Toucie and I worked on these as gifts for our college girls, Naya and Sodie this year. They are cotton socks filled with corn and essential oils and stitched up. They can be stored in the freezer to be used as cold packs, but we know our girls will prefer them as hot pads. They are designed to be warmed in the dormitory microwave for 1-3 minutes and draped around the collegiate neck (or any other part of the body) for comforting, therapeutic, moist heat. We hope they will feel a bit like hugs from mom and little sister.
We started with feed corn...about 6 cups per sock. I don't suppose this is necessary, but we rinsed our corn clean in clear water, then spread it out to dry on a towel in front of the fireplace. Some folks use beans or rice or flax for filling....I chose corn based on the fact that I think flax and rice are more likely to be damaged in the microwave and beans don't smell as good as corn :)
Once the corn was dry, we placed it in a bowl and blended in a combination of essential oils. We used about 15 drops of peppermint oil and 25 drops of lavender oil for our 12 cups of corn. Some folks put dried herbs inside, but we considered that a microwave hazard.
These are old, 100% cotton, over-the-knee socks purchased a few years ago at a Renaissance Festival. These heating pads can be made by just filling a sock (tube socks are good for this) with corn and tying a knot in the open end, but Toucie and I wanted ours a bit more finished. To begin, Toucie turned the sock inside out. In the photo above, I marked a black line on the sock (where my scissors are pointing) to show where I made my stitch line.
After stitching across the sock, I cut off the excess (the foot of the sock) and Toucie turned the sock right side out again.
Toucie then got busy filling it up with our scented corn. The sock only looks about 1/3 to 1/2 full when she's done...that's perfect because we want a flat heating pad not a stuffed tubular one.
I took the sock to the machine again to close the top. The cuff was still intact there, but it was wide and red...for the sake of an evenly patterned final product, I snipped off the cuff and turned the edges in as I stitched it closed. I tried to show this in the photo above.
When the socks were stitched closed, we laid them down and patted them flat distributing the corn evenly throughout. In the photo above, you can see that I made lines of stitching at three intervals to keep the corn distributed nicely and prevent it from running to one end of the sock. All done!