Heating pad homemade out of rice and fabric or sock and other items

EASY NO-Sew and Sew Rice Microwave Heating Bags

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Rice Microwave BagsHave you ever wanted a heating pad, or an electric blanket or even a water bottle, but didn’t have one, or they were too expensive, or took up too much room? No problem! These microwave bags are perfect for those aches, pains and actually have so many uses.  Did you know they can also be put in the freezer to be used as a cold press also?!

These are so handy to have on hand, and give as gifts that I have some patterns and tutorials of how you can make them up quick.  The beautiful part is you don’t have to have to be much of a sewer; actually, I have a TWO NO-SEW microwave heating bags so everyone can make these!

You will love having this on hand for: headaches/migraines, on your jaw if you have tmj, menstrual cramps, to help ease the pains of arthritis, general body aches, bumps and bruises, even to warm up after being outside on a cold day.

From the freezer they are great for: sprains, bumps, bruises, and anytime a cold press is helpful.   So come along and let’s make up some very easy sew OR no-sew rice bags.

Also, if you have pets to warm up, or I even read that some mom’s use these against the tummy of a colicky baby for quick relief (check with your doctor on this one first please, and do not warm too much of course), these work wonders!

Rice Bag 2TIP*** When heating the rice bag, not matter what kind you make here, place in the microwave along WITH a cup of water (this will provide moist heat and prevent the rice from scorching in the microwave) and heat for approx. 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute the heat and make sure it is not too hot before giving to a child particularly.  

For cold packs, place in freezer for at least 45 minutes to allow time for the rice to chill thoroughly. 

If you make the rice bags too small, they will lose the heat fast or chill very quickly. 

EASY NO-Sew and Sew Rice Microwave Heating Bags


You have the option of putting different fragrances in your rice bag such as: 

You can fill your bags with other fillers besides rice such as:

  • Rice –  Jasmine (oh, the smell when heated is divine and it is the BEST filler of all when compared to everything from what I researched anyway.  Except you cannot launder it.  Toss it when it’s used up and make a new one.) Any type of rice will work.
  • Flax seed – not ground, but the whole seed
  • Feed corn
  • Wheat
  • Beans – I would stick with small for easier molding around your body

Fabrics to use:

No-Sew Sock Rice BagThis one is sssooo easy, it just can’t be quicker than this. Fabulous to wrap around your neck, an ankle, or anywhere you’d like.



Any long sock you desire.  A tube sock without a heel works well.  This is a fabulous way to use up those stray long toe socks, dad’s tube sock, holiday or decorated socks – any will do.


Essential oil or scents if desired

Toilet paper roll, paper plate or funnel


Using a toilet paper roll and a paper plate as a funnel, Or a funnel, fill the sock about 1/3 full of rice. 

Tie in a knot securely.  

To use:

When heating, place in the microwave with a cup of water and heat for 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute heat and see if it needs to warm a bit longer.  Since there are two, keep one  in the freezer.

Microwave Rice Bags 2

NO-Sew Rice BagI happened to get some of these on a fantastic sale and look what I made!  You can do the same with baby leg warmers you might have around your house, or that you find on clearance at the store too.  This is slick and takes about 5 minutes!



Baby Leg Warmers


Bakers Twine

Toilet paper roll or funnel


Tie one end of the baby warmer tightly with bakers twine.  

Using a toilet paper roll Or a funnel, fill the sock about 1/2 full of rice. 

Tie the other end closed with a knot securely.  

To use:

When heating, place in the microwave with a cup of water and heat for 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute heat and see if it needs to warm a bit longer.  Since there are two, keep one  in the freezer. Rice Bag 8

Kids Hot & Cold Rice BagHaving these on hand for those bumps, and boo-boos will quickly dry tears and reduce swelling too.  Easy and quick to have on hand for those little emergencies.



Flannel  14″ to cut 2 pieces 7″x 8″


Thread to match

Paper and tape to make a funnel

Seam ripper


On following tutorial

To use:

When heating, place in the microwave with a cup of water and heat for 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute heat and see if it needs to warm a bit longer.  Optional – keep one  in the freezer. 

Kids Hot & Cold Rice Bag 1Kids Hot & Cold Rice Bag 2Instructions for the following Rice Bags  pictured below.  I have a couple of sizes to give you options so you can see what will work best for your needs. The long tube for your neck, the small for on the jaw or head and the larger on the back or shoulders would be perfect.

(Same directions as shown in tutorial of Kids Rice Bag)


  • For the Blue and White Diamond pattern I cut two pieces of flannel 9″ x 6″
  • For the Moon and Stars pattern I cut two pieces of flannel 6″ x 4 1/2″
  • For the White with fun color patterned long tube shape I cut two pieces of flannel 16″ x 3″


Thread to match

Paper and tape to make a funnel or funnel

Seam ripper


Place fabric with right sides together and pin.  

Sew all the way around leaving a 4″ opening.

Trim the corners.

Turn right side out, pulling the sides out.  Using the seam ripper pull out the corners, carefully, not to rip or tear the fabric.

Fill with rice about 1/3 full.

Either slip stitch the opening, careful to make sure it is tight and close stitches so the rice doesn’t fall out.  OR sew on the outside using the sewing machine.

To use:

When heating, place in the microwave with a cup of water and heat for 1-3 minutes.  Shake to distribute heat and see if it needs to warm a bit longer.  Optional – keep one  in the freezer.Rice Hot & Cold BagsMicrowave Rice BagsRice BagCopyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2016

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19 replies
  1. Janine Huldie
    Janine Huldie says:

    With my lower back issues with sciatica, I could most definitely use something like this during flair ups and going to have to try to make here now. Thanks so much for sharing, Carrie with us here today 🙂

  2. Tasha
    Tasha says:

    These are really neat and handy, Carrie! I would have never thought to do something like this. I’m no much of a sewer, although I do sew by hand a lil bit, the no sew option is very convenient and fast for those of us that don’t want to pick up a needle. Both options are great and something really unique!

  3. Diane Roark
    Diane Roark says:

    Hey lady,

    OH, How I need this rice bag. I have some essential oils I will have to try this. My neck and shoulders and lower back are killing me this week from being on this computer so much without taking a break all day long.

    Trying this today.

  4. Charlotte
    Charlotte says:

    I love these rice bags! and the sock idea! they are definitely great for popping in the bottom of the sleeping bag when it’s cold! I could do with some of these now, my nan used to buy lavender smelling ones so a bit of essential oil in their would suit me!

  5. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I used to have one of these that I used almost daily to help with my chronic pain, but it got ruined in our last move. I am very excited that I can make a new one now! And I’ve never heard the tip about microwaving them with a cup of water, but I can imagine that it so helpful! Thanks!

  6. Gina
    Gina says:

    This is something that I could really use! I’m pinning this to try out later. I’ve seen tutorials for rice heating pads before. But, I love the variety of options that you lay out here.

  7. Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton says:

    Carrie, I sleep with a heating pad each night to help with my leg pain. It’s stopped working before and I was at a loss! I am going to whip up a few of these to have on hand just in case! I love the ease of using an old tube sock too, never thought of that! And the tips are great, I never knew to warm them with a bowl of water! Pinned so I can come back to this! Thanks.

    • Carrie Groneman
      Carrie Groneman says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your pain and I do hope these rice bags help, and that you can get a new heating pad soon also. The water gives a bit of steam to make it all work better. Thanks for your kind comments as always Nikki.


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