How to Make a Homemade Heat/Ice Pack

Updated on March 8, 2017
freefogging profile image

I have a degree in nursing, and I am a seasoned writer of disease, diet, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and depression.

Small Stones

Small stones can be used for a DIY heat or ice pack.
Small stones can be used for a DIY heat or ice pack. | Source

Homemade Heat/ice Packs

When you have chronic pain or any kind of pain, it is to your advantage to have ice and heat packs available for home use. Store-bought heat and ice packs are very expensive, unless you buy the cheap ones that end up falling apart within a week.

There is another option available: make your own. The homemade packs are more durable than the store-bought ones, and they can be made to conform to any area on your body. Homemade packs can be formed to a specific body part and can be made from things you may already have in your home. So, how do you make a homemade pack?

Material:

Use a soft, but strong material such as cotton or a cotton blend. An old T-shirt can be used to make a homemade pack that is strong, soft, and formed to whatever area on your body that you have pain. Flannel shirts can also be used. Flannel is a soft and durable material that will feel good close to your skin.

Shape:

The shape of your homemade pack can be made to conform to any area that's in pain. You can make a long, narrow pack for wrapping around your neck or a medium square pack for your lower back. Whatever the size, make sure you first measure the body area that you want covered with your pack.

Once you figure out what size you want your ice pack to be, add an inch to the material for a seam to sew on. You can sew the seam a couple times to add strength to the pack. This will make your pack last a lifetime. Your pack will also be washable, although you may want to wash it by hand, as the washer may cause damage.

Filler:

There are several different "fillers" you can use for your homemade pack. Dry rice or beans can both be frozen and heated for a pack that can be for both pain (heat) and inflammation (ice). Uncooked corn kernals are another option for ice, but I wouldn't recommend heating a corn pack as it may start cooking if it gets too hot!

Small stones can also be used as filler. Stones hold heat and cold very well and will hold the heat or cold for long periods of time. Just make sure the stones you choose are tiny and round. You want to be able to "form" the pack to your body.

Putting it all together:

Measure the area that you want covered with homemade pack, then add an inch for a seam. Cut your material to whatever size you want, turn it inside out to sew up the seams. When you sew up the seams, leave a small opening for filling with whatever filler you choose (beans, rice etc.).

Turn the material right out after sewing up the seams. Fill with the filler, leaving a little space so the pack is not completely full. Sew up the small opening by hand after the pack is almost full. You should end up with a pack that is flexible and comfortable when applied to the area in pain.

Using your homemade ice/heat pack:

Put your pack in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute (or long enough to heat it). Apply to painful area for 20 minutes. Do not leave the heated pack on for longer than 20 minutes at a time because leaving it on longer may cause burning of the skin. You can re-apply the homemade heat pack after 20 minutes.

If you want your pack cold, put it in the freezer for an hour or so, until frozen. Apply to painful area for 20 minutes. Do not leave on skin for more than 20 minutes or you may end up with frostbite. You can re-apply the homemade ice pack after 20 minutes.

Final Thoughts

Homemade packs are less expensive than those purchased in the store. The homemade version can be made any size that you want and are more comfortable and just as effective as store bought packs. Making your own packs will save you money and they will last longer than any store-bought version you can find.

You can make different size heat/ice packs for different areas of your body. Homemade packs also make great gifts for your friends who have chronic pain or arthritis. Make a few for you and your friends; they will certainly appreciate the softness and effectiveness of this homemade gift. Homemade packs make great Christmas or birthday gifts that will last for years to come.

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      20 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, freefrogging,

      Amazing work. Love your writing for it is easy to understand.

      I have (and still am) suffer from Fibromyalgia and I noticed in your profile that you write a blog, is it, about this disease?

      I wish the unlearned and I don't mean that ugly, would learn that just because "we" are not confined in a hospital bed hooked to IV's that this affliction is REAL.

      And in my case it is what one cannot see that hurts the most.

      Thank you for your work.

      Honored to know and follow you.

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