How to Make a Rice Pillow

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Rice pillows make great gifts that will provide warmth and comfort. Rice pillows are great for warming up with on a chilly evening or easing an achy back or upset tummy. Just pop one in the microwave for about one to two minutes and it will hold the heat in for almost an hour. Add a little scented herbs or essential oils and it can be used for aromatherapy, too.

Things You'll Need

  • 100% cotton fabric like flannel or terry for outer cover
  • Muslin for the rice pillow
  • Rice (not quick cooking)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Optional: dried herbs like lavender or rose

Making the rice pillow

  • Fold the muslin right sides together and cut out a 5 1/2-inch by 20 1/2-inch rectangle.

  • Pin the right sides together. Leave one short end open.

  • Stitch around both long sides and one of the short sides of the muslin pillow using a 1/4-inch stitch. Use the smallest stitch length possible on your sewing machine for the inner cover to keep the rice from coming out.

  • Turn the rice pillow right side out. Be sure to push out the corners.

  • Fill the rice pillow about 3/4 full of rice so it stays soft and flexible. Experiment with the amount of rice until you like the feel of the pillow.

  • Turn the edges of the open end under, pin them together and then stitch it closed using a 1/4-inch stitch. You can stitch it by hand or on the sewing machine.

Making the rice pillow cover

  • Fold the cotton material with right sides together.

  • Cut out a 6-inch by 21-inch rectangle.

  • Pin the right sides together leaving one short end open.

  • Stitch around the two long sides and one short end using a 1/4-inch stitch.

  • Turn the pillow cover right side out. Be sure to push out the corners well.

  • Turn under the edges of the open end and stitch around the edge using a 1/4-inch topstitch.

  • Slip the muslin rice pillow inside the pillow cover.

  • Put rice pillow in microwave for about one or two minutes until it is warm.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment by making various shapes and sizes of rice pillows. Long ones work great over the neck or back and square ones feel good on the tummy or feet.
  • Add some dried lavender or rose when adding the rice if desired.
  • To clean, simply remove the pillow cover and either hand wash or wash on the gentle cycle.
  • Be careful the rice pillow isn't too hot before placing on the body. Check the temperature carefully by touching it to your wrist. If it's too hot let it set on the counter to cool slightly.

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