How to make a weighted Heating Pad with Lava Sand

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DIY Microwave Heating Pad Tutorial

I love a DIY heat pad just as much as the other girl but the idea of a weighted heating pad was new and intriguing! I’ve been making them with flax seed or rice for years. I was recently given some Lava Sand to try so in this video you will learn about the benefits of lava sand and what I think of it compared to my go-to flax seed.

I’ve always made heat pads with an overall printed fabric or flannel but thought this would be perfect for 2 of the 4 images on the fabric panel from my Spring Barn Quilts fabric collection from Riley Blake Designs.


00:00 introduction
01:40 Benefits of lava sand
02:43 Supplies
02:54 Prepare your fabric
03:41 Sew fabric together

04:33 Turn and press fabric
05:30 Add lava sand
06:49 Sew bag shut
07:54 Heat in microwave
08:18 How I like the lava sand heat pad

Lava Sand bag with Hawaiian lei and pink pineapple drink container


  • Two layers of Cotton Quilting Fabric (or fabric and flannel)
  • Cut to desired heating pad size + 1″ for seam allowances – the one in this video is 16″ x 11″ with about 10 lbs of Lava Sand (use code: TARAREED15 to save 15%)


Why is having extra weight, or a weighted heating pad, a good thing?

A larger weighted heating pad can offer benefits beyond the heat, like a weighted blanket. According to the – people find that adding a weighted blanket to their sleep routine helps to reduce stress and promote calm. In the same way as a hug or a baby’s swaddle, the gentle pressure of a weighted blanket may help ease symptoms and improve sleep for people with insomnia, anxiety, or autism.

What are the benefits of Lava Sand?

I hadn’t heard of lava sand before Steve from Lavaroo reached out to me so I asked him this question. Here is what makes Lava Sand different from the more common things used in DIY heating pads or cold packs:

  • No odor – this is one of my favorite benefits so I put it first. I love flax seed but as my dad used to say, “It smells like a barn”. Lava sand truly has no smell – yay!
  • Dry heat – lava sand gives off a dry radiant heat so even though it is hotter it sometimes doesn’t feel hotter. My husband tested it and really liked the weight and how long it stayed hot. We put the 10 lb heat pack in the microwave for 4 minutes and it stayed warm for over 20 minutes.
  • If you want a moist heat, simply put a wet towel or washcloth between your skin and the lava sand weighted heating pad.

How long should I microwave it?

Like with any heat pad, you need to do some tests since every microwave is a little different. Here are the general suggestions I received:

  • 3-4 lb heat pad: microwave for 2 minutes
  • 9-10 lb heating pad: microwave for 4 minutes
  • Heating for 5 minutes or more may cause the fabric to burn (so don’t do that).

When do you use a heating pad?

Everyone is different but here are a few ways we have used microwaveable heating pads in our house:

  • Sore back: you can heat the lava sand pack OR put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes if your back needs a cold pack instead.
  • Stomach ache / menstrual cramps: there is nothing like heat for a stomach ache or cramps and the added weight of lava sand is an amazing bonus!
  • Cold winter nights: when my mother-in-law stays over she’s always cold. Sometimes we give her the heated microwave pad to put under a blanket and warm her core when we are watching tv. We also completely spoil her when we heat it up and put it in bed for her feet! (She deserves it! 🥰)

The weight of the lava sand will also benefit anyone having anxiety as it helps to sooth and ground the person.

What do you think? Will you be giving Lava Sand a try? Let me know if you do and how you like it!

Don’t forget you can get 15% off with code: TARAREED15 at (on sand or any of their pre-made lava sand packs and products)


Be sure to save it to Pinterest and follow me for more ideas and resources for sewing, crafting and creative living.

If you make this or other projects and post on Instagram, be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!


How to make heat pads with rice or flax seed on YouTube >

How to make a button up scarf >


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