Make a Rice Filled Heating Pad

By Trinette Stowell



Grain-filled heating pads have become quite popular in health food stores, gifts shops and at craft bazaars. But they are often quite costly. Here is a set of simple and thrifty instructions to make your own rice-filled heating pad using scraps of fabric you may already have on hand.


Rice-Filled Heating Pads


Small amount of patterned fabric of your choice (1/4 yd. would be PLENTY), prewashed and preshrunk
Small amount of white cloth, such as muslin (1/4 yd. would be PLENTY)
Straight pins
Thread to match your fabric
White thread
Ruler -or- a measuring tape and anything with a straight edge
Rice, 1   cups



From the printed fabric cut one rectangle that is 5" x 13".  Cut two rectangles that are 5" x 8" each.  On a smaller rectangle, turn down a short edge about 3/8" to 1/4" and press with iron.  Turn down fold once more and press again.  Using matching thread, top stitch fold to create hem.  Repeat with other short rectangle.

Place larger rectangle, right side up, on table and then place one short rectangle, right side down on top of it, with the unfinished short side to the left, lined up with an unfinished short side of the larger rectangle.  This should place the hemmed edge of the small rectangle about 7 1/2" away from the right end of the long rectangle.  Pin in place. 

Place other short rectangle right side down on top of both rectangles, with the unfinished short side to the right, lined up with the unfinished short side of the larger rectangle.  This should place the hemmed edge of the top rectangle about 7 1/2" away from the pinned left end of the previous two pieces of fabric.  Pin in place.

Stitch all the way around the pinned rectangles, using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Because these items will get a lot of handling, I have been reinforcing these seams with a zigzag stitch over the straight stitching.  Once all four sides have been stitched, trim corners slightly and turn the cover right side out and use the point of the scissors or a knitting needle to push out the corners.  Press with iron.  The result should look something like a small, long pillow sham.

From the white cloth cut two rectangles, 5" x 13" each.  If the fabric has a "right" side, place the rectangles right sides together.  Using white thread, sew down one long side, across a short side and down the other long side. Use about a 1/2" seam allowance on this inner bag so that it will be slightly smaller than the cover. (Because these will get a lot of handling I've been going over my straight stitch with a zigzag stitch to reinforce the seams.)  Once the three sides have been sewn, fill the sleeve with rice as desired. A canning jar funnel works very well for this.  It should have plenty, but not be so full that the bag is no longer able to be molded around neck, arm, leg, etc.  Carefully tuck in the edges of the final side and sew the sleeve shut, again making a reinforced seam.

Carefully insert the filled rice bag into the cover.  To use, heat the bag, with or without the cover on, in the microwave for a minute or so.  The cover may be removed and washed.  The inside rice bag should not be washed, but it will last for quite a long time.  However, it will probably become discolored from repeated heatings.  The rice will also take on cooked, kind of nutty aroma.  (Some people also put lavender buds in with the rice, but I have not tried this.)



Trinette Stowell lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri, with her husband Clay. They have one grown daughter and a toddler-aged granddaughter.

Trinette enjoys reading, from-scratch cooking, and many crafts including crocheting, cross-stitching, knitting and sewing. Together, she and Clay enjoy camping and outdoor cooking, going to garage sales, and attending local swap meets.




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