Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pretty Heating Pads

(old person voice) "I have an achin' in my bones!"

It's true.  My husband likes to joke about his "arthritic wife", and I don't mind at all because it makes light of a situation that could easily become depressing.  I developed arthritis about 6 weeks after the birth of my last baby, and am still waiting for a diagnosis.  In the mean time, though, I started making these rice bags to help the discomfort.  

I made my first one for my sweet girl, who had a tummy ache one night.  She slept so well after I gave her one of our old ones that I knew I was on to something.  But, she complained about the smell, so I made her a new one and scented the rice with essential oil to disguise the hot rice smell.  Now I use these little babies whenever my kids are having a hard time falling asleep and they work like magic.

First, if you want your bag to be scented, dump the rice into a bowl and sprinkle with a few drops of essential oil and stir.  I used lavender and a 2 pound bag of rice for each bag.  You want to make sure that the bowl and utensils you use won't absorb the oil or are ones you don't plan to cook with.  Let sit.

Next, cut the material you plan to use for the bag into the basic shape of bag you want.  The possibilities are endless.  I like to use old cotton clothing like t-shirts, jeans, or socks. 

These are about 10 inches by 10 inches.  I sewed the edges closed, leaving a 3 inch gap for inserting the canning funnel I used for adding the rice.  Then, I sewed them closed.
This is one from an old tube sock.  I added a few stitches to the center of it before filling to keep the rice evenly distributed.  Then I just sewed the top closed after filling.

Finally, I made very simple pillow cases that overlapped by a few inches in the back.  I wanted to be able to remove the bag and wash the case or to be able to replace the bag at some point.  Can you tell the boys' room has a western theme?

This one is for me.  Again, I just sewed a case a few inches taller and wider than the sock with some fabrics that made me happy.

In my microwave, the 2 pound bags take about 1 minute 15 second to be the right temperature for the kids and about 1 minute 30 seconds for me.  I mix the bag around to make sure that all the hot spots get distributed.  Of course, use common sense and start out with no more than a minute until you get a feel for your microwave.  And, for pete's sake, don't burn down your house or something.




  1. Awesome! And as I try to stretch out my achin' calves, I'm jonesin' for a fancy rice bag. :) Or two!

  2. I just love the name of your blog! Darling. I just made some heating cozies recently too & they do the trick for those of us still in winter mode!! Thanks for sharing your versions - super cute!

  3. Well, jennifiend, maybe someone will make one for you. ;)

    Oh, thank you, northern cottage! I love your ideas with the ribbon tie and the tea...will be trying that on the next one I make!

  4. thank you for sharing !
    i will try for my daughter and
    make a little comfort rice doll for sleeping.
    merci !

  5. I have literally been scouring Missoula for one of these rice bags. Mainly because I am old as well. And I am SO HAPPY to know how to make it now! Although it won't be as cute as yours...one day Megan, one day. :)

  6. Well, Miss Tia, I'm sure someone would make you a cute one as well if you were to come visit. Just sayin'...



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