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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to make a Rice Bag Heating Pad TUTORIAL

A few years ago, I had a knee operation for the osteoarthritis in my knee.  One of the things that really helped when it was hurting was heat.  Electric heating pads are okay but not very portable.  At that time, a coworker of my husbands made him a rice pack to give me to put on my knee. Heat it up for a few minutes i the microwave and presto!Instant heat. I loved it!  Economical and green!  Perfect.  Since that time, I have made several of these in different sizes and have given them to family and friends. 

Here's a tutorial for those of you that want to make one for yourself or others.



1 kitchen towel (I picked one from Walmart for 98 cents)
1 bag of rice (not instant)
scissors
sewing machine


Fold and cut in half.

 With right sides together (that's the 2 printed sides for those of you non sewers who don't know what that means) stitch on 2 sides.  My picture shows contrasting thread so you can see the stitching. 


Turn inside out with the wide opening as shown.
Fill about 1/4 of the bag with rice.  You do not want it too full as remember it is going to need to lay on a knee or some other body part!Stitch close.  You now have a heating bag.  Heat in a microwave for 2 minutes or however hot or cool you like it.  Be careful if you use on kids (of course)!.
I have found Terry cloth kitchen towels work the best and are the best shape.  If you want smaller bags you can cut in fours and follow the same directions. They could be used to warm up chilly hands , feet, etc!! Below is a picture of the one my husbands coworker made me years ago.  She even included a small carrying bag!!


Great gifts too.  Or maybe a project for a Sunday school class.  I'm sure those in nursing homes would appreciate such a thoughtful gift. Endless possibilities!! Enjoy!

57 comments:

  1. Love it. I need one and I am going to make it today. Thanks Lori. Bunny Cooper

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  2. Hi, Good on you for getting your blog started, it took me a while to get there, mine isn't a very busy blog, but I pop on from time to time. Good luck with your blog. I found you via pinterest.
    Paula

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  3. Thank you, Paula, for stopping by!

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  4. My friend has one and it is made from cloth that u can make pillows blankets etc.. and its so nice and I read they u can put essence oils in it

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  5. My mom use to make these. Shed put lavender in them. Great for headaches or cramps too. Love the festive towels also.

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  6. Thank you soo much. The one i have recently got a hole, and i didnt know what i was going to do.

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    1. You are so welcome! And the idea for the Lavendar is great!

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  7. what kind of scents do i use

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  8. When you make the smaller ones they are great for little kids ear-aches too!

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  9. LOVE this!!!! Thanks!

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  10. I just bought some cheap bath mits to fill up for my kids so they can have fun little bed heaters! =)

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  11. I got one of these as a gift one year from my sister-in-law. They do make great gifts because I LOVE mine! My heating pad is long and skinny. I like to put it at the foot of my bed to keep my tootsies warm at night. I love the idea of making them with cute kitchen towels. I might make some pillow cases out of the kitchen towels for my bags. Then I could change them to match the seasons!

    Cari @ Reach For The Star Berries
    Reach For The Star Berries

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    1. Thank You Cari!! Thanks for Sharing!!!

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  12. Awesome idea about the bath mits!! Thank You!!!

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  13. I've been wanting to make these forever. Thanks for sharing how to do it. But i have just one question.....how long do they last before you have to throw them away and make a new one?

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  14. Honestly I don't know Michelle. I have had mine for several years. I guess if the material deteriorates or it smells throw it away. Maybe another reader will k.ow. Good question.

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    Replies
    1. They'll last a couple of years as long as you don't over heat (the smell is awful)

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  15. Hi I am wondering if you got these towels this year?

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  16. Thanks for the tutorial! How long do they keep heat for? My son is in the marching band at school so I will be going to HS football games for the next 5 years. Some nights it gets really cold and I was thinking about making some of these to keep my hands warm if they hold heat for a while.

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    1. Honestly only about an hour Amanda. They would not get you through a whole game. My daughter was in marching band too in high school. Enjoy theae times!

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  17. I have made these for years. They will last as long as the fabric, if you don't burn them or get them wet. You can put lavender, pepperment, camomile, eucalyptus or any other dry scent in them. Some scents are great for headaches, to help you sleep, etc. DO NOT put them on a metal rack if your microwave has one...it will burn and smell like burnt popcorn. You can also freeze them and use them for an ice pack.

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  18. I made one about 10 years ago and used velcro as a top closure. It allows me to empty the rice and wash the bag. Then I just put fresh rice in the bag. Mary

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  19. I am thinking of doing the to put in my kiddos lunch box. They don't have microwaves at school and she loves bring a "hot" meal instead of sandwiches....how long will this stay warm? Anybody know? Maybe I will make one this weekend and try it with some left overs that need to be in the trash anyway just to use it as a timer :-)

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    1. They only last about an hour Lesha. I wouldn't use it for lunchboxes.

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  20. My fiance filled an old sock and tied a knot. Creative but yours is much prettier and much move gift-able!

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  21. Love the sock idea Lizzy!! Easy--not pretty-but easy!!

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  22. I've seen these made with corn instead of rice. Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Did the towel make one or two heat wraps? Thanks

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  24. how could you make one of these that would be freezable? Would the rice work?

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    1. You can free any of these. It might help to use a plastic bag around it when you put it in the freezer. I love this neck heat wrap, it is really cheap too. Most people can't make it that well.

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  25. The tea towels make two bags. And yes you can freeze them.

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  26. When I started making mine a few years ago, I was told to make sure the fabric was cotton, otherwise it would burn in the microwave. So I make the bag part out of muslin and then make a cover out of other fabrics. I have lots of different sizes! I have gotten about a year to 18 months use out of the rice.

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  27. I put my rice in a mens tube sock and tie the end in a knot, works great when I have a headace

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    1. That's what I use always have mismatched socks around, great for neck .

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  28. Please be sure to use 100% cotton. fleece and other fabrics may melt or cause a fire in microwave.

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  29. If you put a little glas of water into the microwave, the heatind pad doesnt burns :)

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  30. "Fill about 1/4 of the bag with rice." Is that really enough for a bag made from one half of a kitchen towel? That seems like a small amount.

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  31. I have made many of these as gifts. The first one I received had a cover....the same size as the bag, so you could throw it in the washer to clean. Several of them were larger, so I sewed sections in the bag so the rice was easier to handle and keep even. Good sight,

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  32. Becareful it doesn't catch on fire. A friend made these for friends and hers caught fire. I think these are a good idea just saying Becareful.

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  33. Hi Jane, I really enjoyed reading about your heating pads. But wouldn't you know, no matter how simple you make it for people they always ask 1000 questions. Common sense never occurs to some people. LOL Anyway thanks for your heating pads and I will certainly be making some for my family and friends as well as MYSELF. A.KNIGHT

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  34. Thank you for the idea. I made 8 half bags last night for the females in my family for Christmas. I can't wait to see what they think. Made with love.

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  35. Thank you so much for the info. I have seen these before on Pinterest, but never got around to making one. This past week I kept thinking how I would love to have one as I was having terrible Sinus pressure and pain. I thought one of these would work well for that instead of the hot wet washcloth I was using. I am going to make one of these.

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  36. Seen this on pinterest and wanted to see if you did anything different than i have done. I uses tube socks. Kids like them better, because you can wrap them around your cold feet at night in bed it while laying on the couch, or wrapping around my forhead for the horrible headaches. Or wrapping around my belly for cramps.
    My dad accidently cut off all his fingers on his left hand (while using a table saw), and a friend of his made him a rice pouch. It had rice on top and bottom, and he just slid his hand inside this mitten type pouch, and it warmed his "nubs" up, and helped with the pain.
    Love us some rice!!!!

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  37. You can also use the packages from the Dollar Tree, you can get them in freezer and or heat. Then all you have to do is make a cover for it.

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  38. This would be a fun little activity for kids to do that is also really productive. I remember my mom made a heating pad similar to this. She used beans I think. I just remember that she would use the heating pad when she was sick or not feeling well. http://sunshine-pillows.com/heating_pads.php

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    1. Yes, it is a really good site to visit. I have had really good experience with them. I really love this one: http://www.sunshine-pillows.com/hot-cold-neck-wrap.php . More color choices have been added since my last visit.

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    2. Do you have to have a sewing machine to do this?

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  39. Yes, I have a really good quality machine to do it. If you don't have one, you can still take your time and hand sew the microwavable hot and cold neck wrap. Or use an old clothing that in a tube shape. Fill it with rice and close the end.

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  40. I love this tutorial! It is so simple and easy! I went out and bought the supplies I need for this today for Christmas lol. I was just wondering if you knew if this counted as a cooling pack as well as a heating pack? I know you can make some that work as both. Thanks so much!

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  41. I just found a picture on Pinterest which led me to your blog. Great tutorial, I will definitely try it!

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  42. I just found your tutorial. Love the kitchen towel idea. Making it tomorrow!

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