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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DIY Ice Pack and Cover

A couple months ago, my seven-year-old son was standing at our double-door pantry, picking out peanut butter crackers as a snack just as I had grabbed a pack of fruit snacks for my daughter while she sat on my hip, one of her favorite places to be. Sometimes I think she's part koala bear. As I stepped back away from the pantry, I unknowingly stepped on the new bouncy ball I had just bought that morning at the dollar store for my princess. Dang blue ball! Obviously, I am not skilled enough to balance on a ball while holding 35 pounds on my hip because I went crashing down into the corner of the wall and my son. My left knee, which happens to be missing an ACL, thanks to jumping out of the back of my dad's truck almost a year and a half ago, was speared by the corner and my butt hit the hardwood. Both were in severe pain. Thankfully, mommy instincts took over during the nano-second it took to fall, and I managed to protect my daughter. She was unharmed but stared at my in shock. My seven-year-old was in tears, and my two oldest boys ran from the family room to see why I had shouted profanity.

In tears, I noticed I hadn't dusted under the dining room hutch in a long time, so my first set of instructions spoken through tears of pain were for my oldest to please get the Swiffer and clean up those spider webs. Yup, I've got screwy priorities at times. Meanwhile, I asked my middle son to get me a cold wash cloth because I'm prone to fainting when I get injured, and I was already starting to sweat. My husband took care of our youngest son who had smartly grabbed one of our many cold packs we use for lunches from the freezer and lay on the sofa. During my fall, I had slammed him into the door. Poor kid. Thankfully, all of my kids are hard headed, literally. They are also hard headed in the figurative sense, but that's another story.

Once my pain alleviated from my buttocks and knee, I got up. Sweetly, my middle son had run upstairs and grabbed my crutches for me. Thankfully, I didn't need them. My knee was bruised, but I hadn't twisted it this time. That reminds me; I was going to go to the gym today. Oops.

Okay, so why all this personal rambling you wonder? All this commotion made me realize that I need to make some real ice pack and ice pack covers to have on hand. After all, with four active kids and a bad knee, these will come in handy... a lot. I decided they would need to be made of some fun fabric, something that would make us laugh to take our mind of the pain of the injury. I didn't have any such fabric, but I knew I could find some though it would mean yet another trip to the store, and I had just gone today. I wouldn't have a chance to go back for at least a week. Darn. 
Now, flash forward to this week. I was walking with my daughter (holding hands rather than on my hip, luckily) when my bad knee just went out. We were simply walking down an incline to get to the parking lot at my middle boys' school when I fell. Thankfully, a moms' group were chatting in the parking lot and rushed to my side. Remember how I had meant to go work out the day I fell on the ball? Well, I still hadn't worked out. I know, I know. With a shredded ACL, it is imperative to work the leg muscles regularly so this sort of thing doesn't happen, but I still haven't figured out how to juggle working out with my work, my family, and blogging. 

The mothers quickly entertained my daughter to keep her from running through the parking lot with all the great stuff in their purses. With crayons and old McDonald's kid's meal toys occupying my daughter, I knew she was fine. Meanwhile, another mom got an ice pack from the nurse. After icing it for 20 minutes, I felt good enough to go home, take my prescription Ibuprofen, and rest my leg. That's when I remembered that I never did make those ice packs and covers as I had planned. Oops again! 

Today with my leg still sore, I vowed to make one. I had already found these ice pack instructions at What makes these ice packs similar to the ones you get at the hospital after surgery is they are bendable so it contours to your body. I know bags of peas can work, but we don't keep those small frozen bags handy. Plus, I don't want to ruin veggies every time we get hurt.

I followed Jillee's easy instructions, but I double-bagged the water and rubbing alcohol mixture using 2 quart-sized freezer Ziploc bags. Then I grabbed a couple of old t-shirts to make the cover. I figured this would create a cute and free cover while re-using something that was already not worth wearing any more due to the holes in the front of the shirts. 

Okay, so here's what I used:
  • 2 old t-shirts in coordinating colors
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • sewing machine with coordinating thread
  • Velcro
  • Quart-sized freezer Ziploc bags
  • water
  • alcohol

And here's how I made the cover:

I cut out an 8" x 12" rectangle from the back of one t-shirt and an 8 x 9 1/2" rectangle from the back of the other -shirt.  I intentionally cut from the bottom, so I could use the part that was already hemmed nicely for the top portions of my ice pack cover, thus saving me a step.

Then I pinned the two pieces of fabric with the good sides facing each other and making sure the pre-hemmed portions would be on the same side.

I sewed the two pieces together with a 5/8" seam and sewed the sides of the longer green fabric just to clean them up a bit. It's not beautiful by any means, and since t-shirts don't fray, I didn't have to worry about that. If you want to make yours more stylish, you could, but I didn't feel like figuring that out.

I then cut a one-inch long strip of velcro we keep by the roll and stitched it to the opening to prevent the ice pack from sliding out. 

And that's it. Now I have a homemade ice pack and cover that cost me nothing since it was made out of all products I keep on hand. I'm sure it will work great, but I sure hope we won't need to test it out any time soon! 

I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here or here.     


  1. Bonny,
    Awesome post, I am making these this week!!!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! It works very well, just like the ones we got from the hospital after surgery once and better than the ones we got from formula companies after my babies were born. I've actually gotten another chance to use it when my daughter accidentally threw her toy laptop at my face. That left a lovely bruise, but the ice helped with the swelling. :) Hopefully, you won't need to use yours as often!

  2. I didn't know you could use water and alcohol.....
    I always just use rice....
    Thanks for sharing. Looks soft... :)

    hugs ~ Crystelle

  3. Awesome, I heard that water and alcohol works really well as an ice pack because it stays nice and flexible. But putting a cover over it is a great idea! Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  4. I'll have to try this I'm accident prone by nature. I don't know why but that is one of the things I've stopped asking about.

    Deliciously Happy

  5. What a great DIY. Thanks for sharing. Anyway, I just nominated you in Liebster Award. Congrats. Info here

  6. Adorable DIY!

    Inviting you and your lovely readers for a GIVEAWAY -2 Satchel Bags- @

  7. Hi Bonny, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (, and I’m visiting from the Mommy Brain Mixer.

    Oh you poor thing, that sounds like it hurt so bad! I was laughing that you noticed the dust and instructed your kid to clean up before you even tended to your injuries! A Mom, first, last and always! What sweet kids you have.

    Anyway, it’s nice to “meet” you! Hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  8. Found you on the mommy brain mixer this week! Following and commenting from
    I hope you'll come check me out and do the same. Thanks <3

  9. I was hoping to already have these done, they are on the top of the list. This will fix lots of boo boos.

  10. Great DIY :) Would love it if you linked up on my blog hop Also let me know if you'd like to follow each other!

  11. I'm really sorry about your accident, but absolutely wrapped you shared this! I'm a klutz with 5 kids, I must make these pinning. Hope the knee is feeling better soon!


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