Last Updated on January 15, 2020 by wendigratz
Stitch up this easy rice bag and pop it in the microwave whenever you need a little warmth. Heat it for one minute (or a little more) in the microwave. Use it as a foot warmer when you go to bed at night. Or lay it on your chest when you have a cold. Drape it around your neck if you’ve spent too long at the sewing machine. 🙂
Don’t save this project for next winter! In the summertime my daughter likes to keep hers in the freezer to pull out whenever she needs a quick cool-off. Drape the cold bag around your neck on a hot day for instant bliss.
Make one for yourself – and lots more for gifts.
Update! I posted instructions to turn this into a Vicks VapoRub scented rice bag here. Use that version to help soothe a cough and clear a stuffy nose. And be sure to download the free monster rice bag cover pattern too! The link is in the same post. 🙂
What you’ll need
- 2 squares of fabric – each 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″
- 2 1/2 cups rice or other filler
- scented mix-ins – optional
- sewing machine
- basic sewing tools
- an hour or less
Super easy! Just a few straight lines and all machine work! Plus the pattern has links to videos teaching you all the skills you’ll need.
Iron your fabric so it’s nice and smooth.
Lay your fabric squares right sides together. Using 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew around three sides. If you’re a new sewist, watch this video showing you how to sew straight lines and turn corners.
Clip the corners close to - but not into - the stitching.
It should look like the photo.
Turn the bag right side out. Turn the raw edge under 1/2 inch and press.
The entire top edge (all the way around) should be folded under so you have a clean edge.
Using a piece of chalk or other erasable marking tool, mark lines every two inches along the length of your rice bag.
This will make channels that help keep the rice spread evenly throughout the bag so it doesn’t all shift into one corner.
Stitch along the marked lines - right up to the open edge of the bag. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching!
It should look like this.
Using a funnel, fill each channel with about 1/2 cup of rice. There should still be room to spare. Careful! If you fill your bag too full, it will be stiff and won’t mold to your body.
If you want your bag to be scented, now is the time to mix in some additions. I added a few cloves and some broken cinnamon stick pieces to each channel. You can add a few drops of essential oil to the rice before filling the bag. Lavender or rosemary is also a nice addition. Use your imagination!
There’s a tutorial here showing how to make your rice bag into a Vicks Vapo-rub scented rice bag – perfect for soothing a cough and stuffy head without the icky sticky feeling of the Vicks.
Sew the opening closed. Sew as close to the folded edge as possible.
Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end!
Want to get extra fancy? You can sew up a fun monster cover for your rice bag.
There’s a link to a free tutorial here.