Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rice-Filled Heating Pads...


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I've been wanting to make a rice-filled heating pad ever since I first started seeing them in blogland. Instead of using electric heating pads or hot water bottles for aches and pains, one can soothe her aching muscles with one of these heavenly creations.  

A rice-filled heating pad is a welcome gift for many people. Elderly people or people suffering from arthritis will enjoy these bags for the relief they get from pain. Athletes can use them on muscle strains and pulls. For the rest of us these bags will soothe the stress and strain of our hectic days. One merely pops these bags into the microwave for 2 minutes (depending on the size of your bag), and whaaalaaa you'll enjoy many minutes of warmth and pleasure. These bags also serve a dual purpose as you can store them in the freezer and use them as a cooling pad as well.


The heating pads can be made by sewing two identical pieces of fabric together much like you would make a pillow, or you can make the top of the pad a little more interesting by combining different complimentary fabrics. I chose different fabrics for mine -- canvas-type fabrics purchased at Hobby Lobby -- and I really like how it turned out.

I started with the following materials:
cotton fabric of your choice
thread
about 5 cups of rice
lavender / aromatic filler (optional)


You will need the following sizes of fabric pieces for a pad top like the one I made:


These measurements will make an 8 inch x 14 inch heating pad using 1/2" seams. For the back of my heating pad I chose to use a Minky fabric. I wanted the back to be a soft, comforting fabric, however, unless you want to make two gifts for the price of one -- a heating pad AND a pyrotechnic device -- you shouldn't put the Minky fabric in the microwave. You see Minky fabric is 100% polyester and as such melts and burns easily. Only 100% cotton fabrics should be placed in the microwave. The heating pad that you see in these pictures is actually an outside "envelope" which holds a muslin insert filled with the rice and an aromatic. I simply made an opening in the back of the envelope that allows me to take the muslin insert in and out. That way I can take the insert out of the envelope, put it in the microwave to warm, and then put the insert back into the envelope. Another advantage of having a separate insert filled with the rice, is that the envelope then becomes washable.


I tried to buy some lavender to add to the rice to give the pad a soothing fragrance, but I couldn't find any. I finally ended up buying a small packed of vanilla scented petals and wood bits (Hobby Lobby) and added them to about 5 cups of rice to fill the muslin insert. When I heated the insert up in the microwave there was a delightful scent of vanilla!


These rice-filled heating pads are extremely inexpensive to make -- scraps of fabric work perfectly -- and with very little effort, a thoughtful and beautiful gift can be created. These make fabulous presents for just about anyone!



Linked to:
Fancy This Friday @ Truly Lovely
Free For All Friday @ Sassy Sites
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Get Your Craft on Thursday @ Life as Lori
Hookin' Up with HOH
Show Off Your Stuff Party @ Fireflies & Jellybeans

26 comments:

Wendy said...

Great tutorial, thank you! I love the fabric you've used.

Sarah and Chris said...

I love these! I have rice socks that I have used for years but the socks are getting old and too stretched out so I have been needing to make little pillows like these for quite some time. And it just never clicked in my mind to give them as gifts! I have been needing another present to go to my SILs and this will go wonderfully with their scarves I got them! Thanks for the idea!

Ann said...

I have so been wanting to make one of these-thanks so much for the tut. They really work, too!

Taren said...

These are amazing for cramps! My friend made me one about 10yrs ago and said the moist heat the rice gives off helps.....she was so right. She made mine out of a towel. Yours is much cuter!! Love the fabric!

Lisalulu said...

a. love this b. love the minky softness (hadn't thought of that) and c. WISH i had know you needed lavender and I would have mailed you some!!! (as I live in the lavender capital) NEXT time you win one of my giveaways I'll slip some in!

Melissa said...

And of course, your version is very classy looking!!

It's A Priceless Life said...

This is really cool! I'm going to make one of these on my Christmas break!!! I will link back when I do!
Shantel @
www.itsapricelesslife.blogspot.com

Julie said...

I was just at hobby lobby today and you can find the lavender essential oil in the soap making isle. HTH for the future.
Anyway thanks for the great tutorial. we love these at our house. my daughter likes to have it to go to bed with to keep her alittle warmer.

Julie said...

Wish I had one right now.

Sassy Sites! said...

These heat packs are wonderful! I love the fabric you used!! My 4 favorite things... polka dots, damask, pink, and brown. :) (if you need me to do a review for you, just let me know... {wink})!

Sassy Sites! said...

Okay, I just noticed that it's black and pink! That's even better! ;)

Sassy Sites! said...

Actually, my most favorite color is deep, dark, chocolate brown! xoxo!! :)

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

This is LOVELY! We would love for you to link it up at Fancy This Fridays! http://trulylovelywiththelaneysisters.blogspot.com/2010/12/fancy-this-fridays-edition-3.html

Lynn said...

What a great idea! It's not only functional but pretty as well!

Shannon said...

I LOVE these heading pads!! The fabric you chose is darling and I love the idea of making a muslin insert so you can still make the outside soft and pretty.

This is definitely on my list of to-do's. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!
shannonsews.blogspot.com

Vagabond Carnival said...

I too was reeled in by that lovely fabric you used to make the heating pad. Such a stylish alternative to the medicinal looking ones you find at the local stores (and always more stylish than a bag of frozen peas).

(found you through the Sassy Site Hop - http://vagabondcarnival.blogspot.com/ )

Robin said...

The fabric looks so soft! I love the idea and I tell ya I could soooo use one of these on my shoulders at night!
xo
Happy Weekend before Christmas my friend...

Spencer & Lorilyn Crum said...

My suggestion is to use flax seed as opposed to rice, it is more pliable since it is smaller and holds heat longer!

nellana said...

we have been making these for years. They are wonderful for cold nights since you can warm up your bed.

Mia said...

Love the minky on the back. And thanks for the heads up about the minky in microwave, I would have never known.

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

You know we love these!! :) Just wanted to say thanks so much for linking up to Truly Lovely!!! Hope to see you again and again!!! http://trulylovelywiththelaneysisters.blogspot.com

Allison @ House of Hepworths said...

We love rice bags! My SIL made my kids some one year and we use them all the time. I love the fabric you chose and also what a great idea to put the scented pack inside.

Thanks for linking up to Hookin Up With HoH!

~Allison @ House of Hepworths

sbodier_1 said...

I love your version of this idea! It's SO CUTE!

http://craftinessiskey.blogspot.com

Mhairi said...

Love your heat pads for adults and children. I am violently allergic to lavender - it gives me migraines.
I made one with cinnamon spice in it and also with mandarin oil. Both are very relaxing and work really well for children and me.

LINDEZA ARTES said...

Amei!!! Maravilhoso!!!

Wood, paper, glue and nails said...

Thank you for this pattern!
I am going to make me one of each.
One for my migraines for the days I need heat and One for the freezer when I need to stick my whole head in the freezer, but it will not fit!!
LeAnn
ll.hammond@hotmai..com