Rice Heating Pads, an easy DIY Christmas Gift


Well, hello there! Long time no see. After a crazy busy couple of months that felt like I was sewing my life away, I'm back! (just in time for another break for the holiday season coming up). I know it's SUPER late and you're probably thinking "this would have been great to have 3 weeks ago"... and you're probably right. Or maybe you're like me, putting things together at the last minute, in which case I have just the right thing for you! In any case, believe me when I tell you these little rice heating pads are the best, and they are also the quickest, easiest DIY gift you can make for everyone on your list. They are perfect for neighbours, teachers, friends, and even as stocking stuffers for your whole family!

I make a bunch of them every year and hand them out to everyone I can think of, along with some tea, hot chocolate or baked treats. Easy peasy. And what can be better for these cold months than a heating pad and a cup of hot 'beverage of choice'? In my books there is NOTHING better... pass me the blanket, please.



Would you like to whip up a few of these? You still have time! Lets get started.

You will need (for each pad):

- quilting cotton fabric, 6" x 21" rectangle (you can get 3 pieces out of a fat quarter)

- flannel, 6" x 21" rectangle

- rice, 1 kg (2.2 Lbs) approx. (you can use ANY kind of rice, I usually go with inexpensive white rice)

- essential oils, optional

- coordinating thread


Step 1: 

Cut your cotton and flannel fabrics to size (as indicated above). Put one piece of cotton fabric and one of flannel right sides together, and pin all around. Sew along both long sides and one short side, leaving one short side open, so that you can flip it right side out and fill the bag.



Step 2: 

Turn the bags right side out and iron the seams. Using a ruler, make small marks at 5" intervals, along the long edges. These will be your marks for sewing each 'pocket' of the rice pad later (see below). 



Step 3:

Now you can start filling the bags. I like to use about 1 full cup of rice per 'pocket'. If you're choosing to add essential oils, pour your rice in a bowl and add a few drops of the oil to it, then mix well. Peppermint or lavender oils are good choices. 

TIP: if you're having trouble filling the bag without spilling all the rice everywhere, you can use a funnel or make a cone out of paper to help keep the rice contained. 



Step 4: 

Fill only one pocket at a time. Then pin along the marks you previously made and sew a straight line, making sure there are no grains of rice along the path of the needle... or you'll end up with a broken needle. Trust me on this.

Once the first pocket is closed, proceed with the remaining 3 pockets in the same way. When you get to the end of the bag, fold the raw edges in about 1/2" and stitch the opening close. 



Step 5:

Wrap a piece of ribbon or jute twine around them, add a little tag with directions for proper use, and you're DONE! 



So on your way home today, stop at the store and pick up some rice, dig through your fabric stash, and go make a whole pile of these heating pads in as little as 1 hour. Everyone's stocking is gonna get just a little bit heavier this Christmas.

And don't forget to keep some for yourself! After all that hard work you will need one. *wink wink*



Later Gator,

Julia (with an H)