Tuesday, February 16

Easy Homemade Rice Heat or Cold Packs

This is one of the simplest sewing projects you will do, it's right up there with making pillowcases.
These packs can be heated in the microwave for a heat pack or placed in the freezer for a cold pack.
And they can be made into any size you want. 
 I use the size in these instructions for placing on a shoulder, knee or other similar area with an ache and pain. You can sew long thin ones to place around your neck or wrap around an ankle. Or make small ones to fix inside mittens for hand warmers!

These instructions include a rice heat pack removable cover.

How to Use:

  • They're wonderful heated up on a cold night.
  • Great for warming the feet area of the bed before I get under the covers. 
  • Really help relieve sore achy muscles (which I have lots of).
  • Use for migraines and menstrual cramps.
  • And work well made into small hand warmers, (my hands are always cold in the winter).
  • On the other side of the coin these work great cold for sprains or if out working in the heat and you want an easy way to cool down.

Tie with ribbon and add instructions for gift giving

Gift Giving:
Around here we usually have many reasons through-out the year for gift giving. These Heat Packs or Rice Bag Warmers make great gifts are for House Warming gifts, birthdays, Christmas, a hostess gift and even for a baby shower gift basket. 
To give as gifts, wrap 2 heat packs with a ribbon and attach the instructions, that's it!

Make a pattern for the size heat packs you want to make

You can use any color material to match the decor or favorite colors of the recipient or use holiday prints or soft fuzzy nursery themed material. You can also just use leftover scraps or an old pillow case for the fabric. I like using contrasting but coordinating material for mine.

Homemade Rice Heat or Cold Packs

Supplies Needed:

8 ½ x 11 paper (for the pattern)
Solid color basic material for the inside rice bag
Contrasting and or coordinating material for the removable rice bag cover
Straight pins
Regular rice (not instant)
Safety pins
Essential oil (or herbs)

Pin pattern onto fabric and cut out

First, determine the size your rice bags will be. I made a pattern using regular 8 ½ x 11 paper.
This will be the pattern for the inside bag filled with rice and the outside removable cover.

Inside rice bags cut out and outside, removable cover cut out. 

Inside Rice Bag:
Lay the large pattern piece onto the material you are using for the inside rice bag and pin in place. I used a cream muslin type material.

Pin front to back and sew together, leaving an opening to turn inside out

For each rice bag cut 2 front pieces. Remove the pattern and pin the material together. Repeat this step until you have the desired amount of rice bags. 

Sew the pieces for each bag together until all are complete

 With coordinating color thread, sew each rice bag pieces together. Make sure to leave a 3 to 4 inch opening in each in order to turn the bag right side out.

Sew all the inside rice bags first

Once sewn, remove the pins, turn the bags right side out and press if desired.
Place rice in a large bowl and add a few drops of essential oils or herbs if desired.
Using a funnel fill the bags to about half full with rice. For the size of my rice bags, it took about 2 cups per bag. The amount will vary depending on the size you are making. The bags should be about ½ to 2/3 full. 
Fill the bags with rice

 Pin the opening closed with a safety pin until ready to sew. Once all are filled sew the opening closed. Set rice bags aside.

Fill bags then sew the opening closed

Rice Bag Removable Cover
For the outside removable cover, cut 1 large pattern piece and 2 of the smaller pattern piece.
Fold and hem one long side of each of the smaller pieces of fabric.

For removable cover, make a small hem on one side of each small back piece

With right sides together pin the hemmed pieces to the large front piece. The back pieces will and should overlap creating an opening when done.

Pin front piece to the two back pieces and sew.  The two back pieces will overlap each other. 

Repeat these steps for the outside removable cover until you have the desired amount.
Sew together with coordinating color thread, remove pins and turn right side out. Press is desired.

This photo shows the opening created for easy removable of the cover

Insert the bag filled with rice into the removable cover. Heat / Cold packs are done!
For gift giving, tie both bags together with a ribbon and add an instructions tag. You can use the wording below or come up with your own. I found this little rhyme online.

The Rice Bag
This little pillow filled with rice,
Is such a comforting device.
Microwave 1 -2 minutes on high,
relax your muscles with a sigh.
Apply it to the troubled spot,
The heat will ease the pain a lot.
Or warm those little toes so cold,
To heat your bed, you will be sold.
Or freeze it for a little while,
And fix that owie up in style.
Instead of a compress made of ice,
Use this pillow filled with rice.

Finished Rice Heat Packs, showing inside heat pack and removable cover

Let me know how they work for you. I gave these out as Christmas gifts and got lots of positive reviews and many thank yous!

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Anonymous said...

Pretty! Heidi

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks Heidi!