DIY Rice Sack Heating Pads

I’m a pretty jank seamstress.

The worst actually. But I can’t stop making these rice sack heating pad thingies. I was given one years ago as a gift and haven’t been able to survive a single second without one since. I’ve made about 3,526 of them in the last 2 years. No joke. They rule as gifts. And when you heat them up and put them on your shoulders, stomach, legs, back, or chest – I’m warning you: all sorts of hyperbolicious things will happen in your life.

So, today on the WEIDNER CRAFT SHOW I thought I’d show ya just how much of a cinch they are to make.

* This one in particular is for my leetle sister, Barbara. So hey, Bar – IS THAT EDWARD CULLEN OVER THERE AND NOT ON THIS WEBSITE BLOG POST?

Grab 3 pounds of jasmine rice, a single piece of fabric, some needles and thread. I love jasmine rice because when you heat it up, the scent? Stop it now.

See these little single pieces of fabric? They’re like a buck at your fabric store. Stock up. Go crazy.

Fold the cloth in half and inside out. OH – and right now would be a good time to iron it. I forgot because I was too busy thinking about MY FIRST CRAFT post. (!!!)

Fold the edges over and pin it all in place.

Then find some cute thread and sew across the flap.

And then sew back the other direction. Is this making sense? Design Sponge is SO not going to hire me.

Then you fold the other edge in and do the same.

See how I did that? Ignore my sad knot.

Then you flip it right side out and you have a little sack. Be sure and leave one end open!

Pour ze rice in.

Take the opening and fold the edges in.

Pin, pin, pin.

Sew, sew, sew. Snip the excess.

This is my signature knotting style. AKA: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

And you’re done! Make at least 25 because you’re going to want them on every inch of your body every single day of every year.

I honestly can’t stress this enough.

And this concludes the WEIDNER CRAFT SHOW for today. Okay so, should I Etsy my face off with this or WHAT?

What it took for 1 rice sack:

* 3 pounds jasmine rice

* 1 single piece fabric of your choice

* pins, a needle and thread

Heating instructions: 3 minutes in the microwave and hello, cozy time.

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87 Responses to DIY Rice Sack Heating Pads

  1. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm #
    These are adorable and you're crafty!! I LOVE IT! And I love that the craft you made is super functional. I am all over this! Random question...when you heat this in the micro, does the rice start to cook at all? I have memories of using frozen bags of peas as ice packs per a doctor's suggestion once and would up with the smell of peas wafting everywhere. It was lovely :)
    • Bev Weidner December 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm #
      Thanks, Averie! Nope, the rice doesn't cook. HOWEVER, if you were you to microwave it for 4 + mins, it might start to smell sort of burny. 3 mins usually works for me!
      • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 18, 2011 at 11:32 pm #
        10-4, got it!
      • Jo Fultz March 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm #
        can you use any rice ? like lon grain?
      • Anonymous September 15, 2020 at 6:42 pm #
        Hi Bev can I add lavender buds in with the rice for a nice scent or maybe dried eucalyptus leaves?!!! :) ❤️
        • Bev Weidner September 16, 2020 at 9:36 am #
          Well I think that would be lovely! Let me know how they turn out. Just make sure they don't burn. :)
      • Mary December 22, 2020 at 5:45 pm #
        You can also cover the bag with a damp paper towel to help prevent the rice from burning over time.
  2. Deanna B. December 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm #
    Those are super cute and a perfect way to use all of the scraps of fabric I have lying around.
  3. kale @ tastes good to me! December 18, 2011 at 6:10 pm #
    These are so cute! (p.s. I'm loving the dark nail polish!)
  4. Erin December 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm #
    Oh! This is fabulous. And I needed some last minute gifts for Christmas and this is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered! Yay to tha Yayness!!!
  5. Erin December 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm #
    P.S. are they reusable? Or one time use???
    • Bev Weidner December 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm #
      Oh, reusable! I have some that are years old and are still perfect. :) You'll LOVE these.
      • Santa October 4, 2020 at 2:27 pm #
        Thanks Bev these bags are on my sewing priority list!
  6. sandyharsh December 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm #
    How much rice do you put into each heating pad? The entire 3#s?
    • Bev Weidner December 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm #
      Correct! 3 pounds per bag. It won't seem like much, but once you sew up the bag, it's the perfect amount!
  7. Jenny December 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm #
    I'm a luck recipient........ :) Toe warmers.....feet warmers.....back warmers......ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
  8. goodie goddess December 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm #
    Cute, cute, cute AND functional :D Now, I REALLY wish I could sew! Anything more than a button is waaaay beyond my capability :( p.s. I totally make up for my sewing deficiency in the kitchen. LOL
  9. Lisa [With Style and Grace] December 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm #
    I love making these!! great fabric, very fun!
  10. Tammie December 18, 2011 at 8:06 pm #
    These are so cute!! Great idea!! Where do you get the jasmine rice?
    • Bev Weidner December 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm #
      Thank you! You can get jasmine rice pretty much anywhere! This particular bag was from Trader Joe's. But I also find it at my regular grocery store, or any Asian food market. They'll be cheaper at TJ's or the Asian food market, just fyi. If you can't find the jasmine, regular rice is JUST fine. :)
      • Bonnie Rit December 19, 2015 at 8:18 pm #
        I regular rice and they smell funny.... What did I do wrong? Is there any way to fix this?
        • Raven January 5, 2021 at 6:41 pm #
          Add a few whole cloves to the rice
  11. Heidi @ Food Doodles December 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm #
    Love these! I'm totally not crafty either but I actually make something similar! I make them in all kinds of shapes and sizes, I'm thinking of making a flower shaped one for my daughter but I don't know if I'm that skilled, lol! We actually use whole wheat berries to fill ours but the rice sounds like an awesome idea. I noticed your fabric was, but I thought I should mention, make sure your fabric is always 100% cotton. I didn't once and it wasn't pleasant. Oops! :D
  12. Katie December 18, 2011 at 8:39 pm #
    I got 2 of these for Christmas last year and I cannot live without them in the winter. Cannot. So excited that I can make them on my own...look out family, it's a crafty Christmas!
  13. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm #
    These are awesome and the exact amount of sewing skill I can handle. We had to make pillows in Home Ec in 7th grade. I choose a dinosaur (no friggin idea why) and then decided to sew it in purple fabric. As we all know purple + dinosaur = Barney. For some reason however, I didn't realize that until after I had the most pathetic looking Barney replica known to man. Rice sacks seem safe. :)
  14. NanaBread (Jeanne) December 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm #
    Somewhere Martha Stewart is sitting in a dark closet, rocking back and forth, eating an entire bag of teeny tiny Milkway Midnight bars. She knows the competition is closing in. And it keeps her up at night. You never cease to amaze me, Bev. I'm making a buttload of these over the holidays. As soon as I figure out how many fat quarters it takes to make a buttload. And fat quarters are those little pre-packaged fabric squares, not a slam on anyone's pudgy backside, just so we're clear. Happy holidays, Bev! -jeanne
  15. Maryann Dubbs December 19, 2011 at 2:32 am #
    I use to make these for my children when they would walk to the bus and wait out for it in the cold Michigan winters. Just little ones to heat in the microwave and tuck into their gloves or coat pockets. They soon became the envy of the bus stop.
  16. Ashley@BakerbyNature December 19, 2011 at 3:36 am #
    Making these for all the gals in my family: the perfect holiday gift!!
  17. LoriF December 19, 2011 at 3:55 am #
    These rice sacks are lovely. Somewhat along the same idea of the eye pillows I've been making...satin fabric, flaxseed, rice, lavender flowers and a few drops of lavender oil. Can you say Shavasana? Yes.
  18. Maria December 19, 2011 at 4:13 am #
    You are crafty too? You are beyond talented my friend! Love these!
  19. Marina {} December 19, 2011 at 4:51 am #
    OMG Bev! My shoulders are killing me and I this looks heavenly. Are fabric singles like fat quarters? I haven't seen "singles" at my craft store. I'm sure I'll figure it out. This really is a great gift. Out comes the Singer :)
    • Bev Weidner December 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm #
      Marina, YES! Singles are the same as quarters. I hope these help your shoulders. I FEEL YOUR PAIN. ;)
      • Anonymous November 13, 2012 at 4:04 am #
        I just happened across your page while searching "rice bags". So glad I did! I absolutely love your banter throughout your step by step process. Had me laughing the whole read:) I was researching them so I could make for a new business venture I am now ADDICTED to. And with the help of your rice bag tutorial, I'm even more excited! THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT HOW TO AND ENTERTAINMENT:) One last thing...couldn't help but notice your fun nails. If you get a chance, between rice bags, ;) please take a moment to checkout my website: You may have just found another use and body part for those rice bags of yours:) Cheers! Angie Billau
  20. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe December 19, 2011 at 5:36 am #
    These are so cute! You are too crafty!
  21. Julie @ Table for Two December 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm #
    I want these on every inch of my body, please! I'm so not crafty and so not a seamstress so in an attempt to make these, I'll probably have 500 needle wounds on my fingers, but I feel that they'd be worth it because I love heating pads. I have a bad knee and back (seriously, what am I, 65?!) and I use them all the time -- what a great way to REUSE and not buy those disposable ones. NICE, BEV!!! :)
  22. angie December 19, 2011 at 1:03 pm #
    The boys and I made these for their teachers gifts and added lavender to the mix...smells so good! I've also been in a hurry and put the rice in baby socks and tied them with rubber bands to throw in everyone's pockets before heading out into the snow!! These are cute Bev!
  23. Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} December 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm #
    You're so right about the awesome-ness of these!! I totally love them, and yours are way the heck more adorable than mine ever were (I've always made them out of tube socks, what? tacky? maybe. . . ) And the gift idea = Hi-five! Jasmine rice makes me want to gnaw a hole in the bag - let me tell you - you can use a couple drops of essential oil too - like lavender, but really, who wants to eat lavender? Oh- right, we're not supposed to eat the rice bag. . . . Love it! And love your blog - just found it a couple weeks ago!
  24. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray December 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm #
    Umm...would you like my mailing address? ;)
  25. Elizabeth December 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm #
    You're the cutest thing since those Hello Kitty Dolls. I want your warm rice sack.
  26. Deborah December 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm #
    I had a roommate in college that had one of these, but it always smelled kind of weird. So they have always turned me off. But maybe I need to give it another try!!
  27. Cassie December 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm #
    Yes, etsy your face off. These are perfect, love them!
  28. Jil DiRenzo December 19, 2011 at 7:57 pm #
    These are so cute! I love the idea. My sister keeps telling me about deer corn pillows that she makes and suggesting I try them. I will have to try one or the other for sure! Thanks for sharing, Bev. :)
  29. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen December 20, 2011 at 3:34 am #
    You may have just inspired the least crafty person EVER to do a craft. I want these all over myself right now.
  30. nicole {sweet peony} December 20, 2011 at 4:32 am #
    i am obsessed with rice heating pads... especially ones with lavender in them :) the rice "snakes" are perrrrfect for wrapping over your shoulder or around your neck. anyways, thanks so much for sharing how to make them. they would really be the perfect gift!
  31. Christy December 20, 2011 at 5:06 am #
    Great craft post! I make rice pads out of socks all the time, but I'd never give one as a gift because they are so ugly. Pour rice in a sock, tie a knot. Ugly! I could totally do this and they would be great gifts. Thanks.
  32. Lex December 21, 2011 at 1:17 am #
    I just made one of those for my mother in law, it is absolutely AWESOME!!!! I am very glad I could not decide and bought a bunch a pieces of fabric, it is so quick to put together. Thank you SOOOOOOO much!!!!!! you seriously just made Christmas even awesomer! (and warmer :) )
  33. Marly December 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm #
    I have one of these, but with corn inside. I love it! Sometimes on cold days I'll heat it up for just a minute or so in the microwave and sit it on my lap just to keep me warm. Better than a laptop! But now I think I might need a rice one. So nice!
  34. Kara January 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm #
    This is such a great idea! I'm going to make one asap!
  35. goddessnene January 26, 2012 at 11:39 am #
    Hi Bev, these are really cute and simple but my question would be if you don't have a microwave or oven how would you heat them? Thanx
    • Ashley Bolin September 25, 2017 at 4:22 am #
      I have the same question!!
  36. Michele March 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm #
    Just whipped one of these up last night on my new sewing machine as a test project (its new and fancy and I was totally afraid of that machine - I'm use to the old school sewing machine my mom had!). It is soooooo wonderful and craftastic! Totally going on my "Crafts for Christmas Gifts List"! (I know its March but I'm an a-type, OCD planner - its part of my charm?)
  37. Caleb Taggart December 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm #
    i read somewhere that you can make them sented???? how would i do that. P.S. if you use regular white rice and over cook smells like popcorn
    • Bev Weidner December 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm #
      Hahahaah, omg yes. I've totally overheated them a time or 40 before and you're right! It does smell like popcorn! And yes - I've scented them before, two diff ways: you can either put essential oil drops down IN the rice sack before sewing it up, OR you could just put a couple of drops on the sack after it's been heated. Either way! I like doing it after as the scent hangs around longer. :)
  38. Katie December 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm #
    Nice! I've also poured rice into tube socks (can be sewed or, when needed quickly, tied) and oven mitts purchased at the dollar store (just stitch the "hand" opening closed).
  39. Dana January 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm #
    Thatk you! Great post! These pads are amazing! Mine are filled with linseeds and lavander...I can't stop using them! Cheers from Argentina!
  40. Elizabeth Schwab May 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm #
    I was wondering did u sew the rice heating pads or did you just do them on the sewing machine :)
  41. Sarah June 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm #
    Just made this... so easy! LOVE IT!! Gonna make a ton more, thanks so much!:)
  42. Stephanie June 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm #
    Thank you for the step by step. I can't wait to make these, but have to wait until my Mother in Law visits next week since I don't know how to sew (gasp!). Did you know you can stick some in the freezer too...they are great as cold packs too. Don't get super cold, but doesn't stay cold that long (not that my kids sit still after an injury long enough for it to get warm anyway). My aunt made one once, not sure what happened to it, but I NEED more. I plan on making a long skinnier one for my neck too!
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  45. Teri Kay November 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm #
    I found sets of cloth napkins, 3 or 4 for a dollar, at a thrift store. I plan to make heating packs for gifts.
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  47. APB October 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm #
    I read on another post about washing cotton before this project to make it softer. Any thoughts on that? If it seems unnecessary, which I'm assuming since I haven't seen it mentioned here and you've clearly made your share of these, I'd love to skip that step!
    • Bev Weidner October 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm #
      You can totally wash it if you want! It's true that it will soften the fabric, but I'm lazy and impatient. ;)
  48. Lisa March 23, 2015 at 12:26 pm #
    About how much is 3 lbs of rice? How many cups?
  49. Joan March 10, 2016 at 8:28 am #
    what kind of material do you use
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  51. Melissa McIntyre April 13, 2020 at 10:24 pm #
    I foster neonatal kittens and they are unable to regulate their own body temperature. Keeping them warm and cozy is a constant issue. These seem like they would work perfectly! Here’s my question: If I put it in the microwave for three minutes, about how long will it stay warm? Is the heat fairly consistent?
  52. Jolene November 21, 2021 at 1:55 pm #
    If I was to cut the 18”x21” fabric in half, would the ingredients change ?
    • Bev Weidner November 22, 2021 at 7:27 am #
      Yes! If the sack is cut down by half, cut the rice down by half as well. Really though, fill the sack with as much rice as you want. There's no real rule here. Hope it works out!
  53. Lori April 17, 2022 at 1:36 pm #
    Can you wash a “made” rice pack? If so, how? Thanks!


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