This instructable is a take off from one I am working on. My neighbor was very ill with the flu so I made her a care package filled with a get well card, hankie, Vicks, chicken broth, lip balm, rice bag and other items that she might not have on hand. A couple of days later she called and asked me how to make the broth so I went over and helped her. While I was there her daughter stopped by to pick up her children, but had terrible a neck pain so we heated the rice bag and within twenty minutes she felt better and was on her way home. She liked the rice bag so much; I made her one and switched it up a bit. This instructable is what I made for her.
This project is my original idea although I did embellish a poem I found online from the "quilting bug" that I assume they wrote. They have instructions to make a rice bag but I wrote all of my own instructions for the card/gift bag. Follow through and lets make a card and gift in one for shut-ins.
Step 1: Organize Tools and Supplies
100% cotton fabric for the bags ( this is absolute because they will be microwaved) If you are not making a rice bag that will be heated in the microwave; then go ahead and use what ever fabric you like and just make the bag for holding candy and valentines. Please do not make these for microwave use; unless you know for certain the fabric is 100% cotton AND THE THREAD IS 100% cotton thread. A fire will occur in the microwave if the wrong fabric is used. Please also be sure to mention and write instructions for removing all embellishments prior to use for those who will be receiving them or do not add them at all. Keep loved ones safe and happy.
One bag will become a rice bag to be microwaved. The card bag was made so it can be washed. Bags can be used for treats or to store Valentine's cards instead of rice bags for children. This will work for any occasion. The rice bag will keep you warm on those cold rainy days and also relieve pain for those who are suffering.
Embellishments will be added to decorate the card but all of the embellishments are to be removed from the bags shortly after the receiver reads the card (for a rice bag). A needle, thread, and a tiny pair of sewing scissors will be included inside the card so the receiver can fill lining bag with whole grain rice and secure the bag by sewing it shut. I included the needle and thread in all of mine just to be safe that the reader is using 100% cotton thread but I only mailed one pair of scissors because the other receivers have them. The choice is yours.
These will get you going:
100% cotton fabric scraps and 100% cotton thread ( this is absolute because it will be microwaved) 2-3 contrasting pieces. If you are not making a rice bag that will be heated in the microwave then go ahead and use what ever fabric and thread you like.
Ribbons and embellishments
Printed poem enclosures.
Sewing Scissors, (pinking shears optional) and tiny sewing scissors optional
Scotch tape or Glue
Tiny brass safety pins ( you will need several per card.
Several paint chip cards and this is optional. I used them because they were card stock and used them for the printed enclosures and the needle and thread.
Whole grain rice not instant for rice bags or just make treat bags
Ruler, pencil, seam ripper,sewing pins, and envelopes
Computer with printer or write the instructions by hand. I tried to get good pictures of the printed poems but the lighting was too bad. I will paste a copy in the body of the step when they will be used.
Sewing machine or sew by hand
Iron / ironing board pressing will give the card a professional appearance.
Step 2: Wash Dry and Iron Fabric and Cut Out the Pattern
After the fabric has been washed, dried, and ironed; cut the bag patterns. These may be any size suitable for your project. You could make two smaller matching rice bags for hand warmers.
For the card background:
My folded piece of fabric measures 8 1/4 inches X 16 3/4 inches give or take.
For the lining bag:
My folded piece of fabric measures 8 inches X 16 1/4 inches; the lining is just slightly smaller than the main piece of fabric, so the lining can be placed inside the bag without the edge of the lining sticking out from the open edge of the card and so the lining won't bunch up on the inside.
I eyeballed and cut out a small pocket to attach to the left hand side of the bag and positioned it to get an idea what it looked like and decided to cut 3 pockets for the rice bags in contrasting colors.
I cut out several heart shapes from the contrasting fabric to embellish the card as shown.
Step 3: Hem the Edge of the Card As Shown
Method for the main fabric (opening hem and the lining hem):
The edge of the bag on one of the short ends (on both the card and lining) will need to be doubled hemmed as shown. The opposite end will be sewn as a seam later.To save time repeat this step with the lining bag also.
Iron in a double hem.
Machine stitch or hand sew the double hem as shown.
If you have pockets fold the top section for the pocket opening like you did with the card and lining bags and machine stitch the hem section.
Step 4: Pockets
Fold the fabric card in half lengthwise with the right side showing and place the fold at the top.
This is to help you visualize the placement of the pocket but after you decide to sew the pocket on you will not be pinning the pocket through two layers of fabric, only one and you will only stitch the pocket through the top layer of fabric.
Place the contrasting pocket piece on the left side of the page, aligning it with the bottom edge of the card fabric and center it on the page. If you like what you see, fold the right and left edges of the pocket piece under 1/4 inch hem; the pocket opening should have a single hem, but leave the bottom open because it will be sewn later as a seam.
Step 5: Sewing the Seams of the Lining and the Card to Form the Shape of the Bags
Sewing the bag and liner seams. The seams on both the card and the lining will be stitched the same but they will not be sewn together. Sew the card bag and then sew the lining.
Fold the fabric of the main color and the lining wrong side out and press as shown.
Machine stitch the open raw edge of the main fabric bag and the lining, leaving the hemmed section open on both bags.
Trim threads as needed.
Cut the corners as shown for a nice sharp point.
Turn right side out and press both bags.
You should now have two separate bags that look like bags with no embellishments except pockets if you added them.
One pink bag for the card and one white bag to be placed inside the pink bag.
Place the lining bag inside the card bag as shown.
Step 6: Written Instructions and Poems
Print the poem and instructions or print the pictures with the background. You can change the words to fit the occasion or personalized card using an online rhyme word finder.
A little gift is hidden inside this card
a secret message doth angels guard
A wise woman knows to search the word
to find the promise she has heard
Between the pages of the open book
the wise little woman did take a look
She peeks inside and reads a promise is sure
and there she finds the instructions for her cure
Inside the pocket is a needle and thread
it won't be long and you'll be warm in bed
“A merry heart doeth good like medicine”
Closely follow the instructions from the hidden brochure
and you will receive the little known cure
Fill the small white bag with whole grain rice
stitch it up pretty and nice.
Take the scissors and trim the thread
from the white bag not the red
Remove each and every one of the embellishments
you will only need to do this just this once
Place them into your treasure chest
to cheer you up when you're not your best
This little bag filled with rice
will be a comforting device
Microwave for 2 minutes on high
and kiss those aches and pains good-by
Apply it to that hurting spot
the warmth will ease the pain a lot
Or warm your feet oh so cold
you'll find this bag nice to hold
Or chill it for a little while
and fix your owie up in style
Instead of a poultice made of ice
use this bag filled with rice
Step 7: Embellishments
Adding the embellishments:
Let your imagination go wild here.
I cut heart shapes out of the contrasting fabric, using the pinking shears and pinned them to the card using a brass safety pin so they can be removed after the card is received.
The tiny scissors are placed in the lining bag.
I used the paint chip cards to attach the needle and thread to and added a ribbon to stick out of the card. I switched the round circles of the paint chip cards for a color contrast. I snipped little snips on the tops and bottom of the thread and needle cards to secure the thread.
I made one card for someone who has been sick for a while so I used the picture in the place of the pink circle and I thought it was cute.
I covered the back side of the paint chip cards for a more appealing appearance.
I taped the typed messages to the paint chip cards and added a ribbon to some. I folded the edges to give them a more appealing look.
Step 8: Remove Embellishments and Microwave
I did not sew the rice into the bags because I am mailing these to reduce the cost of shipping them. You may fill the bags with the rice and secure the seam by sewing or the receiver will be sewing them. Here I am showing to remove all the embellishments before using the rice bag. This size of rice is more than you will need for one large rice bag. The rice shown should be sufficient for two smaller rice bags, or more.
Step 9: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts
I made a couple of these cards for sick friends with the chills and they loved them. One friend sent me pictures of the sewn rice bag. She decided not to remove the embellishment on the front because she lives alone and will remove the rice bag from the case that it is in; before microwaving the rice bag. It helped them stay warmer and they appreciated the gift. I thought of many creative ideas to change the words of the poems, the theme of the cards, and I will be making a lot more of these. I think gift cards like this are much more meaningful and appreciated. Women are the nurturers and rarely get nurtured so it accomplished the thing I wanted it to "the most".
This project would be a great craft to teach kids how to create and sew and visit the elderly during the winter months. You can decide to make a card and a gift separate by filling the bag with rice and sewing it. This gift can be personalized or everyone for any occasion.I hope you make a few.
I wish to thank this community for making this place such a wonderful experience to share projects. Have a safe and "Happy Valentine's Day~"