics. For the bigger one I used a jeans leg that happened to be the right width.
heat bag sewing
I folded the square in half and sewed the curve and the sides, leaving a gap. I sewed two rows of stitching for strength.
Heat bags together unstuffed
I turned them through and poked out the corners. Here’s the small one on top of the big one.
Unexpectedly, the small one turned out to be a better size.
heat bag hand warmer sewing
I turned the middle circles into bonus hand warmers. I sewed them with a 6mm seam allowance, two rows, leaving a gap for turning.
heat bag sewing the gap shut
I stuffed everything with wheat (plenty of that around here) and sewed the gaps shut.
I stuffed the hand warmers firmly and the heat bags with some space. I might have put too much in the denim heat bag – we think it’s too heavy.

The heat bags get microwaved for 1, 2 or 3 minutes depending on your microwave (and a handwarmer maybe 10-20 seconds) and used for shoulder and neck pain management.

Here’s some wheat bag safety – don’t put them in your bed!

heat bag hand warmer with coat
The handwarmers are nice to hold onto in your coat pockets.



  1. Tracy Henwood on July 26, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Look great potatoes work well too and your lunch is ready to go
    It’s that Irish in my DNA

    • lizhaywood on July 26, 2021 at 8:08 pm

      Ah yes! I recall Laura Ingalls Wilder used hot spuds too 🙂

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