Did you catch my last post about 25 Dollar Tree Items and hacks for Runner’s? If not, go over there and check it out, it is largely responsible for the inspiration behind this post today.
I guess you could say I’m fairly new to Dollar Tree and Store. Yes, I’ve been in one before, but it’s been many years and this time I went in with a fresh, more frugal set of eyes. I considered it kind of challenge to see what items would be useful to a runner or fitness enthusiast. I plan on continuing my quest to come up with hacks and DIY’s to make the sport of running even less expensive than it already is.
As runners, we are oftentimes (well, pretty much all of the time) in some sort of pain. That sounds brutal! What I mean is that between achy muscles and the occasional injury, we rely on stretching, foam rolling, ice, and heat to help aid in the recovery process. Awhile back I made my own Ice Packs to help me with recovery.
However, some injuries are better treated with heat therapy. At $20-$30, heating pads aren’t terribly expensive, but they are extremely easy (and cheap!) to make. Unless you don’t want the hassle ( I consider it fun to DIY), why spend all of that money to buy one when you can craft one yourself?
During my recent Dollar Tree visit, I picked up a set of microfiber cleaning towels and a bag of white rice to construct my own heating pad. I certainly didn’t come up with the idea, I’m just bringing you my own personal story of how I crafted mine.
Why I chose the microfiber cleaning towels.
There were a variety of cloth options included dish towels and cloth napkins, but I liked the cleaning towels because they have an ultra-soft, cozy feel to them.
Rice was my only filler option at Dollar Tree, but you could also use Whole Flax Seed. In fact, I’ve heard it retains the heat a little better, but I am very satisfied with the rice and you can’t beat the price.
What I Didn’t Like:
I’m am not an experienced sewer. I can do basic hemming and straight lines, that’s it. So, if you are a beginner like me then this material was slightly more difficult to work with. It is very soft and a knit, so you need to make those adjustments on your sewing machine. Make sure you have the proper needle and stitch setting for knits. If you have had trouble sewing stretchy material in the past, you could use the cloth napkins, but honestly, for $1.00 this might be the perfect project to practice on. With that said, it wasn’t impossible to work with and I think it turned out just fine. I had the sewing machine out for about 10 minutes. This isn’t a major undertaking.
What I Did Like:
I love how soft these feel on a sore or injured area. Plus my kids wanted to snuggle with them, so if they have a tummy ache or other minor ailment, these would work great for children. Side note- if using for kids, be sure use about the half the time in the microwave as you would for yourself.
I also love the price. If you look on Amazon or in stores, heat pads can run from $10-30 dollars. I hate spending money if I don’t have to!
It worked great. I popped it in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds and it stayed warm for a good 20 minutes.
It’s relaxing. The Lavender scent with the soft microfiber feel, instantly made me let go.
If sewing isn’t your thing, you don’t have a machine, it’s too much trouble, or you just don’t like being crafty, then try filling a tube sock with rice and tie the open end in a very tight knot. Dollar Tree had cute styles to choose from like these.
Here’s how to make this super easy Lavender Heat Pad.
What You’ll Need
1- Set of Dollar Tree Cleaning Clothes
1- Bag of Uncooked White Rice
1- Sewing Machine with matching thread
1-5 -drops of Lavender essential oil (Optional)
How to Make It
Step 1– Fold the Towel in half making sure the tag is on the outside.
Step 2– Sew 1/4- 1/2 inch along the edge on both sides.
Step 3– Fold it right out.
Step 4– Measure 6 inches to the center and mark that spot. Now, sew down the center using your mark as a guide.
Step 5– Fill one pouch with rice and add a few drops of essential oil. Or place rice in a bowl and mix the lavender oil in before filling. This step is optional.
Step 6– Carefully tuck edges under and hand stitch the pouch closed.
Step 7– Repeat process on the second pouch.
DIY Microwaveable Lavender Heat Pack with a No Sew Option Click To Tweet
This project was incredibly easy, affordable, and VERY useful for this runner girl. Since the package of towels came with two, and the bag of rice is huge, this makes two heating pads. You could also sew them together to make a longer one that can wrap around the neck. They are nice enough for gifts, especially for all of your running friends.
How about you? Are you the crafty type or the No-Sew type?