Monday, January 9, 2012

Up-cycling Hubby's Old T-shirt

So, if we are friends on FB you probably already know I've been having issues with my back.  About a year ago I had a herniated disc and it took a good six weeks to recover.  So, with excruciating pain in the same area, I assumed I had re injured a disc again.  Some other missionaries recommended a doctor that had helped her husband with his herniated disc.  While he was doing the examination, I started to realize that I actually wasn't having the same symptoms I had last year.  I didn't have any numbness in my legs or pain when I lifted them.  The doctor assured us that it was not my disc but muscle tension, irritation and inflammation.  This was probably due to lots of hours in the car, coughing and stress.  In short he said I just needed to CHILL OUT.  The whole family has gotten a huge kick out of this and I will not hear the end of it for quite some time.  "Are you OK mom?  Are you getting stressed out?  Don't get stressed mom, I'll get it cleaned up."  You get the point.  Who can blame them, it does seem awfully silly that you can get so stressed out you cause yourself debilitating pain.  In my defense, I thought I was "handling" all the things we have going on fairly well.  If you ask me how I am feeling, the word stressed doesn't really come to mind.  Apparently, I just store all my stress in my lower back.  Anyway, praise the Lord it's not my disc and I will be good as new very soon!  :)

The doctor suggested cotton socks filled with rice and heated in the microwave, so Sam had the idea of making a whole back rice pad out of some of his old t-shirts.  It worked great and I am enjoying it right now as I blog!  

What you need:
2 large t-shirts (100% cotton) turned inside-out
about 5 k dried rice
1/2 cup lavender (optional)
thread (100% cotton)
scissors

Update:  In the comments below Glen writes, " Word of warning.  Use only 100% cotton t-shirt and 100% cotton thread.  Polyester can catch fire in the microwave. "  I haven't actually popped anything in the microwave to test this theory, but a quick internet search does seem to confirm it.  So, be sure a use 100% cotton everything.  



Turn the t-shirts inside out and lay together as shown.


Mark and pin.


Sew around the outer edges.


Trim.


Turn right side in.  I actually forgot to do this and had to rip out some stitches.


Mark every three inches down the length.


Sew along the length, leaving the top open to fill with rice.


This is what it looks like after the lengths are sewn.




Fill each section with rice. 


You can mix lavender in with the rice, so it will smell nice and relaxing once heated.


Thinking.  Cute outfit!


Smelling the lavender.


Then I cut and pinned the top, turning it under.  In hind sight, it might be better to leave the bottom open and fill from the bottom and sew it up last.  Sewing the top closed with the curve and the rice wasn't easy.


And there you have it.  How to make a luxury rice pack for your back.  Just place it in the microwave until it's hot, being careful not to get it too hot.  It even forms around your neck and back!  It will possibly stop a bullet!  LOL!

31 comments:

  1. Did you guys like how I took credit for the whole project, even though it was clear Hannah Means sewed it and Sam Means and Lena filled it with rice. Also as long as I'm confessing, it was Sam's design. :P

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  2. I love love love this idea....I have chronic migraines back and hip pain.....I've been saying I thought it was stress too.......I do believe I'll be trying this, but with Disney fabric, well because mickey mouse makes me smile and that helps stress too.....Keep up the good work!

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  3. Thanks Starr! I hope it helps and Mickey Mouse will be much cuter than mine. :)

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  4. I love this idea. I just bought a sewing machine and I think this will be the first project. The whole thing fits in your microwave ok? Do you fold it up? Thank you!

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  5. I had to fold it up a bit, but it fit in the microwave just fine. :)

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  6. What if you leave the sleeves on so to slip your arm's through & could cling to the back if sitting? Love this design!

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    1. Did you wind up trying this, Val? I would love to know how it works and how you did it! I am trying to brainstorm some way to make it wearable!

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  7. That would be awesome Val! I've been meaning to make a new and improved version. If you make one I would love to see it. :)

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  8. This may be a silly question but how do you heat this?

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    1. heat in the microwave or one or two mins. if not hot enough for you gradually add time until right for you. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER HEAT SINCE YOU CAN GET SERIOUS BURNS IF TOO HOT.

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  9. You heat it the microwave. :)

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  10. How long do you leave it in the microwave??

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    1. Every microwave is different. Start with two minutes and if it is not hot enough, put it in for one more minute.

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  11. Great idea!! Does it actually fit in the microwave? It looks huge! I want one of these so badly. I also wonder if peppermint oil could be used.

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    Replies
    1. I don't have any problem fitting it in my microwave and I think my microwave is normal to small in size. Glad you like my little project.

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  12. Hello Christmas presents!! I don't know anyone over the age of 40, who doesn't need one of these!! Great motivator to clean off my sewing table too! Well, I'm off to the Goodwill store to find some fun T-shirts!!

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  13. Would love to make this,,,what is 5k for the rice measurement? 5 cups?

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    1. More than 5 cups. I would say ten cups, but I'm not sure.

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    2. I used 18 cups of rice for this project. My husband is in the Army, and constantly complaining of back pain. I'm sure this will work wonders for him!

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    3. That's awesome! I would love to see a picture of your finished product. Feel free to leave a picture on my FB page. https://www.facebook.com/purposefulwandering

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. I have used rice socks for years, but I think your idea of covering the entire back will help even more! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  16. Word of warning. Use oly 100% cotton t-shirts and 100% cotton thread. Polyester can catch fire in a microwave.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll make sure and put it in the post as an update. :)

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  17. Nice! I have disc issues as well but after attempting intense hula-hooping for a few days, realised it was more so an inflammation of the nerve/muscle when it 'swelled' up =( still having great pain.. am so gona try this =)
    Just curious though, does the rice itself actually have a healing therapy or its just a more practical option? Also, would the little black insects start dominating the rice in the long run?

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    1. I don't think rice has any healing properties. I think it is the warmth that makes you more comfortable, but I'm not sure.

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  18. I'm going to make one of these for my Dad. Can you tell me why you used two shirts instead of one? I wonder if it would make a difference.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for the slow reply, we have had family visiting for Christmas. We used two t-shirts because one did not seem strong enough for the project, so it would probably depend on the material of the t-shirt.

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  19. I converted 5kg using google it say roughly 11lbs. ig that helps anyone.

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  20. I make something similar to this using field corn and polar fleece. The polar fleece, which is 100% polyester, has never once caught on fire while in the microwave.

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  21. I made this a year ago making my own pattern out of cloth. Wish I would have thought of the shirt thing *geesh* But I used shelled corn. Talk about HEAVY and it took forever to heat up. So I will try this with rice to see if its lighter that way. :) :)

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