Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DIY Rice Bag Heating Pad

Digging around in my stash I found this awesome rice bag fabric I forgot that I bought from Hawaii nearly five years ago.
I got really excited (like finding money in your coat pockets?), and thought it'd make a perfect heating pad.  Filled with rice, muahahaha, get it?

Anyway, I used this tutorial (minus the serging parts, I don't have a serger).  Also minus any essential oils because if it's going to look like a bag of rice, it's certainly going to smell like one too. Ha!
And I thought I'd get extra fancy and add belt loops.  I remember the heating pad my mom had a while back had a belt so you could move around with your heat pad still on.  Mobility!
Only problem was that I used stupid-ribbon.  Don't use satin ribbon for belt loops that need to hold up a ton of rice.  Use something sturdy.

Anyway, I double stitched it down with two small rows of zigzag, and though it looks nice, it's not going to last. A thick canvas would have been better, and sewn on as a circle for maximum "grip".  Ah well. Live and learn and remember you have a physics minor for a reason! :P
Continuing on - the tutorial mentioned that I should cut the corners before flipping the bag inside out.  A great idea for nice crisp corners!
With the bag complete, it was rice time! Though it would have been funny to use the exact same brand as on the fabric, I used what we had on hand.
I wonder what has a better heat retention - jasmine or calrose?  I'm guessing calrose since it's fatty?
Sewing the little partitions every three inches with the rice in the bag was definitely the hard part. Little rice bits kept moving around!
The result of running over a couple rice grains with the sewing machine :P
But eventually I made it to the end, and closed up the top.  I tried to use a stitch that resembled the top of an actual rice bag, hehe. Just don't pull the string and open it all up, eh?
Yay! Rice bag!
And with the intended belt:
If you get really hungry, it doubles as an emergency meal too!
I made two since it's a pretty quick project and doesn't need much fabric.  A couple minutes in the microwave and they are good to heal all your aches and pains. Now to hope my giftees appreciate the silliness of a rice-filled heating pad inside rice bag fabric. Hu Huu.

Do you have a heating pad? If not, you should make one..or five!


  1. Great idea with the belt feature! My mom will also insert some jasmine, peppermint or chamomile with the rice to give it a nice fragrance when heated =).

  2. This is great!! And I love the fabric! I remember I had an apron when I was little, that my mom made out of an actual canvas (burlap?) rice sack, haha. I'm always lazy and use a tube sock for this kind of heating pad, but with the belt loops and everything, this is a very handy one to have!

  3. This is so awesome! I would love to receive one of these, and the fabric is too cute :)

  4. LOVE the fabric!! And that's pretty funny what you used it for. :) Man, you need to open up a shop! I'd buy that!!

  5. What a great little project! I should do this with all the extra fabric I have lying around xD

  6. I made a rice heating pad years and years ago, but I only used iron on stitch witchery, instead of sewing the sides. Well, last year my sister was using it in our guest bed, and it started leaking in the middle of the night, and when she woke up she started freaking out, thinking the little bits of rice were bugs or lice or something!

    I'm sure your neatly sewn version will hold up much better :)

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