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What do you put into ‘neck warmers’

martagon | Posted in General Discussion on

I figure that it would be cheaper to make a couple of those bean-bag type neck warmers that you see sold for around $20-30.  There’s about 75¢ of material, but with what do they stuff them?

I made one with white navy beans, but the beans seem to be shrinking the more I heat it.  Someone suggested wheat kernels, and someone else suggested flaked oatmeal!! I guess large flake….  i can’t really tell by feeling the beads through the material.

Is there a commercially available bead that is commonly used?   I haven’t seen anything in the fabric shops, but maybe I’m not looking hard enough.

thanks for help.


  1. solosmocker | | #1

    Are you referring to the"heating pads" that they sell at craft fairs and that you heat in the microwave and then apply to your aches and pains? If so, I have made these for gifts and they work great with rice.

  2. solosmocker | | #2

    If you go into the archives you will see a post for "microwaveable neck pillows." Check it out.

    1. martagon | | #3

      I see you brought it up to the top of the discussions.  Thanks, I'll go have a look.

      1. martagon | | #14

        If anyone else here has horses, i made these to warm the bit.  In our freezing temperatures, you can't put an unheated bit into the horse's mouth.  With two riders, I'd usually stand at the barn before lessons, with my bare hands wrapped around the bits, one in each hand, until I'd given up all my spare heat for the sake of the horses. 

        Now, I throw a couple of these warmers into the microwave, nuke for 45 seconds, and wrap them around the bits.  Give it ten minutes, nice warm bits.  The bonus is, when the bits are warmed up, I take the bean bag and suck the last little bit of warmth out of them.  Horse barns have gotta be the coldest place on earth.  The beans are shrinking, so I think I'll try a couple with rice.   I like the idea of spices inthe bag.  Hmmm, a little mint in one, a little anise in the other, the horses will be following me around like a puppy dog.

        1. kkf | | #15

          Naw, for horses you should use sweet feed, or alfalfa! :)Kristi

  3. rekha | | #4

    I bought pillows filled with buckwheat hulls because they don't break down as would rice which will become flour in the end. The pyramidal shape of the hull allows the pillow to follow the contours of your neckline and the pillow aerated. I have been able to heat it in the microwave and use it for my arthritic neck.

    1. zuwena | | #5

      I'm also interested in these small heating pads.
      Where would one buy/obtain buckwheat hulls?
      Also, can any fabric be used for these warmers?
      This goes out to martagon and solosmocker also for reply also, and anyone else who may have an answer. Thanks.

      1. rekha | | #6

        Googling brings up many sites http://www.google.co.uk/search?num=100&hl=en&newwindow=1&rls=GGLG%2CGGLG%3A2005-44%2CGGLG%3Aen&q=buckwheat+pillows+yoga&meta=

        I bought mine from a UK location. The fabric seems to be gabardine but I guess linen would do just as well.

        1. zuwena | | #16

          Thanks for all the info on the neck warmers. Now that I'm ready to start the machine's motor is acting up. Just a little set back. Zuwena.

      2. mimi | | #7

        I don't know where to find buckwheat hulls (but would be interested if finding out!), but you can get cocoa hulls from Hershey.  They use them as organic mulch and they smell pretty darned good!


        1. kkf | | #8

          I used jasmine rice, with a removable bag of aromatic herbs (cloves, allspice, star anise and cinnamon bark).HTH

          1. rekha | | #9

            Is that comfortable?

          2. mm | | #10

            This is how I do neck warmers, etc.  The covers are washable.

            I make an inner flannel and muslin "pillow" that I cut to twice the size that I want for the final "pillow" plus seam allowances.  The flannel goes inside and the muslin goes outside.  I serge across one end and then up one side and turn the muslin side out.  I fill it part way with regular (Carolina, health food store, jasmine from CostCo, etc.), add some dry lavender flowers, rosemary and whole cloves and then add more rice until it's about 2/3 full.  Then I serge across the end that's open.  I mix the inner stuffing as well as I can and then I stich a couple of bar tacks at about the 1/3 points from the two short ends of the "pillow" to keep the innards well distributed when the bag is in use.

            Then I make a removable outer cover from fabric from my quilting stash.  The cover is just a tad bigger than the inner "pillow" and enough longer to allow for seam allowances and a velcro closing on one narrow end.  I stitch the long side and one short end and close the other short end with a strip of velcro.  Velcro's fine in the microwave so it's safe to use and the cover is removable and washable.

            Warning:  I've overheated one of these and wondered what the burning smell in my bed was!  It sure didn't smell like lavender.  Be sure to warn recipients to start with a short microwave period and increase the time in small increments to be sure that they don't have any surprises.

            Edited 12/31/2005 1:08 pm ET by mm

          3. kkf | | #11

            >>Is that comfortable?<<yes- at least the one I kept for myself is. I'm not sure I understand your question. The spice pack is really really small-- just 2 X 2" and very thin. You end up not feeling it inside the pillow. The rice heats up and has a nice weight to it as well as moist heat. kristi

          4. rekha | | #12

            Does a 2" x 2" support your neck? I have two, one which I use for my neck instead of a pillow 14" x 5" and the other for raising my legs (put on top of several down pillows) 17" x 7"

          5. kkf | | #13

            No, the pilow's not 2 x 2", only the herb pack. The whole thing is more like 25 x 8". I wanted one big enough to encompass my neck and shoulders, or alternatively to use across the lower back.HTH

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