number 3 in the 12 days of christmas craft tutorials - here is a lavender wheatbag. i have chosen a whale as it is a very simple outline. just right for children and adults to snuggle up in bed or on the couch, and a perfect gift. it needs around 1 1/2 mins in the microwave and the grains of wheat will hold their warmth for at least half an hour. i'd recommend putting a small dish of water in the microwave along with the bag after about 1 month's use... it refreshes the wheat a bit. if you are making it for a baby or a very small child, just use it as pre-sleep bed warmer.
1. source your wheat and lavender. i found a great big sack at a local livestock supply place (they sell feed and large quantities of dog food and riding gear... try the yellow pages) lavender is easily available online or probably from your local market.
2. choose a simple outline approx 25cm in diameter... a whale, a hedgehog, bunny, a penguin, a heart. cut out your front fabric and your backing fabric. i was lucky enough to find a new cotton candlewick bedspread in a charity shop a while ago. it has made the most fantastic tactile backing for many wheatbags. i have used natural fibres...mostly cotton and some lovely wool.
3. sew any details onto the front fabric. i chose a large black corduroy eye for my animals for a bit of continuity. the bunny needed a fluffy tail and the penguin, a wing.
4. join the front and back together, with a generous seam allowance. i find it easiest and neatest to sew all the way around and then unpick a gap for turning the right way and then filling. CLIP any sharp angles or turns. i.e. the whale's tail needs a careful clip into the gap.
5. turn the right side around and fill with a mixture of lavender and wheat. i use about 3 tablespoons of dried lavender tips to 3 cups of wheat. you don't want the bag to be too firm, so leave enough space for a bit of squishing about.
6. finish by sewing up the gap with small neat stitches - you don't want the wheat escaping.
here are some of my finished bags - i sell them at craft fairs.
use the shapes to help with any gifts you make, BUT don't copy them if you are going to sell wheat bags yourself. it is not a new concept, so i am happy for you to take this as a starting point for selling, but use different designs, please. you could look in children's books for simple shapes. does this make sense? send me a message if you are confused or want to ask permission!