Rice Bag Heating Pad





Introduction: Rice Bag Heating Pad

I will show you how to make your own heating pad with rice!

Step 1: From Beginning to End

So, I was browsing on the internet looking for a heating pad and all of a sudden I thought, 'I wonder if there is a hippy homemade way to make my own heating pad?'


I introduce to you the RICE BAG.

It's just what it sounds like, a bag of rice. Seriously, that's it.

If you go on Etsy you will find a lot of people selling these in different sizes; some good for necks, eyes, wrist pads (like when using a mouse), tummys, and even booboo sized! You can make small square ones and put them in the freezer, and put them on booboos later. This would be an awesome (and super cheap) alternative for kids who hate ice packs.

For me, I like them warm. Pop it into the microwave for about one minute at a time. Each microwave is different, and the size of the bag and the amount of rice will also have an affect. For my bag, 2 minutes is pretty good.

What kind of rice do you use? Any kind! Brown, white, whatever. Some people use flaxseeds in there too, or a combination of both. And if you want, throw in some dried lavender or other scents you like!

How much rice do you use? I was using a pitcher when I poured mine in, so I only know the amount in fluid ounces, which turned out to be 55 fluid ounces. You don't want it to be too full...make it floppy so it can mold to your body.

What kind of fabric do you use? I would suggest 100% cotton, because it will be unaffected in the microwave. You could make the rice bag with muslin, and make a cover with another fabric, if you want the option of washing it.

How long will it last? You will notice, surprise surprise, that it smells like rice. If you use it a lot of have it for a while, it will eventually have a cooked rice smell. At this point you might want to open it up and switch it out for new rice.

This took me about five minutes from beginning to end!!!
P.S. I used Kaffe Fassett fabric :o)



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    12 Discussions

    I have made several different types of this heating pad. I have arthritis and chronic back pain due to a poor surgery in my sciatica area...here are some suggestions

    *Many people suggest socks, but I have found that specifically made pads for specific areas of my old body are much more effective. The common sizes I make ate 10" x 10", 12" x 12", 5" X 5" and 5" x 14"..

    *I have used rice, flax seeds and beans for these heating pads..they all work just fine, though the flax tends to burn easier than anything else..nothing worse than burnt flax seed smell in your kitchen!

    *Make the pad larger rather than smaller..my usual pad is about 12" x 16" so I can use it on my lower back and spine. I also make 10" x 10" for upper spine/neck heating-this works better than a sock-I also have a long one that I put on my spine.

    *When sewing, use 'tunnels' on my 10" x 10" pad I use 3.5" tunnels, pour the rice in until it feels like the coronet amount, then sew the tunnels closed at the top so the rice/beans/corn or whatever you decide you use does not all lump to the bottom.

    *I use fleece material from Joannes Fabrics - it's inexpensive and soft.

    *For my 12:" x 12" rice pad, I nuke the pad for 2 minutes and 20 seconds in my microwave, which has an automatic circular plate. If your microwave does not automatically go around, heath fort 1 minute, turn over and heat for another minute.

    *I also have small 5" x5" pads for my elbows where I have arthritis. These pads are great for arthritis sufferers..I heat the larger pad and 3...5 x 5 pads in my microwave for 2:22 minutes then use all 4 of them for pain relief on various parts of my aching body.

    *Start your heating process conservatively.. begin with 30 seconds for small pads like the 5" x 5" ones, 45 seconds for slightly larger ones. Even with my largest ones..the 12" x 14" I never heat longer than 2:22 minutes.

    *Start your warming session by wrapping your homemade heated pad in a kitchen towel to protect your skin. As the heading pad cools you can remove the towel and place it between your t-shirt or P.J.'s and a pillow.

    Blessed Be..PlantCrone

    What a great idea, thank you. Years ago we only ever used wheat to make the heat pillows so really happy I stumbled on your link.

    A new home made gift idea as well.

    I would use white rice, because after some time black rice would rot. Cherry pits are good too.

    My daughter and I made these with corn cob bird cage litter. It works wonderfully and is lighter weight. ( Weight matters with arthritis.)

    Great "waste to best " idea !! This will surely make the resources go well utilized :)

    When gentle heat is applied on a painful area of your body, blood vessels in the surrounding area gets expanded and blood circulation is promoted.

    This provides additional oxygen and nutrients to the body cells, evacuation of waste products is eased, helps to heal the damaged tissue, relaxes muscles and brings you relief.

    When heat is applied to the painful and stiff joints, it increases flexibility of soft tissues, connective tissues, and muscles. Increases range of motion and brings you relief.

    Utility Heating Pad


    Thanks heaps for this instructable. I am home sick today with a very stiff neck and couldn't find our usual microwave pack anywhere so I made one of these. Only took 15 mins total using some offcuts I had lying around and I put in basmati rice and some lavendar. I didn't fill mine up too much so I can squish the rice around to where I need it. My neck, and I, thank you :)

    my sister made some with baked popcorn. (that way it won't pop in the microwave). Works great.

    For my rice bags prior to filling and final closure, I also sew linear seams to creat compartments for the rice to fill, that way the rice doesn't shift to one side during use.

    You can also use dried cherry pips, they don't smell and retain heat beautifully too.

    We did this when I was a kid! The super easy method is to grab a super long tube sock, fill it with rice, and tie it off. It works well for wrapping around necks and such.

    As the author states, these work well both in the freezer and in the microwave. Keep one in the freezer for recent sprains, itchy skin (works great!), for cooling on hot/humid summer nights, etc. Keep one ready for microwaving (about 3 mins.) for cold feet in the winter, achy joints, etc. The addition of cloves, spices, and buckwheat may help eliminate the cooked rice odor. Flannel is also an alternative fabric that can be used to make one of these.