DIY Microwaveable Heating Pad (Using Rice and a Tube Sock!)


Relief from neck, shoulder, and back pain is just a DIY project away -- and a super easy one at that. Not only are they simple to make, these scented microwaveable rice-filled heating pads made from tube socks are economical and very effective. And since socks come in pairs, you should whip up another one to give to someone else who could use a little relaxing heat therapy.

(Image: Maya Marin)

Things You'll Need

  • Uncooked white rice (amount depends on the desired length of your heating pack)
  • Cotton tube sock of desired size (I used a men's 23-inch sock)
  • Essential oils (choose your favorites)
  • Tailor's chalk 
  • Funnel (optional, but very useful)
  • Basic sewing supplies (can be either hand or machine sewn)
(Image: Maya Marin)

Step 1: Scent Rice

Figure out how much rice you'll be using by first measuring the length of your sock. You'll need approximately one cup of rice per 5 inches of sock. Put the required amount of rice into a bowl and add 8 to 10 drops of essential oil per cup of rice. I used a half and half combo of lavender and bergamot.

(Image: Maya Marin)

Mix well and set aside.

(Image: Maya Marin)

Step 2: Mark Heating Pad Sections

Measure out the separate sections of your heating pad (we recommend that they be 4 to 5 inches in length) and clearly delineate them using tailor's chalk.

(Image: Maya Marin)


  • For an even easier project, you can fill the sock without sewing separate sections/compartments for the rice. However, we recommend the sectional method, as this will ensure that the rice is evenly distributed, providing an equal distribution of heat throughout the length of the pad.

Step 3: Fill and Sew Sections

Insert the funnel into the sock opening and pour in 3/4 to 1 cup of scented rice.

(Image: Maya Marin)

Ensure that all the rice grains have fallen below your first chalk-marked stitch guideline, then sew it shut either by machine or hand.

Before stitching.
Before stitching. (Image: Maya Marin)


  • If sewing by machine, ensure that there are no grains of rice along the sewing machine's stitch path to avoid the risk of breaking the needle and/or damaging the machine.

After stitching.
After stitching. (Image: Maya Marin)

Repeat for all sections until you reach the end of the sock.

Step 4: Stitch Shut

After filling the end section with rice, you can stitch the edge shut as is (squared) or fold in and pin the corners as shown below to create a shape similar to the toe end of the sock for a bit more symmetry.

(Image: Maya Marin)
(Image: Maya Marin)

If you've folded and pinned in the corners, top-stitch along the lines indicated below.

(Image: Maya Marin)

And there you have it! Your scented heat pack is ready to relieve your aches and pains.

(Image: Maya Marin)

Simply microwave on high for approximately one minute to get it nice and toasty, then drape over your neck, shoulders, or back.

(Image: Maya Marin)

But before you completely switch into R&R mode, grab the other sock and make another one so you can share the love.

(Image: Maya Marin)

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