D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

So aside from cooking, I like to get my craft on. I have decided that I will start sharing my little projects with you all. I know, get excited.

I used to have a bunch of these rice sack heating pads years and years ago. I don’t know where they all went, but they are amazing. Perfect for cold nights and aches and pains. You can also toss them in the freezer to use as an ice pack.

Then while surfing the interwebz last month, I came across this post from the totally awesome Bev over at Bev Cooks and then I immediately remembered how wonderful these little rice sacks are. I decided right then that I had to make some A.S.A.P.! If you know how to sew, these D.I.Y. rice sack heating pads are pretty easy to make. And actually, I’m a beginner and so if I can do it, so can you!

So after you read this post, go make a bunch for yourself. Then, go make a bunch for your family and friends to give as gifts this holiday season. They will love you forever.

Ok, let’s get crafty.

Here is what you need:

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

– Fabric – You can buy single pieces of fabric (like fat quarters) from your local fabric store. Buy as many as you need.
– Needle and thread
– Rice. Lots of rice. The exact amount you need will depend on how many and the size of the rice sacks you make. For me, it was about 4 cups for 1.
– Essential oils – This is optional, but I recommend getting some because they smell so good, especially when heat the rice sack! I got a bottle of peppermint oil and grapefruit oil. I got mine at Whole Foods.

Alrighty, so the first step is to decide what size and shape you want your rice sack to be. I was able to cut each piece of fabric in half so I could make two rice sacks per piece of fabric. I made two sizes, some smaller rectangular ones (good for the neck, eyes, arms and legs) and then some larger square ones (perfect for the tummy or back). Cut your fabric in half. And this is the time to iron it all out.

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

Fold the fabric so the back side is facing up and then fold the edges over and pin like so:

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

Now it’s time to sew. I used my sewing machine because I wanted a nice and tight stitch, but you can certainly do this by hand. If you decide to sew by hand, I recommend doing a double stitch like Bev did.

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

After you sew up the edges, turn the rice sack right side out. Fill a bowl with the rice. Drop in about 5 drops of the essential oil and toss with your hands. Then pour it into the sack. If you are making a smaller sized rice sack, it may help to use a funnel to pour the rice in (or make your own with a piece of paper). DO NOT fill the sack up all of the way with the rice. You want to be able to bend the rice sack so it will conform to your body. Fill it up about 3/4 of the way.

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

Ok, now here is where things get a little tricky. Closing up the top. I wanted to use my sewing machine to do this which probably made this way more difficult. After doing a few, I got the hang of it though. Again though, you can also do this by hand if it is easier.

Fold the edges in like this:

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

Then, pin along the very edge.

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

Now, stitch up the top!

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

And hey, you’re done!! Now go stick it in the microwave for 1-3 minutes and then get all warm and cozy!

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

D.I.Y. Rice Sack Heating Pads

Oh, and no, the rice will not cook when you put it in the microwave. When you first remove it, it may smell a little “ricey”, but that will fade after a couple of minutes. And this is where those essential oils will help!

Alright, so there you have it, my first craft post. Stay tuned for next week when I will show you a fun holiday decoration idea!



  1. What a fun project. They are probably pennies on the dollar compared to the store bought kind. Great job… looking forward to more crafts. :)

  2. I love it! Back in my early 20’s I saw an episode of Martha Stewart Living and she made buckwheathull pillows. My Husband and I drove all over Central NY looking for buckwheat hulls. lol. Needless to say we found them and I never made the pillows! I had sacks of buckwheat hulls in my closet forever, until I finally tossed them. I love the idea of using rice and your heating pads look gorgeous!!

  3. What a smart cute and practical idea!!

  4. I love these! One of my friends made one for me in college and it’s the handiest thing. You have the same idea that I do, which is to make them for friends and family. I actually never thought to use it as a cold pack though. I hate buying those from the store, so I might as well make some to leave in the freezer.

    • Thanks, Beth! They definitely work better as a heating pad than as an ice pack. Sometimes the rice can get clumped together, but if you let it defrost a few minutes, it works!

  5. You are too crafty… I love it! I wish I could sew, but I’ve been born with the inability to do so. These are super cute.

    • Oh girl, I am totally new to sewing. I have been okay with hand stitching, but I just got my sewing machine last year and have only taken it out a few times. Making these has been good practice!

  6. Oh Stephanie! I didn’t know you are great at crafting too!! I own some heating pads… I’m so scared of cold (and California cold is nothing compared to Japan and I don’t know how I used to live in winter!?). This is a great gift too…especially you can choose your favorite fabrics! Love this idea!

  7. So I am the opposite of crafty. I like a good project. They never come out the way I intended but the process is still fun. You are right about being great gifts. I cannot think of anyone who would not appreciate this present.

  8. Very cool, Stephanie! I look forward to the addition of crafts to your blog. These ones are a great way to start!

  9. Genius idea!!! I am in shock that I never thought of this before – I am totally whipping a couple of these up the next time I pull out my sewing machine :)

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  12. I made these and when I took them out if the microwave they were wet. Will this go away the more I heat them? Thanks!

    • Hi Christine, they can feel a little damp and it should lessen with time. If they are feeling really wet though, then you may want to try heating them for less time or on a lower power setting.

  13. This is a great idea, especially using the cute fabric! I have made mine in an old, long sock lol.
    I warm it up and stick it at the foot of my bed when I go to sleep. My feet are usually so cold at night, and this keeps them nice and toasty! This is especially nice because I dislike wearing socks to bed, and my feet are usually cold under the socks anyways.

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