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.

Step 1: Materials Needed for Rice Heating Pads & Hand Warmers

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
1 minute was HOT for me. I could hold it but I had to play hot potato. Next time I'll try 45 seconds lol.<br>Thanks for the tips!
<p>Should I only use cotton thread in terms of microwave melting concerns? I find that all of my thread spools are either polyester or cotton convered polyester. :/</p>
I don't think it should matter - I think I used a mix of different types of thread and it was fine. :)
<p>I made these tonight, hand warmer size. The instructions were great! I neglected to take a photo before wrapping them for a small birthday gift but plan to make more. </p>
Aww thank you for the kind comment Abigail. I plan to make more too...they make great Christmas gifts. I accidentally dropped mine in the toilet..of all places!!! AHHH.. so I am about to make more. They are a lifesaver as the cold weather approaches..mostly, they have helped with stomach pain, quite a lot. If you ever feel like taking a pic, after making more, I'd love to see it!
<p>Have made these to sell at a fete, but when testing the heating in my microwave, sparks started to fly. Turned off and will not be calling them hand warmers anymore, but pattern weights. Any suggestions?</p>
<p>They can be used as ice packs for people in pain so not just paper weights. Some synthetics cannot be microwaved and some painted fabrics cannot be mw also.</p>
There is no reason you should have issues with sparks in the microwave unless you have metal on there somewhere. Did you perhaps leave a pin in? Or perhaps put a zipper or without thinking?
<p>wow these are awesome I love them the rice smells a bit but nothing a little lavender won't fix thank you!!!! You've made my winters a whole nicer</p>
<p>No problem..I have one with me at all times!</p>
<p>If you use a full-cotton t-shirt, this is a good way to salvage a favorite t-shirt which doesn't fit anymore or which has worn out at the sleeves. </p>
<p>awesome idea :) </p>
I like it
<p>thank you!</p>
This might be a really stupid question but you don't cook the rice before you put it in right? Or do you? .-.
<p>Definitely don't need to cook it...and it's not a stupid question :) </p>
Luv the project! It's really cold where I am right now- I can't wait to have these in my pockets for the whole day!
<p>hello. I'm just looking at these amazing diys and wanting to make them. But can't. :( I don't have a microwave :( will an oven work just fine? I have everything else ?</p>
Hi Niki, I wouldn't use an oven go price a microwave some are pretty cheap. Just wanna keep you safe. Good luck.
My son wanted me to make these for him right away, but I didn't have the cotton fabric, and my sewing machine was not set up, so I cut the two pockets out of a pair of his sweatpants, that did not fit him anymore, filled the pockets with rice and hand stitched the opening closed. He can use these to keep his hands warm today and I will make the covers on my sewing machine,while he's at school! <br>He goes scouting for deer, with his dad, so I'm going to put pockets in his vest, so he can put a couple of these in the pockets to keep him warm! <br>Thanks so much for the great ideas!
<p>Hi Abby - so happy to hear you made this and your son likes them, etc. :) My always wants to make my big one..I need to make some more! I love using them in the winter, at night, when going out to my car and freezing (we are in WI/IL area) so it gets really cold. I hope you guys love them and they last a long time! :) </p>
I'm actually going to pick up a double layerd pair of fleece gloves for my son this week, and opened them up enough to pour a bit of rice into each finger slot, and then sew them back up. I tried it on an old single glove that he had in his drawer! It worked! <br>Now he wants me to make some for his carpenter pants pockets! He likes to stay very warm while waiting for his bus on our 3 season porch! We are from NH! It's warm as toast here today, I have all of my windows open, no snow so far, but it's cold at 6:30 am! <br>Again thanks so much for the ideas, one idea is just turning into more!<br> Sincerely, Gale
<p>I only have brown rice (not instant), can I use that or should I buy some white rice?</p>
<p>I am so sorry for not replying a year ago..did you end up making them and if so, how did they turn out? When I used brown rice it had an off smell when heated up repeatedly....so for me I would try to stick with white rice...</p>
<p>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 &amp; precise instructions :)</p>
<p>I meant two years ago :( Thank you for sharing your photo anyway - super cute and great job!</p>
<p>First - I am SO Sorry for not seeing this and replying a year ago!!! WOW I am impressed and they look gorgeous - love hte fabric and clean stitches - you did an amazing job!</p>
omg perrttfect gift thx
Cool&iexcl;!&amp; good job
Thanks so much!
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!
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.
You can also throw some dried lavender or other herb in with the rice - smells great when you heat them up. ;-)
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?
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). <br> <br>The small hand-warmers take only 30 seconds to a minute in the microwave to heat up. <br> <br>The large one stays warm for about an hour - sometimes longer, sometimes less!

About This Instructable




Bio: Army Vet. I love learning & being creative.
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