Rice Bag Foot Warmer / Bed Warmer




About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

Winter is the best time to use rice bags.  They keep you warm and have therapeutic benefits. I added lavender oil to help me relax.  It also makes the room smell nice!  Roman solders often packed  lavender with their belongings because lavender is a natural oil for healing and was used for bathing. Lets make a rice bag!

Step 1: Supplies

This is what you will need:
  • 1 Fat quarter 100% muslin this is the rice bag.
  • 1 Fat quarter pretty print fabric,  this is the rice bag slip cover.
  • Thread.
  • Needle.
  • Ribbon scrap for bow.
  • 1 Pound 12 Oz bag whole grain rice ( DO NOT USE INSTANT).
  • Velcro dots
  • 1 Button
  • Several drops lavender-oil.
  • Index card.
  • Funnel optional.
  • Sewing pins.
  • Gift card print here: http://www.vanessachristenson.com/2009/02/tutorialrice-bag-feet-warmer.html .
  • PC and Printer optional you can hand write the information.
Please note: It is not necessary to have the lavender oil for the bag to heat.  I love the smell of lavender so I added it to my bag.  It is a great stress reliever as well as a relaxer.


Step 2: Tools

This is what you will need:

Step 3: Preparation

Washing and ironing the fabric:
  1. It is always important to wash and dry all your new fabric before you cut it out.
  2. Press well for the best results.  

Step 4: Cut Fabric

Cutting the rice bag and the rice bag cover:
  1. Cut 2 pieces of the white muslin 7 X 14.
  2. Cut 1 of each of the pretty print 14 X 7, 10 X 7, 8 X 7.

Step 5: Rice Preparation

  1. Pour the rice into a bowl.
  2. Add a few drops of the lavender oil and mix well with a spoon.
  3. Set out a funnel.
  4. Set aside until the next step.

Step 6: Sew Rice Bag

Sewing the rice bag:
  1. With right sides together pin the rice bag fabric together leaving the top end open.
  2. Sew all three side leaving the top open.
  3. Trim loose threads.
  4. Clip all corners. 
  5. Turn right side out.
  6. Use a pin and pull out the corners so they are pointed.
  7. Press well.
  8. Turn under the top of the bag 1/ 4 inch as shown.
  9. Press well.
  10. Fill the bag with the rice.  ( I used a funnel.)
  11. Sew the open end of the rice bag to make a nice finished edge.
  12. Set aside while you make the rice bag slip cover.

Step 7: Back Slip Cover Piece

Method for back slip cover piece:
  1. The two smaller rectangles are the back.
  2. Fold over 1/4 inch once (on one of the 7 inch side)
  3. Press.
  4. Then fold over again for the second time.
  5. Press. 
  6. Do the same to the second small rectangle.
  7. Sew along your folded fabric so that you end up with two nice finished edges.
  8. Trim threads.
  9. Press.

Step 8: Pinning and Sewing the Rice Bag Slip Cover

Pinning and sewing the back pieces: 
I did not get a picture of this step because I sewed it wrong.  So I took pictures of her page to show the correct way.  I did not want to confuse you about the different fabric. I am including the way I pinned it to show how not to pin it.  Follow the instructions for the the pink pictures. If these pictures confuse you go to her page and see the layout.
  1. Place right sides together.
  2. Make sure you pin down all three pieces.
  3. Sew along all four sides ( together) using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  4. Clipping the corners will make the corners form a pretty point.  
  5. Turn inside out.
  6. Press well.
  7. Stuff the muslin rice bag inside your slip cover.

Step 9: Bow Tie Embellishment

  1. I am so girly!  I had to add a bow and a button.
  2. Sew the button to a bow.
  3. Stick a Velcro dot to both the bag and bow and place it where you want.
  4. I will always remove the outside cover before I microwave my rice bag to keep it looking pretty.  If this is a gift for someone you should not do this part or you should just tape it instead and mention they can sew the embellishments on if they plan on removing the rice bag slip cover before microwaving it. 
  5. Next trim the card note to fit an index card and tape it to it.
  6. Punch 2 holes to stick the ribbon through.
  7. Tie a bow.
  8. Tape it on the pillow.

Step 10: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

I am so excited that I have finished my rice bag!  It turned out so cute.  Now my feet will stay warm and my bed will be warm when I crawl into it.  I keep my bedroom door shut because I love a very very cold room to sleep in.  I do not love the shock of first crawling between the sheets though!  It is going to be nice not to have that initial shock!  I always have fun making things to share here on Instructables.  I find myself always changing the original instructions to meet my expectations.  Sometimes my ideas are not the best.  But it is so fun to be different! I wanted to share a link for the benefits of lavender, it is interesting so here is the link:   http://everything-lavender.com/benefits-of-lavender.html .

Thank you for swinging by and please do come again, I will put the tea on for you!



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    14 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    It has been a while since I made these and I do not remember. I made these for gifts. My daughter-in-law wears rice slippers she bought and she mentioned they stay toasty warm in bed most of the night. When she walks around they loose the heat pretty fast though. I guess it would also depend on how large the bags are. Sorry I can't be more of a help but thanks so much for asking and do have a wonderful week!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is a nice idea. I like that you used lavender in the mix. Chamomile would also work well and make you sleepy. :)

    2 replies

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice and useful gift, Sylvia.

    I am too lazy to do something as this, but some months ago I did a "sausage type bag" with rice in the inner, to heat in the microwave in order to relieve back contractures that gave me the cold. It is very effective, I used it only one or two times.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks rimar! They have a lot of beneficial benefits! I use heat when I have a headache. I used to get migraines for 2 years and the best thing I found to help was heat and cold packs. I alternated them. I took hot baths and used heat packs. Sometimes one would make it worse so I switched to the opposite and it always helped. Rice and eucalyptus oil helps the sinus and head colds. Tea tree oil will work also. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and do have a nice cheery day!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    what type of thread are you using? i think the thread is why my sewing machine is not working right...

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I used to use cheap thread and I am still trying to use it up knowing it is not the best thing to do. I recently bought 5 spools of colored thread Coats and Clark. It is much better thread. It was over 2 bucks a spool! How is your machine sewing I might can suggest something. I have like 5 sewing machines and there is something wrong with each one of them. I took them all into a guy and paid him a lot and have no clue what he charged me for because nothing was fixed. You get what you pay for. I hope to take them into a different place soon, one at a time. I hate to be without any of them because I use them all the time back and forth! LOL I need to win the sewing contest. Thanks for commenting.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    a lot nicer looking than my clean tube sock filled with dried beans or rice, thank you for sharing

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Guys don't need all the frills! They are too busy staying dirty changing the oil so we don't have to! Thanks for commenting! Have a super day!