Rice Bag Heating Pack




My mom and I made rice bag heating packs for all of our relatives this holiday season. They're a simple and practical gift that everyone will love. Rice bags are great for stiff necks, cold feet, and sore backs. Just pop it in the microwave for 3.5 minutes and you're good to go. If you don't want to use rice you can also use dry beans.

Things You Will Need:

  • 12"x45" plain muslin fabric
  • 12"x45" cotton print fabric
  • drafting triangle
  • pen
  • sewing pins
  • white thread (for the sewing machine)
  • black thread (for baste stitches)
  • sewing needle (for baste stitches)
  • 6.5 cups of rice
  • sewing machine
  • Ruler

Step 1: Cut Fabric

The rice bag consists of an inner bag and an outer cover. You will need to obtain two types of fabric: 12" x 45" wide Muslin for the inner bag and 12" x 45" wide cotton print for the outer cover.

Fold each piece of fabric in half and pin in place. The dimensions at this point should be roughly 12" x 22.5". Use a drafting triangle to make sure edges are square.

Outer Cover: Cut outer cover fabric to 9"x 22.5". For beginner sewers like myself, draw a line 5/8" away from each of the long edges of the cover for a seam guide.

Inner bag: Cut inner bag fabric to 9" x 21.25". Draw a line 5/8" away from each edge of the bag for a seam guide.

Step 2: Sew Inner Bag

Keep the fabric for the inner bag folded in half (9" x 21.25"). Pin the long edges of the bag allowing space for the 5/8" seam and the sewing machine foot.

Using the sewing machine, sew the long edges of the bag.

After sewing the long edges, flip the bag inside-inside out.

Step 3: Fill Inner Bag With Rice

Fill inner bag with 6.5 cups of rice. Shake rice to the bottom of the bag.

Taking the open end of the bag, fold edges over 5/8" and pin them together. Baste stitch about 1/4" from the edge.

Using the sewing machine, sew the open edge of the bag shut using the baste stitch as a guide.

Your inner bag is now complete!

Step 4: Sew Short Edges of Outer Cover

Take one of the short edges of the outer cover. Fold this edge over 1/4" two times to create a finished edge and to prevent the fabric from unraveling. Pin the folded edge to hold it in place. Baste stitch the edge and remove pins. Using the sewing machine and using the baste stitch as a guide, sew along the folded short edge of the cover.

Repeat for the second short edge.

Step 5: Finish Sewing the Outer Cover

Take the first short edge of the outer cover and fold it over 13" towards the center.

Take the second short edge of the cover and fold it over 10.5" towards the center. The second edge will overlap the first. The total length of the bag should be approximately 20.5" long.

Pin long edges of the cover together and sew them with the sewing machine.

Flip the bag inside out. Your cover is now complete!

Step 6: Cover Your Rice Bag!

Stuff the inner bag into the the cover.

Heat in microwave for 3-4 minutes.

Wear heated bag around your neck or apply to any sore part of your body for sweet relief!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Sew Warm Challenge

Participated in the
Sew Warm Challenge



    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Sew Tough Challenge

      Sew Tough Challenge
    • Paint Challenge

      Paint Challenge

    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I have made 1 rice bag previously. However, a friend of mine requested I make one for her mother who is going through Chemo and I found the sectioned one made a lot more sense. So, I also made one for my daughter who has knee pain.

    show me 2

    3 years ago

    You made a very attractive bag and outer piece. I have been making bags like this for 20 years and I have made a lot of them in many different shapes. I started because I had broken my tibia, it is was a great help when the knee got sore. The first bag I tried belonged to a friend. It was a big square and filled with dried corn. I made many out of dried beans and finally settled on rice. The long one, similar to yours is the favorite shape, although mine is closer to 6" x 18" finished. The biggest change is that I divide the bag into three sections. I have it sewn into a tube and pour 1/3 of the rice in. I then sew that section shut and continue two more times. This helps the bag stay where you put it bigger. When I tried to put a bag with no sections on my knee, the rice would shift and the bag will fall. I often use fleece for the outer bag. The bags can get pretty hot and fleece protects from discomfort on my skin. And finally I started making them with used jeans or flannel etc.


    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for this instructible! I will definitely be making these and giving to friends/ family for presents!


    3 years ago

    Excellent instructable. I am going to be making these for friends.

    Of course you can. I don't have a microwave either. I hate microwaves. All you need to do is stick your rice bag in a large pot or glass baking dish. Set the oven on a low temperature and check the rice bag every 20-30 minutes to make sure it is as hot as you like it... and to make sure it isn't burning. Easy peasy!


    3 years ago

    Great make, clear instructions - thank you for sharing :-)


    Awesome project. I wish I could make a giant blanket out of this stuff, but it would never fit in my microwave.