How to make a corn heat bag

Today I'm going to put together a simple tutorial on how to make a corn heat bag. I have several of these in different sizes and they are amazing used hot or cold for basically any injury you might have. I've had my original one for over 20 years and other than the fabric getting kinda dingy, it still works great!

Homemade corn filled heating bag on a sore ankle

I've made several more since that original one and I keep a smaller one in the freezer and the larger ones just in the cupboard to warm up when needed. Depending where you're at in an injury, you could use hot or cold, so I like to have a few ready. I swear I get hurt more living on a farm than any other time of my life! But I digress...

Let's talk heat packs!

Many, many years ago I used to go to craft shows all the time with my mother. We made soaps, candles, herb mixes and different crafts that we would sell. It was a fun activity to do together after I became an adult and had my own busy life to attend to. Often we would buy things that other crafters would make.

That's how I started making cat kick sticks! Check out the kitty kick stick tutorial here

At one of these shows, mom bought us both these heat packs someone was selling. It was a little pillow-ish bag full of what smelled like corn when you heated it up, and it had a cloth cover on it. My had pastel kitten paw prints. So cute!

We loved those things! You could put it in the freezer to stay cold or heat it up in the microwave for warmth. It was helpful for all kind of injuries or problems.

Simply heat it up in the microwave and lay on the bruise/strain etc for about 10 minutes. Instant relief!

Craft shows around here have a cycle. They really only come about during shopping seasons. So by the time she decided she was madly in love with this heat pack, there were no more shows for several months. 

She's had problems with her hips for years so she wanted a second one to put on the other hip when she was using the bag she already had. Plus we each wanted an extra one to keep in the freezer. Obviously, I had to figure out how to make these! 

What I came up with is not too different than the sinus headache pillow and hand warmers that I make. These heat bags use corn instead of rice and flax, and I don't put essential oils in these. But they're super easy to make.

How to sew and fill a corn heating pad. 4 images of all 4 steps

Corn heat pad Tutorial

I used cotton flannel fabric for this project, since microwaving synthetics is a bad idea. You can also use linen. If you're not sure what type of fabric you have, you can do the burn test to determine. Also use cotton thread in your sewing machine.

You can make these bags absolutely any size you want! I had this cute pack of winter print flannel pieces I had bought last year and decided to use them up, so that's what I use for my guideline on this one.  Pretty sure each one is a fat quarter. This size is longer than it is wide so it's nice for like lower back or to drape across the neck or over a shoulder.

To start we're going to make the corn bag. I chose plain white for this. Because the corn is inside it you'll never be able to wash this, But that is why you'll want to make a cover for it.

  • Cut fabric. I did 17" X 17" 
  • Fold in half, fuzzy side in and pin edges together
  • Sew around 3 sides, stopping before the last 5" on one end
  • Turn inside out
  • Roll up a sheet of paper to make a funnel and fill with corn. I used about 10 cups of corn for this bag. You want it to be about 2/3 full.
  • Fold in final seam and sew shut. I machine stitched it, though you could hand sew it.

easy sew | headache pillow

In this example I used a printed flannel. Super cute, but remember you'll still want to make a cover for it because it will need washed the more you use it!

Corn bag cover: sewing instructions

I'm using a holiday pattern for the cover on this particular bag, but the one I use all the time actually has 3 different covers. You can use any washable fabric you want. Since you wont be putting the cover in the microwave, it doesn't have to be 100% cotton like the actual bags fabric:

  • Cut your fabric slightly larger than what you did for the bag. Mine is 18" X 20". The finished cover was a little long, but I like it to be longer. As long as your cover is an extra 1-2" on the opposite edges it will fit just fine.
  • Fold the edge that will be the opening down about 1" and sew in place.
  • Fold fabric print side in and pin other 2 edges together then stitch about 1/2" from edge.
  • Turn inside out and put corn bag inside.

    That's it!
4 steps to make a cover for corn filled heat bag

How to warm up a corn heating bag

To warm your bag: place in microwave for 45 seconds then turn over and microwave for another 45 seconds. Flip it in your hands once or twice to mix the corn

How to chill a corn heating bag

Put your bag in a large Ziploc bag and place in the freezer for a few hours before using. You'll most likely want a second bag to keep in the freezer so it's always ready!

These bags make amazing gifts! I like to make several covers for each bag so you have one to use while the other is getting washed. While you can make the covers with any type of fabric, I find that flannel comes in the most patterns and colors plus it feels the best against the skin. 

Related reading: DIY natural gifts that will be ready in time for the holidays


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