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Corn Filled Heating Bag

Posted by  ·  September 22, 2011  ·  Last Updated: May 23, 2016

We are baking, sewing & crafting up a storm, preparing handmade gifts for this holiday season. I am sharing 30 wonderful sewn gifts from 30 amazing bloggers! Head on over to According to Kelly for 30 fabulous crafty gifts. A Southern Fairytale is spotlighting 30 edible yummies & holiday-inspired recipes.You definitely don’t want to miss a day!

Hi! My name is Kyla and I’m visiting you from Funky PolkaDot Giraffe!
My mom (a fabulous quilter) tried to teach me sew when I was 10,
I made a pair of shorts and that was it.
Then, when my son’s first Halloween came along, I became
fabric and project obsessed and haven’t stopped since.

Today I’m going to share with you one of my
FAVORITE handmade gifts

that I have ever received.

We call it the Crunchy Little Corn Bag!!!!
My mom received one back when I was in high school,
and we were always fighting over it.
Then, when I was student teaching in a 2nd grade classroom,
one of my darling students gave me one for Christmas.
(perks for student teaching during December in Utah)

And here it is – almost 10 years later – my beloved corn bag!

I’ve made them in all sizes for all purposes.
Neck relaxers, cramp soothers, hand warmers.
The possibilities are endless.
Why corn? you ask? instead of rice or beans?
Corn stays cleanest the longest, won’t have problems with humidity, mold and mildew and generally won’t provoke allergies.

So, let’s get started!
We’re not just making your run of the mill Crunchy Little Corn Bag,
we’re making an AWESOMEFIED Crunchy Little Corn Bag.

You’ll need:
Flannel, cut into the following sizes:
9×11″ (for the bag)
8×5″ (for the bow tie)
2×5″ (for the bow tie)
4 pieces of 1×5″ (for the ruffles)

Step One:
Take your 8×5″ piece and sew it right sides together with a 1/4″ seam.
Take your 2×5″ piece and sew it wrong sides together with a 1/4″ seam.

Step Two:
Turn your 8×5″ with right sides out
and press both the 8×5″ piece and 2×5″ piece with the seam in the middle.

Step 3:
Fold your 8×5″, fold your raw edges over to meet in the middle
and sew down the middle.

Step Four:
Bunch it up to look like a bow tie and then hand sew together.

So it looks like this!

Step Five:
Wrap your 2×5″ piece around your bow tie,
and secure with your sewing machine or hand sew.
Clip off the excess.

Onto the ruffles.
I’m a ruffle cheater.
I set my tension high with a long stitch
and let my machine do most of the work.

Step Six:
With whatever ruffle method you prefer –
be it sewing a long basting stitch and pulling just the top thread to gather,
or cheating and letting your machine do the work –
ruffle/gather your four pieces of 1×5″ flannel.

So then you’ll have a pretty pile like this!

Step Seven:
Lay your piece of 9×22 flannel out
and find the middle of HALF of it (9×11) – allowing for seam allowances.
I figured it would be about 4×5″ mark if I used 1/2″ seams.
Lay the middle of the bow tie on your middle mark.
Step Eight:
Arrange your ruffles where you want them,
and pin them down.
I played with a few configurations (a frame, one ruffle on top & three on bottom),
but I settled on two ruffles on top of the bow tie and two below.

Step Nine:
Sew down the middle of ruffles with a regular length stitch.
I’m reminding you to switch back both your tension
and length, because I always forget
and then I’m silently cursing myself for forgetting.Then, hand stitch the bow tie into place.
I did lots of stitches in the middles,
and then a few on each end, so it didn’t twist about willy nilly.

Step Ten:
Take you 9×22″ piece and sew right sides together with a 1/2″ seam
on 3 sides, leaving one side open.
(in my picture, I only sewed down the 2 long sides, but went back and did the bottom,
because I realized it would throw off my seam allowance figures for the ruffle/bow tie placement)

Step Eleven:
Clip your corners.

Step Twelve:
Turn right sides out.
It should look like this!

Step Thirteen:
Top stitch around the 3 closed sides to give it a finished look.

Step Fourteen:
Fill with 3 ½ to 4 cups (about 2 pounds) with corn.
You can find field corn by the pound where bird food is sold – it is whole kernel corn.
Use whole corn, not cracked corn.
Or you can go to the local feed store and buy a 50lb bag of recleaned corn
like I did 🙂
If you’re making a lot of them, it’s a great idea.
It’s usually $13-15 for a 50lb bag.
And no, you can’t just use popping corn. . . LOL

You don’t want to fill it all the way full,
you want the corn to be loose in the bag.

Step Fifteen:
Sew your open side closed with a 1/4″ seam.

You have an AWESOMEFIED Crunchy Little Corn Bag
that someone will cherish for 10+ years.

To both sterilize the corn and help it to dry out,
place the newly made bag on a paper towel in your microwave and heat it for 2 – 3 minutes.
Let it cool for at least two hours, shake it up, and do it again on a dry paper towel.
If your paper towel or the inside of your microwave is still showing moisture,
do the heat/cool cycle one more time.When I give them as gifts I include this little card.
It is a 4×6 full resolution jpeg that you can
right click and save to your computer and then print if you’d like to use it.
That way, the person you gave it to won’t be like,
Um, what is this??

Thanks to Cindy for having me here today!
If you’d like some other fun & funky gift ideas
come on over to Funky PolkaDot Giraffe
and check them out!{Interchangeable Ruffled Headband}

{Ruffled Bookmark}

{Hooded Surfer’s Poncho}

Leave a Comment


  1. Mary Price
    Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
    Hi Cindy!
    Thank you for the great tutorial. I make these "warmies" too but I add a special ingredient. I buy whole cinnamon sticks and break them up. I put a few pieces in with the corn and when they're heated they smell so nice! Just be careful there aren't any sharp pieces. I also make mine in two pieces so I can wash the outer portion. I sew a muslin square and add the corn and cinnamon. Then I make flannel pockets for the bags to fit in. We have them all over the place. We have "warmies" in the drawer and "coldies" in the freezer. I LOVE these!

    Have a great day!
    • Monday, October 27th, 2014
      That is a fabulous idea Mary!
  2. Jinn
    Thursday, January 9th, 2014
    Thank you for your great idea! I already had have that kind of bag and I've use it for 7-years. I love it and I tried to buy the corn and baught it but...the smell is very diffrent :(
    So, could you tell me where I can get the corn?
    Thank you!
  3. Tammy
    Thursday, December 19th, 2013
    Hey everyone,
    I reading up corn bags too; for last minute Christmas gifts. Anyways, there another website about that answer question about why has be whole corn. I hope this helps.. http://web.archive.org/web/20080531122731/http://www.diamondthreadworks.com/microwave_heating_bags.htm
  4. Janet
    Monday, December 16th, 2013
    I have made these for years also. The way I learned was to bake the corn on a cookie sheet at like 200-250 for an hour or so to dry out any moisture in the corn before filling the bags.
  5. Tristan
    Friday, November 22nd, 2013
    PART 2! The first bunch of these I made, I used cracked corn, no problem, it was basically half and full kernels, but they were not sealed shut like popcorn. WELL! I bought cracked corn today, and it was more like pulverized corn, so I think I will see if the feed store has "Deer Corn" instead. So cracked corn can come in different forms.
  6. Tristan
    Friday, November 22nd, 2013
    TO LI: I use cracked corn, too. I "cooked" my bags several times in the microwave before giving them as gifts (as Kyla describes) Maybe your bag just needs a little more "cooking."

    I have a corn bag that is several years old, still going strong, but sometimes I do smell a corn scent. I do not mind it. It warms up the foot of my bed every cold night.

    My sister and I just bought a 50-pound bag of cracked corn at the feed store this afternoon, and tomorrow (as the snowflakes fall) we will make corn bags for Christmas gifts! I like to rinse off the corn (don't soak it!) and dry it well before bagging, for less dust.

    Happy Holidays!
  7. li
    Saturday, October 19th, 2013
    could you please let me know why using whole corn than cracked corn? I just got this idea from a friend who told me to use cracked corn. i made one but the bag smelled food, and I wonder if I left it in the microwave for too long and it got partially cooked. But your instruction said that it should be left there for 2-3 minutes to get it dried... I only used it a couple of times and each time I think I let it in microwave for about 3 minutes, It felt damp afterwards, but the smell does not leave. Would it be because it's cracked corn? Then I need to get whole corns..
    thank you for help.
  8. Stephanie
    Thursday, September 27th, 2012
    I had planned on making these for Christmas gifts,thanks for the cute poem to go with!
  9. Aline
    Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
    I've made rice bags and we love them but I think the corn might be a better filler to use for the bags. I always make them from muslin and then make a case so that it can be washed when it gets dirty.
    I love your name, that's my daughter's name and people have tried to call her Kayla her entire 28 years.
    Thanks for sharing!
  10. Friday, September 30th, 2011
    Love the corn idea! Thanks! I do not like how rice smells when heated up.
  11. Friday, September 30th, 2011
    I've never thought to use corn. I do not like how rice smells when heated up. Thanks for the tip!!
  12. becky b
    Monday, September 26th, 2011
    i like these bags and have made one for a friend with corn. someone mentioned that cherry stones are also great, so have been eating lots of cherries this summer and keeping the stones!!! now to make some more for christmas gifts. thanks
  13. Friday, September 23rd, 2011
    THIS IS GREAT!!! Perfect thing for Christmas presents. I bought one years ago from a local craft store. My mother confiscated it :P Maybe it's time to make a new one!
  14. Friday, September 23rd, 2011
    I have never seen these before - what a great idea! Looks nice and easy to make too.
  15. Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
    never thought of corn, but this is the cutest bag! i really want to make one of these!
  16. Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
    I like using wheat berry, I could not find corn locally so I tried wheat berries and I love how small they are and round, so no sharp sides
  17. Suzanne
    Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
    We call ours bed buddies and we couldn't live without them.
  18. Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
    I love this! We actually grow and sell feed corn and I just asked my husband to save me a large bag for Christmas presents. He gave me a very strange look. LOL I think homemade corn filled heating bags (using our own homegrown corn) is the PERFECT idea for us to give our families, kids' teachers, friends, etc. this Christmas! And I'm definitely making one for me too. I always have cold toes when I go to bed. LOVE this idea!
    Thanks so much for sharing!
  19. Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
    I just love this! I love the fabric too...my fave kind! I actually framed some for my apartment. I tweaked my back giving birth, and have been looking for something like this. Why not make my own?

  20. Leitha
    Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
    So glad to see this! I bought a corn bag at a market well over 10 years ago and we still use it all the time. I always wanted to know where to get the corn to make another one and you gave me that answer. Now I know what I'm giving for the holidays! √ that off my list!