How to Make Rice Bags


Rice bags, also known as microwave heating bags, are a simple but functional item. These little rice bags that you warm in the microwave have a number of uses. They can be used as hand warmers, heat therapy for sore or aching muscles, and they can be frozen for cold therapy too. They are inexpensive to make and anyone that can sew a basic stitch can put them together.

Things You'll Need

  • Muslin
  • Rice
  • Fingertip or guest towel
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Velcro or similar hook and loop fastener
  • Rosemary, lavender or other scent

Select a towel for your rice bag. Base your choice on the size of rice bag you would like to make, and a color and design on the towel that appeal to you.

Measure the towel and then cut a piece of muslin to these same dimensions. Fold the muslin in half and sew two of the sides closed, leaving the third side open so that you can fill the muslin with rice.

Fill the bag about 3/4 full of rice and add a little lavender or other scent. Do not overfill with rice or the bag will not form to your body well when using it as a heating pad. Sew the last opening closed.

Fold the towel in the same manner as the muslin, and sew two sides closed again. Sew Velcro fasteners to both ends of the third side rather than sewing it closed. This allows you to take the towel off and launder it.

Warm the bag in the microwave for about three minutes (test different times with your microwave) to use. The bag releases a gentle heat for up to an hour.

Tips & Warnings

  • In a pinch, you can make a quick rice bag by filling a tube sock with rice and tying a knot in the top.

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