FREE PROJECT: Ice-Me-Nicely™ Covered Ice Packs

Ice-Me-Nicely Covered Ice Pack Project

The back story: When I tore my ACL and discovered surgery would be required to repair it, I learned that I would soon begin a love affair with ice packs. A friend whose son had a meniscus repair a year or so ago told me how to make my own ‘slushy ice pack’ that would be more malleable around the knee.  I gave it a try and discovered how fantastic these homemade ice packs really are. Only…I absolutely hated wrapping them in a towel.  The towel would slip and not stay securely on the pack.

Solution: Make my own Terry Cloth cover for each size.

©Tracy L. Chapman & Sew Thankful Inc. April 2010. All rights reserved.

User assumes all risk. Tracy L. Chapman & Sew Thankful Inc. shall have no liability with respect to loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this project.

Click here for a printable PDF of this project (requires Acrobat Reader).

Please read entire pattern carefully all the way through before beginning.

Two Sizes – Finished Measurements:

  • Large – approximately 12” wide x 12” tall
  • Small – approximately 8” wide x 9” tall

Materials required for each ice pack and cover:

Large

Ice Pack Insert:

  • (2) Gallon Size Double Zipper Ziploc Freezer Bags
  • Water – 6 cups
  • Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol – 2 cups

*Note: Water to Alcohol mixture should be approximately 3 parts water to 1 part alcohol. You may wish to use more or less total liquid for a ‘fatter’ or ‘thinner’ ice pack

  • Permanent Marker

Cover:

  • Cotton Terry Cloth  12” wide  x 26”  (idea: use a hand towel or recycle old bath towels)
  • Accent Fabric Strip 1.75” x 12”
  • Binding Fabric Strip 1.75” x 42+”
  • Sew In Hook & Loop Tape (Velcro) ¾” x 9”
  • Thread – recommend matching color to towel for construction, contrasting/decorative threads optional

Small

Ice Pack Insert:

  • (2) Quart Size Double Zipper Ziploc Freezer Bags
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol – 1 cup

*Note: Water to Alcohol mixture should be approximately 3 parts water to 1 part alcohol. You may wish to use more or less total liquid for a ‘fatter’ or ‘thinner’ ice pack

  • Permanent Marker

Cover:

  • Cotton Terry Cloth 8” wide x 20” tall (idea: use a hand towel or recycle old bath towels)
  • Accent Fabric Strip 1.75” x  8”
  • Binding Fabric Strip 1.75” x  34+”
  • Sew In Hook & Loop Tape (Velcro) ¾” x 6”
  • Thread – recommend matching color to towel for construction, contrasting/decorative threads optional

Instructions:

Prepare Ice Pack Insert:

  • Combine Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol and water in 1st double zipper freezer bag.  Carefully remove excess air from bag and close seal.  Place this bag inside the 2nd double zipper freezer bag with seal at the opposite end.  Remove excess air from 2nd bag and seal zipper.
  • Use a permanent marker and label the bag “DO NOT EAT, DRINK OR INGEST”

Label Ice Pack Insert & Double Bag Solution

  • Place pack in freezer several hours or until needed – the alcohol will prevent a super hard freeze, allowing the pack to be “slushy” and malleable.  If your freezer temperature setting is extremely low, the pack may become pretty hard over time.  Simply allow pack to set at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes before use and pack will become more slushy and malleable.

Prepare Ice Pack Cover:

Prewash and preshrink Terry Cloth and cut to size(s) specified.

Determine which end will be the top/flap end of the Terry Cloth cover and “round” corners on this end, as shown.

  • Hint:  Use a plate, roll of tape or any solid, flat, round object to achieve a nice, even rounded edge.

Round the top/flap corners

Fold ‘Accent Strip’ in half lengthwise with right sides out, match up raw edges and press.

Align raw edges of Accent Strip with raw edges of bottom of Terry Cloth, stitch using a ¼” seam allowance.

Accent Strip

Press, fold snugly over to the other side and topstitch down.

  • Optional:  Topstitch with decorative threads using a zigzag or decorative stitch.

Accent Strip Stitched Down

Center and sew in ‘soft’ side of Hook & Loop Tape parallel to the Accent Strip, butted flush alongside the accent strip.

Center and sew in hard side of Hook & Loop Tape on opposite end and opposite side of Terry Cloth approximately 1/2” from top (raw) edge of Terry Cloth.

I recommend using a thread that matches/blends with the towel color for this. Doing so will help make the stitching less noticeable on the reverse side which will be seen when the flap is folded over.

Hard Velcro Positioned

Bring bottom (accent) edge of towel up toward top (raw) edge of Terry Cloth:

  • For large size, place 3” below and parallel to top edge, pin to secure placement.
  • For small size, place 2” below and parallel to top edge, pin to secure placement.

Press Binding Strip ¼” under (to the wrong side) on one narrow end.

Fold Binding Strip in half lengthwise matching raw edges with right sides out and press.

Flip the cover over.

Align folded/pressed narrow end of binding strip at one folded edge of Terry Cloth cover (raw edges out/aligned) and pin binding all the way around, as shown.

Note: As you pin, pull and re-position the previously placed pins from the other side.

Use a ¼” seam allowance and begin stitching on binding.  Continue sewing up one side, around the top and down the other side toward the opposite folded edge of Terry Cloth.

Binding StitchingStop stitching approximately 3” from the folded edge.  Backstitch to secure stitching.  Remove from sewing machine.

Measure and cut binding strip approximately ¼” longer than the folded edge of Terry Cloth.

Clip Binding Tail

Press the new end of binding under ¼”. Refold in half, align with edge of Terry Cloth cover, press again.

Binding Tail Turned Under 1/4"

Return to sewing machine and continue stitching all the way down to the end. Backstitch to secure.

Press binding toward the outside.

Press to the outside. Inspect seam all the way around to make certain all layers are sewn in the seam. Trim excess/bulky Terry Cloth from seam allowance (no more than 1/16th – 1/8th inch / do NOT cut too close to seam).

Clip curves carefully to reduce puckering (be careful not to cut into stitched seam).

Wrap binding around Terry Cloth edge snugly and press. Pin if necessary to secure, easing around the curved flap edges. Topstitch close to edge to secure all the way around. Return to sewing machine and continue stitching all the way down to the end. Backstitch to secure.

Finish binding stitches

If desired, add decorative top-stitching all the way around for additional seam strength and visual interest.

Option: Add decorative topstitching

Option: Add Decorative Top Stitching

Store your cover(s) in a location you will remember.  When you need to use your icepack, simply pull it out of the freezer, insert it into the cover and ENJOY the cooling sensation.  When finished, remove the cover and return icepack to freezer. This icepack can last years.

Note: Inspect icepack for leakage with each use.  If signs of leakage occur, simply re-bag the liquid in two new heavy Ziploc Freezer Bags.

The cover is machine washable – For best results, press hook and loop tape together securely to prevent snagging on other laundry items. Recommend cool wash, medium heat dryer.

Idea:  Consider adding embroidery (monogram or other designs, perhaps) or appliqué to the Terry Cloth for extra decorative interest.

Click here for a printable PDF of this project (requires Acrobat Reader).

©Tracy L. Chapman & Sew Thankful Inc. April 2010. All rights reserved.

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55 Responses to “FREE PROJECT: Ice-Me-Nicely™ Covered Ice Packs”

  1. Tracy says:

    Hi Dianna,

    Best wishes for a super successful surgery and fast recovery. I don’t know about the alcohol. I just checked and what I have is 70%. So…I’d say you may want to experiment a little bit ahead of time.

    Tracy

  2. Dianna Sides says:

    Thanks so much for the pattern. I am having knee replacement surgery and all I heat is ice I c e ice. Made two, my alcohol was only 50 percent. Do I did less water.

  3. Linda King says:

    Hi Tracy,
    Thank you so much for the Ice Bag Pattern, I have been looking for one. My husband & I have arthritis, I also have Fibro. This will be a lifesaver. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
    Linda

  4. Mary Wenzel says:

    I have used these ice packs for years. I have had 2 back surgeries and 3 hand surgeries and used them each time. I love the way they shape to the area that they are being used on. Thanks for the great free patterns. I also double or triple bag them.

    Mary

  5. Carol stockman says:

    I made this ice pack, several years ago, it is a lifesaver! I have arthritic knees, and use this a lot. When the corners leak, I just change both bags. I have made several for friends

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