I have been a busy bee these last couple of days! I made up a few of these wheat heating bags for stocking stuffers. Well, actually they won't exactly fit IN the stockings, more liked wrapped gifts beside the stockings ... ah well, there go the family rules about everything having to fit!
These are a popular gifting item these days. At a local crafting fair, vendors were selling them for $14.95 + tax! I easily made mine for around $4 and they are a nice quick and easy gift for the hard-to-shop-for person on your list!
Here is what I did: I sewed an inner bag from white cotton* (10" x 21") and left the top open. I measured out 3 cups of wheat (hard wheat kernels are available for little cost at any bulk food store) into a medium sized bowl and mixed in 4 drops of Lavender essential oil (optional) which is known for its calming and relaxing properties.
I added the wheat to the cotton bag and folded in the top and stitched it closed. Because essential oils can stain a little, I also made a slightly larger removable outer bag from some ladybug fabric I got at Joann's (those ladybugs are just too cute!). This outer bag can be removed to be washed which is great if someone uses it first on their shoulders, then decides to use it on their feet ... eww! For the tag, I modified the poem that I found here at Creative Outlet Designs. Her tutorial for "wheat sacks" is great!
The bag should be heated in the microwave no longer than 2 minutes on HIGH and the wheat shifted around before placing it on your aching muscles. It is a nice moist heat that comes from the kernels which I like. My little guys dislike the smell of the wheat on its own, but are keen on naturally scented ones (but I avoid lavender and tea tree oil around them always). Also, it is good to heat the bag a few times before gifting as the wheat smell becomes less and less the more it is heated and used. Another use for these wheat bags is to pop them in the freezer and use them as an alternative to the traditional ice pack.
* It is best to use natural fibers for the bags because it you do heat them in the microwave.