This easy step by step guide shows how to make a rice heat pack at home saving you money. Heat packs are great for aching joints, the flu or that time of the month.
I used fabric I had left over from another project so the only cost was the rice which was about a quarter of the price of buying one new. You could reduce the price further by buying the rice in bulk.
It is important to use cotton fabric and thread as you will be putting it in the microwave (some synthetic fabrics may melt) and I like to use brown rice over white as the grain is larger and will hold the heat longer.
Heating & Freezing
To heat a rice heat pack; put it in the microwave with a cup of water which will prevent the rice from singeing. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes on high. Be mindful of the heat when you place it on the skin.
You could also freeze this pack then cover it in a pillowslip before placing on the joint.
- Two pieces of cotton material approx. 25 cm (10 inch) by 16.5 cm (6 ½ inch)
- Scissors (Paid link)
- Matching cotton thread – This quality set from Amazon comes in handy. (Paid link)
- 1 pound (500g) Brown rice
- Template – Click on this link for the PDF template: Rice Heat Pack Template
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to Make a Rice Heat Pack
Print out the template then cut out.
- Cut Out the Fabric
Place the right sides of the fabric together then pin on the template. Cut out the fabric.
- Sew the Seam
Sew around the edge of the fabric (5 mm or ¼ inch seam allowance) leaving a gap where marked. Cut triangles out of the seams around the corners as this will help the seam to sit flat.
- Turn Inside Out and Press
Turn inside out through the gap then use the end of a paintbrush or blunt end of a skewer to push the seams out. Press with an iron.
- Sew Right Side Seam
Sew around the edge again, only on the right side this time with a 5mm or ¼ inch allowance leaving the gap open to put the rice in. Sewing it like this will make the seams stronger and create an attractive looking bag.
- Insert the Rice
Use a funnel to fill the bag 2/3 full. You can adjust this to how full you want it, but remember you want the bag to sit comfortably over the affected joint.
- Sew the Hole Closed
Sew the hole closed, keeping in line with the stitching. Check to see if the hole is secured, you may need another line of stitching.
All done! Heat in the microwave, make a cuppa and relax.
Do you need a new sewing machine? Try this quality Brother machine from Amazon. (Paid link)
How to Make a Large Rice Heat Pack
To make a larger pack, use the copy function on your printer to increase the size of the template. It may take two pieces of paper, just cut out and tape together.
The other way would be to simply use a ruler to draw out the required length on the fabric and adjust the amount of rice to fit.
Still feeling creative? Try these Craft Ideas for more inspiration.
To save or print this guide on how to make a rice heat pack, here is the PDF Version
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