Free Tutorial: Heat Bags

Here it is!  My Heat Bag Tutorial.   And just in time for Winter too (well here in Australia it is!)


You can make this heat bag to ease aching muscles or to keep your feet warm and cosy!  Make one or two for yourself or make one as a gift for a friend.  I love heat bags and use them regularly.  You can find more information on heat bags on my post HERE.

You can also use heat bags as cold packs too!  Just pop them into the freezer and take them out when you need to cool down in summer!

I recommend using Cotton Drill fabric to make these heat bags.  It’s 100 percent Cotton and thicker than quilting cotton so I think it makes it ideal for using on a heat bag.  You could also use an upholstery weight cotton fabric or a double thickness of quilting cotton fabric.  I DO NOT recommend using synthetic or polyester fabrics as they may melt when heated in a microwave.

Use a small stitch on your machine (I used 1 ½” on mine) so that the wheat is secured inside and doesn’t pop out of the seams.  Use ¼” seams when sewing all the pieces together.

These instructions make one heat bag approx. 7” wide by 15 ½” long.  I find that size ideal as it can lie across your lap or across both your feet.  It is also a nice size to go across the bottom of your back, or you can also drape it over a shoulder or around your neck.


Cotton Drill fabric

Approx. 1 . 3kgs Wheat (uncooked – raw wheat) or Rice (you could also use another natural filling like barley but please don’t use plastic pellets or polyester fibrefill)


Cutting:   Cut one piece of your main Cotton Drill (pink fabric in this tutorial) 7 ½” x 16” (this will be the back piece of the heat bag)

Cut two pieces of main Cotton Drill (pink fabric) 2 ¾” x 16”

Cut one piece of co-ordinating/pattern fabric (tape measure fabric) 3” x 16”

You should now have the four pieces like in the photo on the left.




Construction: Line up one pink strip with the centre piece (measuring tape fabric) right sides together and pin along the long side (matching the raw edges).  Sew it together.

Now do the same with the other pink strip and attach it to the other side of the centre piece.


You should now have the front piece completed like in the photo above.  Iron this flat – pressing the seams to one side.


Now place this on top of your back piece, right sides together.  Match up all the raw edges and pin all the way around.  Sew all the way around leaving a 2” gap in the middle of one short side.  This will be you turning gap and also where you will fill the heat bag.

Trim corners.



Turn the heat bag the right side out through the gap.

Push the corners and seams out and then iron flat.  Turn in your ¼” seam allowance on your turning gap and press flat.




Now fill the heat bag with wheat.  Hold a funnel into the opening of the heat bag and spoon the wheat in.  (If you don’t have small funnel – simply make a paper funnel by rolling up some paper and sticking it together) It takes approx. 1 . 3kgs of wheat to fill it to just over half to about 2/3rds full.  You don’t want to fill it much more as you need to be able to move the wheat around to distribute the heat evenly when you heat it up.


Hand sew the gap closed using small stitches.  You may want to go over this gap twice just to make sure it is secure and no wheat can escape.

You’ve finished!  To use it – simply place it in the microwave and heat it for 1 to 2 minutes.  You may also like to place ½ a glass of water with it in the microwave when heating to stop the wheat from drying out too much.


You can find the labels here on my blog under Free Sewing Tutorials.

Simply print off the label for the filling you have used in your heat bag.  There are 4 of the same labels on a page.  I have labels for Wheat, Rice, Barley or Beans or a blank one that you can write what filling you have used.  You could print them off on some nice paper or light cardboard if you like and use a hole punch to put a hole in the top and tie it on with some ribbon or ric rac.  This then makes a nice gift for someone, plus gives them instructions on how to use it.




If you enjoyed making this why don’t you make up my Kitty Cat Heat Bag too!  This is a brand new pattern I have just released!  You can find the pattern in my Craftsy Shop here:


Happy Sewing!





Very nice! And love the tape measure print fabric too! :)


Thanks Kristy! Yes – I love that tape measure fabric.

Barbara Boxwell

How do you clean the bags if you can not get them wet?


Hi Barbara. Just wipe them with a damp cloth if needed. Thanks!

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