Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Cozy Christmas


This has got to be one of the greatest handmade gifts in the world.

I've heard them referred to as microwaveable heating pads or therapy bags or microwave corn bags...but I don't think any of those terms adequately convey the feelings of homespun warmth and snuggle-ness that you feel when hugging one of these wonders.


So, I just called them Cozies. And they are the easiest thing to make in the world.

In my family, we've owned three different versions of this bag which we have purchased from different sellers in the past. The fillings have all been different -- rice or millet -- some mixed with lavender and herbs... some not...

And Jack and I race to see who will get to the microwave first to heat them up when we're cold. We also use them to pre-warm our beds at night since we sleep with the house at 58 degrees...brrrr....


They are great for warming you up after you've been out in the cold...and Jack heats one up first thing when he comes in from school. I find them particularly useful sitting and stitching for long periods of time in the winter...Sitting on one of these tends to take the chill away.

I did a little research on what filling to choose when I decided to make my own bags as presents. I found this review by a nurse who wanted to use them for her patients very helpful. She has patterns on the site too but I just wanted a square. According to her review, corn holds heat the longest so it was off to the feed store for me.


I've never been inside of a feed store before since I don't live on a farm and I'm allergic to most animals...so it was pretty fun trying to explain to the guy helping me that I needed a 50 pound sealed bag of feed corn to make microwaveable cozies...he thought I was a nut...a nice nut but a nut all the same.

Anyway, I cut 13" squares out of 100% cotton flannel, sewing up the sides using 1/2" seam allowance, and leaving an opening on one side to fill with the corn. (synthetic fibers are flammable so natural fibers are best) I double-sewed my seams because we have had issues with bags busting open in the past -- mostly when Jack chucks them across the room...Not their intended usage, of course, but tempting all the same since they feel like giant bean bags...


I cut a cardboard tube from a roll of wrapping paper to slip inside and press my seams...


That was a great little trick.


I made a whole pile of them to give away because you can never have too many...


And I made up these tags to go on the packages too.


I'm really pleased with how easy and inexpensive these were to do. They sell something similar in the kiosk in the mall and last time I checked...they were charging around $20 for this size.


I'm sorry I didn't post about it earlier but I just finished them today. Maybe there's another procrastinator out there who could use the idea? I sewed about 10 bags in 2 hours...start to finish.

Here's to being cozy this Christmas and all winter long!

23 comments:

Vicki W said...

My SIL made one of these with rice for my husband last year. I started using it immediately and he hasn't seen it again!

flyingbeader said...

Those are so cute!

Judy S. said...

These are really cute, Susan, and useful, too! You found some really awesome flannel. Your comment about beanbags, reminded me of some frog-shaped ones my aunt made. I took one to camp one summer, and it grew to huge proportions as the beans it was stuffed with soaked up the moisture in the air. I'll bet heating the corn (or beans) would prevent that from happening. What a great thing for sore muscles too! (Like from too much time quilting perhaps?)

Elmsley Rose said...

I just ran into these on Etsy :
http://www.etsy.com/shop/lesliejanson?section_id=5340696

FredaB said...

I think these are replalcing the old fashioned hot water bottles that we used to use to warm our beds at night. Staying at a B & B in England one time we jumped into bed to find the hostess had come in and put them in our beds. Reminded me of being a child again. I am sure they are still using them in places all over the world. When I had a bad neck someone gave me one that I put in the microwave and then placed around my neck. It really felt good. They mke a nice gift and are pretty. Are most flannels 100% cotton?

Hugs

Freda

ps - it has been cool down here in Florida and I actually got out of bed last night and put a pair of socks on.

Allison Ann Aller said...

The bags are great...and thanks for the tips on using corn (funny, imagining you in a feed store)...but what I REALLY like are those tags!

Lisa said...

Love these! Great tip on using the cardboard tube to press the the seams! I always struggle with that! I love the tags too! Wondering how much feed corn you have left since you bought a 50# bag!

Elizabeth Braun said...

A friend of mine back home is big on corn bags. Only trouble for us is that you need a microwave and we don't have one!! I won't cook in them (destroy too many nutrients), so we gave ours away long ago!

Your cozies look great though!

Dees said...

I have one too, it's filled with the seeds out of cherries! They are soooo nice. I can't sleep without mine in winter. Nice you made em yourself.

Cathi said...

I'm sitting here right now with a warm rice bag on my shoulder. I learned of them many years ago from a friend. Sure helps with aching muscles.

Chris said...

I made some of these as gifts for Christmas a few years ago. I heat mine up and use it as a pillow on cold nights....Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

Carol said...

Merry Christmas, Susan`Jack and Jim.

I think ours has oatmeal in it. I never heard of them having anything else in them. As I read in your post that you were filling them with corn, my imagination immediately took off and I had the vision of corn popping inside, popping the seams and having a hey day in you Nuker. Silly me!

XX, Carol

zees5 said...

These are so pretty. How did you make the tags? I wanted to try these out earlier this month, but I just had time to sew my other projects in time for Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

Barbara C said...

The tags make these extra-special gifts. I've made them with rice, but it's good to know that corn hold the heat longer. I also make mine in long rectangles so I can drape them around my neck and shoulders, but square ones are probably better lap/bed warmers.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Balwearie said...

I made myself a cozy with rice a couple of years ago - I can't live without it now!

Chris said...

What a great gift. we made these w/ corn a few years back to many rave reviews. Merry Christmas Susan and a very Happy New Year!

Maria said...

I love these. They would be a cute Valentine's gift. Something like "A Hug for You!" on the tag! Is it possible to get the print out for your tags. I love those too! Thanks!

Susan Elliott said...

HI Maria! I'm happy to help you but I have no way of contacting you...

Karen said...

Thanks for the great description about how to make these! One suggestion though--someone gave me a cozy a long time ago and I'm still using it. My cozy has a flannel cover that you can remove and launder. The cozy itself is constructed from 100% cotton quilt backing fabric and is filled with feed corn too. This might be a good idea for those well used cozies. Keep those great ideas and photos coming!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I am glad you mentioned it won't pop using corn, I was a little concerned. This are so cute!I'll have to try them.

bazaarlady said...

These are wonderful. I've had the rice filled ones. Can anyone tell me if the corn filled have an odor to them, esp after a while of heating them up? My daughter suffers migraines and smells affect her. Also want to make these for a Xmas Bazaar to sell. How much do you think we should charge?

Thanks so much

Brenda said...

I am just getting ready to make some Cozy's with my granddaughter for her to give at Christmas. I think that we are going to use Flax Seed as the oils help hold the heat and there is not the smell from them that the grains have. Also, will mix in some good smelling Lavender or other dried plants. thanks for the great tips. Also love the tags.

A Contrarian's Way said...

Hi there! I am making these cozys right now! I wondered if you might be willing to share your tags for them. I am not especially gifted in that area, and I think the tag is nearly as nice as the gift! Thanks so much! I found you from Elizabeth Foss's blog, where she made these a year or ago or so. I pinned it, and am just now getting around to making! Better late than never!
Thanks for your help!
Warmly,
Julie Z.

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