Do It Yourself!
Best Ever Hot / Cold Packs
(& hacky sacks too!)
tube socks (pre-washed)
filler (dry corn or beans PLUS dried herbs like lavender)
Cut off the tube portion of the sock, which is what you'll be using for the hot/cold pack. Turn the sock inside out and sew the raw (just cut) end closed. Then turn the sock right side out and fill it to the desired level with your filler and sew up the other end.
TIP: I like to use the
dried herbs in the socks to be used for a heat pack,
because it makes it smell nice when heated. The ones to
be used as a cold pack won't really smell so it doesn't
matter as much in them.
Another TIP: After making hot/cold packs with the tube portion of the sock, you're left with the foot portion of the sock. This is perfect for making some hacky sacks, especially since you've already got the filling material handy.
When I made these
originally, this is the point I stopped at. But recently
I ended up deciding to go back and add in three straight
seam lines, which breaks each tube sock up into four
compartments of corn. The reason I did this is so that
the corn stays equally spread when it's draped around
something (like a neck, arm, etc.) instead of all the
corn going to one end. To do this, I found it easiest to
first divide the corn in half like this:
The I sewed that seam,
while holding the corn back on each side. Be sure to use
a zigzag stitch to accomidate for stretch. I used white
thread and a tight zigzag that straddled the white line
in the sock.
TIP: If the sock has
lines, sew right on the line like this. Also, don't sew
ALL the way to the edges or it makes them poke out a
little. It's OK if one or two pieces of corn may shift
from one compartment to the other, you're just wanting
to keep it so that ALL the corn isn't flopping around.
Now my packs look like
TIP: If you're concerned about keeping the pack clean, you can now place a second sock on top of the pack you've just made, and remove it to wash as necessary.
To use for a cold pack:
Store the pack in your freezer until it's cold, then use it when you need it. I like to slip mine into a big ziploc bag for storage so that it doesn't get dirty or absorb any weird food smells.
To use for a hot pack:
Microwave the pack for about a minute. Set a cup of water in the microwave as you heat it, to keep it from drying out over time. Then hang it around your neck or place it on any sore muscles for relief. Don't take a pack directly from the freezer to microwave though! For this reason I like to have more then one... so one is kept in the freezer and one is kept at room temperature, ready to heat up. You can use the hot pack to throw into your sheets before going to bed and warm them up too.
Even MORE TIPS:
Some people use rice for the filler, but it doesn't heat as nicely and starts to smell funny over time, which is why I opt for the corn or beans. To buy cheap, dried corn, just go to a feed store for small amounts or a tractor supply store for large quantities.
An alternative to using tube socks is using bandanas. Just fold the bandana in half, sew the edges together, then fold in half again & sew it to make a tube. This is another way to get good color variation, although cotton socks are softer then bandanas.
**If you decide to do this
yourself, please send me a photo of it!
I've recently decided to start featuring
my readers' finished results.**