Instructables
Picture of Rice Heating Pad & Hand Warmers Gift
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These rice-filled heating pads and hand-warmers have made my life so much warmer and better! :) Surviving Wisconsin winters is really tough for me - but these little things make a huge difference. First, once made - all you need to do is throw it in the microwave for a minute or two and you're ready to go! They hold heat for quite a long time!

The small ones are great for pockets and the heating pads have multiple uses (for me anyway)- to warm my freezing hands, to soothe sore joints, to relieve neck pain, stomach aches, to defrost your windshield... and I've also used a little one to unfreeze the lock to my car door. I made a few of them in the past - but really rustic ones which didn't look nice enough to give as a gift to anyone.

So, I decided to upgrade them and make them with a removable fabric layer - so it can be washed easily and it'll last longer. They're very simple to make and I'll take you through the process here.
 
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Step 1: Materials Needed for Rice Heating Pads & Hand Warmers

Picture of Materials Needed for Rice Heating Pads & Hand Warmers
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Materials Needed:
  • Regular Cotton Fabric
    • about 1/4 yard per heating pad (full measurements are in the next step)
    • hand-warmers each require two pieces of material 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches
  • Snuggle Flannel Fabric - about 1/3 yard per heating pad (full measurements are in the next step)
    • about 1/4 yard for the heating pad's removable layer
    • hand-warmer's removable layer require a piece of material 4 3/4 inches by 8 inches wide
  • White Rice - not instant
    • 3 1/2-4 cups of rice per heating pad
    • 4 1/2 to 5 tablespoons of rice per hand-warmer
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
tpaterson1 made it!6 months ago

This is my first project ever on the sewing machine (aside from sewing a few scraps to get the feel of it) and even though Im not perfect, Im actually really proud of this and wanted to thank you for your clear & precise instructions :)

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kammmplayer6 months ago
omg perrttfect gift thx
ehauss7 months ago
Cool¡!& good job
HollyMann (author)  ehauss7 months ago
Thanks so much!
sakkidra8 months ago
These are really cute. I have always made mine with Ski Socks and tossed some Jasmine rice and dried lavender in and tied a knot. The downfall is that over time the rice breaks down and little pieces start getting left in the bed when you are snuggling with them. The upside is that the ski socks hold heat a really long time. I like the fact that you doubled the fabric so you can wash the outside. Great Job!
HollyMann (author)  sakkidra8 months ago
Thanks so much! :) That's a great idea too! I tried to make sure to do a double seam or really strong seam for that reason! You could possibly sew a seam across one end..unless it's too thick...:) About how long does yours stay warm? :) Good to know about different fabric choices - I didn't think about it before. And prior to making these I also just tied a knot at the end of a pillowcase that had a lot of rice in it and used that. :)
Your welcome :) On average they stay warm about 3 hours, I do think they retain my body heat more too. I use mine under my neck at night and I have had times where it still feels warm in the morning. I may try getting or making a liner sock for it to keep the small pieces from coming through. I did make a square one once out of two socks and put Velcro on the end so it could be refilled with new rice and lavender. Word of advice, if you do ever use a sock make sure it does not have the arch support area, it makes it a weird shape.
cchild aaron8 months ago
You can also throw some dried lavender or other herb in with the rice - smells great when you heat them up. ;-)
HollyMann (author)  cchild aaron8 months ago
Wow thank you for that awesome suggestion!!! I had heard of putting essential oils in it but I didn't care for that idea...but dried lavender sounds very nice!
how do you heat them? Are they the microwave ones? if so, how long do they need?
HollyMann (author)  dancingnazguls8 months ago
Sorry for not explaining that in more detail - I just added it to the final step. The large heating pads take about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes in the microwave to get nice and hot. The first time you heat it - you may want to just put it in for a minute, then check it and flip it if needed. Then if not warm or hot enough, add another minute. My microwave takes 2 minutes to fully heat the full size heating pad - and it's pretty hot (so be careful).

The small hand-warmers take only 30 seconds to a minute in the microwave to heat up.

The large one stays warm for about an hour - sometimes longer, sometimes less!