Rice heating pads are easy to make and oftentimes you have everything you need on hand. This tutorial is a good way to use up scraps of fabric from other projects.

You will need

>About 1/4 yard of 44-45 inch wide cotton fabric. if you have no fabric, consider up-cycling an old shirt or other piece of clothing that is no longer usable.

>About 3-4 pounds of rice, preferably brown rice. Brown rice has a higher oil content then white rice and holds heat a little better.

There is a lot of flexibility in the dimensions of your finished heating pad. You can make it any size you choose just be sure its small enough to fit in the microwave and rotate freely. Other then that, let your creativitly or the size of your fabric help you decide on how big you want it.  But for the sake of this tutorial, we will be using 1/4 yard of fabric.

You can enlarge the pics for more detail by clicking on them or hold down the Ctrl key while scrolling with mouse.


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Cut a piece 8 inches wide from a 44″-45″ wide cotton fabric







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Fold the fabric lengthwise so the the right sides are together.






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Sew the two long edges together, using about a 1/4 inch seam allowance.





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On the short, open edge, fold down 1/2 inch.





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open up the sides seams to lay flat when you do the fold down. Press with iron.





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Now turn your rice heating pad right side out.






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Now mark a spot about 2 inches from the short edges in the middle. Notice the green arrows pointing to the pins.

Click on picture for a close up view or hold down the “ctrl” button while you scroll with your mouse to enlarge picture.



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Now sew a straight seam right down the middle from one pin mark to the other. Being sure to back stitch at each end to anchor threads.





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Now its time to fill with rice!

It helps if you have a friend to hold the bag open for you while you pour the rice in, but its not difficult to do it by yourself either.



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Now the trick to filling your rice heating pad is to not fill it all the way up. if it is completely full the rice does not shift around very well and it will not conform to your body well.

Usually about 2/3 full is just right but you will want to experiment a little with it.



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When you think you have the right amount of rice in it, carefully pin the opening closed or baste it shut. if using pins, you want them very close together so the rice will not leak out.

Then try it out by draping it around your shoulders or however you intend to use it. Decide whether it needs more or less rice and adjust as necessary.

Make sure you can fold or roll it so that it will fit into your microwave and rotate freely.


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Once you have the rice filling adjusted just right. Sew the opening shut close to the fold.

On this seam it looks best if you take your time and and sew straight and even right next to the fold. Sewing 1/4 inch or so away from the edge will make your seam stand out more whereas if its very close to the fold it tends to disappear and look more professional.


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That’s it! Your done!

Now you have a natural rice heating pad that with care will last you for years!




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How long you microwave your rice heating pads depends on a number of things,

-How big or how much filler is being used

-The wattage of your particular microwave

-How warm you want it

So once again you need to experiment with it. Start off with 30 seconds at a time testing to see how warm it is before microwaving for another 30 seconds until its the right temp. Now you know how long to microwave your rice heating pad in your microwave oven.

Do not over heat, over heating anything in your microwave is dangerous and your rice heating pad is no exception.

Rice produces a moist heat use after use. But eventually the rice will dry out, At this point you may want to spritz a little water on your rice heating pad or add a small cup of water to the microwave when you warm it. This will add moisture back to the pad so you can continue enjoying moist heat therapy.

For a really deep moist heat you can wet a washcloth or small towel and wring it out. Place this damp towel against your skin and place your warmed rice heating pad on top of that. This deep muscle treatment is very similar to hydrocollator pads that many Chiropractors and Massage Therapists use because of its ability to provide deep relaxation fast.

I hope you enjoy your rice heating pad so much that you make some for your friends and family. But if you don’t have time to make it yourself, please check out our Eco friendly HEMP heating pads. They are refillable and washable. Buy a YouFill pad and fill it yourself with rice, wheat, corn whatever you wish or we can fill it for you with our favorite filler, flax seed.


I welcome your comments, let me know what your think of this tutorial or give me suggestions on how I can improve it.

I value your input, thank you.

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