I went to a Chiropractor a year or so ago and was told that I shouldn’t be putting a heating pad on my lower back, but to use and ICE pack. I was picturing ice cubes in a plastic bag thinking it would be lumpy and very uncomfortable. They tried to sell me a gel ice pack with their office logo printed on it, but I’m too cheap and didn’t want to pay $30 for it! So I made my own mold-able ice pack. (In fact, I made 3!) I keep them in the freezer so I can rotate them (and share them with my husband!)
These ice packs are bendable because they are only partially frozen. They are not made with just water. Water would freeze hard and be very rigid and uncomfortable (like a giant, flat ice cube!)
This ice pack is made of a mixture of Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and water. The science behind it, is that the rubbing alcohol won’t freeze, but the water does freeze. This keeps the water from freezing completely, so the ice pack stays bendable. It stays really cold for a good 20-30 minutes which is about the amount of time I was told to keep an ice pack on. Since ice packs should not be put directly on the skin, I was putting a small towel around the pack. I found that it was a hassle to try to keep the towel in place. Then it occurred to me that I could make a little cozy slipcover for my ice pack! I chose the thin fleece fabric for two reasons. First, I can cut it and it won’t unravel, so there was no need to hem the raw edges! Second, it is thick enough to keep the ice from getting too cold on my skin. If you want to use the thicker fleece fabric, that would be perfectly fine too.
I made the cozy cover using the same technique that I have used many times to make decorator pillow covers. Kind of like a envelope pillow sham.
The ice pack itself is made using 2 gallon size zipper seal bags
1 c. Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
3 c. water
Pour the alcohol and water into the bag and try to get out as much air as possible. Seal it closed. Place the bag into the other zipper bag so that it is double sealed. Just for good measure, I actually put my double sealed ice packs into my FoodSaver Bag Sealer and made one more layer. I don’t want any leaks! The Food Saver bags are really thick and durable! I have had these same ice packs for almost a year!
Place the liquid bags on flat surface in the freezer and freeze for several hours. When you take the ice pack out of the freezer, after about 3-4 minutes at room temperature, it will become bendable. This works really well if you need to put an ice pack on an ankle or somewhere that isn’t flat! It curves to the shape of wherever you need it!
Now, to make the cozy cover!
Measure your finished ice pack. (Mine was 11 inches square.) The front piece should be the size of the ice pack, plus 1 inch. So I cut mine 12″ square.
The 2 back pieces should be 12 inches divided by 2 (which equals 6 inches) plus 3 inches (this allows for the overlap.) You should now have 2 rectangles that are 9 x 12″ each.
The two pieces will overlap each other in the middle when pinned to the front 12×12 piece.
Stitch all the way around the square using 1/4″ seam allowance. That’s it! It’s DONE
Now turn it right side out and put your ice pack inside.
Like I said before, I made 3 of these so I always have a frozen one available when my old aching back needs 101 meds it. If you have kids that play sports, make a few!