Warm Rice Bag




About: I love Instructables but rarely get time to post anything.

All of us know it's hard to keep warm in the cold winter months. This Instructable will show you how to make a rice bag that you can hold - on your lap, over your feet/ankles, across your neck, anywhere you're cold. They can also be used to heat away aches and pains.

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Step 1: Materials

You will need:
Fabric (about a 10x10 square - or whatever size you want, but I made a 10x10)
Rice or Corn (not popcorn)
Container to Pour Rice With (optional)
Sewing machine (technically optional, but I wouldn't recommend sewing these without it - your filling will be everywhere)

Step 2: Cut the Fabric

Cut a 10x10 (or whatever size you're using) piece out of your fabric, making sure that the fabric is folded over on itself, making a double layer with the edges lining up. Otherwise you will need to cut two pieces out and sew an extra edge.

Step 3: Iron the Fabric

Iron out all wrinkles, then fold your fabric in half, making sure that the good side (the side you want to see when you're done) is on the inside.

Step 4: Start Sewing

Start on the edge indicated in the last picture, making sure to leave seam allowance. Sew to the next corner. Once you finish that edge, make sure to cut off any thread hanging. Sew the opposite side next.

Step 5: The Tricky Part (optional)

Start sewing on the last unsewn edge. The result we want with this step is to have about an inch and a half  of stitches on both sides. This step isn't necessary, but it will make it a whole lot easier later.

Step 6: Reverse the Bag

Now you need to turn the bag inside out. Make sure that you get all of the corners pushed out and crisp. You can use a pencil, a corner turning thingie, or your finger.

Step 7: Turn and Iron the Open Edge

Now take the edge indicated in the last picture and turn it. The edges need to be folded inside neatly and then ironed down. After you fill it with rice or corn, you're going to sew it, so it needs to look nice and neat.

Step 8: Fill Your Bag!

Open the edge so that you can pour your filling in the bag. Usually about half full is enough, but you might like a little more, maybe a little less. You'll just have to play around with it.

Step 9: Sew the Last Part Closed

Okay, last sewing part, I promise. Start on the last edge using a zig-zag stitch. This will help to keep the bag closed without any rice escaping. After you sew it closed once, either back stitch and go over it again, or sew over the stitches again.

Step 10: Microwave and Enjoy!

Microwave for about 2 minutes. Depending on your microwave, you will probably have to tweak the time by 30 seconds. But on 4 or 5 different microwaves, microwave time for me has always been between one minute and thirty seconds (1:30) and two minutes and thirty seconds (2:30). Now take your rice bags, and use freely.

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    19 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I just put a bunch of rice in a pillow case we don't use, tie a knot near the bottom,(don't make it really tight Or you'll get a hole) and then put it in the microwave. And make sure you have spare pillow cases in case it breaks. If that does happen, put the torn rice bag in your spare pillowcase. Then pour it into the new one and tie a knot. I have one on my neck as we speak.


    2 years ago


    I'm in the planning process and tried white rice that's been in my pantry for years in a clean sock. I plan to make channels in the rice bags so they can be longer, rice won't shift and they can wrap around a knee or shoulder.

    Thanks for the easy directions! I'll send pics when I get more sophisticated than old rice in a sock.


    Hello KittySandiF7

    Reply 3 years ago

    Normal cotton-type fabrics are usually good, basically anything except fleece or flannel would be my suggestion =^)

    Do you use a certain amount of rice or just to a good fill level? Also, can you freeze these?

    I have several large rice bags for sore muscles. Been heating and reheating for years. Earlier this week, I
    made a small one, with brown rice, for applying Jamberry nails. After a
    few times in the microwave, it started smoking. Cut it open and the
    rice was burned and blackened. What the heck! Ever happen to you?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    My friends made me one for Christmas one year. They used hand towels. Works great. I nuke mine for 70 seconds. Works great, and last hours.

    Hello Kittyrocketman7

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Probably about 2 minutes. Depending on your microwave, you will probably have to tweak the time by 30 seconds. But on 4 or 5 different microwaves, microwave time for me has always been between one minute and thirty seconds (1:30) and two minutes and thirty seconds (2:30). Of course, if you microwave more than one rice bag at a time, you will need to double that. :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I've made a few of these and found that barley works very well and doesn't lead to moisture as some rice does. There's also no smell as with corn. Also, I sewed "sections" about 2 inches from the top & bottom so that the filling doesn't shift from one end to the other but it can move from section to section through top/bottom. Just thought I'd pass on! They're great and a very nice gift!

    Hello Kittybrabantia

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 10

    Generally several years - until you bust it, burn it, or it starts looking really mangy. That's one of the reasons we (my family and I) started using rice. It's harder to burn it and it doesn't smell as bad.

    brabantiaHello Kitty

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 10

    Thx! I've used cherry pips and olive pips in the past but will give rice a try. Seems to be less fussy. (with the pips, you have to collect, clean and dry them first)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    OK!  I've just got to incorporate this into the mittens I'm making!  Oooh, yeah!  Micro-mittens!  No more frost-bitten fingers!  Gotta love it.  Thanks, kitty.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    oatmeal also works, and smells good... just a thought ;]


    9 years ago on Step 10

    I've made these as well and they're great! I also recommend using rice instead of corn as the corn smell is pretty strong when heated up. What I also do is sew channels into the bag so the rice is evenly distributed. They make great gifts too!