How To Make A Rice Heat Pad
A DIY Rice Heating Pad has been on the top of my crafting wish-list for a while now.
So, when my four year old suddenly developed an interest in sewing, I jumped at the chance to dust off my sewing machine and get creative.
Benefits of DIY Rice Heating Pads
A DIY Rice Pad has so many uses and is particularly versatile because it can be used hot or cold.
We use ours for:
- Keeping feet warm when it gets chilly.
- Heating/cooling aching muscles.
- Cooling sprains.
- Warming hands.
- Relief for dry eyes.
- Growing pains.
- Period pain.
- Warming cold beds.
- Cooling bruises.
Things To Consider Before Making Your DIY Rice Heating Pad
What Size Should A Heat Pad Be?
The size of a heat pad depends on how you want to use it.
I wanted a natural heat pack that I could rest on my neck and lower back so I used a piece of fabric that was approximately 16cm by 30cm (plus hem).
This meant that the finished heat pack was around 8cm x 30cm.
If you’re making hand warmers or pads for soothing kids knee bumps and scrapes then go for a smaller size.
What Fabric To Use For A Heat Pack?
Because your heat pack will be going in the microwave you must use a material that won’t melt.
I use 100% cotton for this reason.
I had some organic soft flannel leftover from making baby trousers which was ideal but a pre-loved cotton t-shirt works well too.
If you’d like to use fleece or another synthetic fabric to make a more snuggly heat pad then sew an inner cotton bag for the filling.
You can then pop that inside your fleece bag after heating. This makes washing the heat pad easier too.
Can I Put Essential Oils In My Heat Pack?
I love essential oils but personally, I wouldn’t add them to my heat pack…for a few reasons…
It could be dangerous
If you are adding drops of essential oil onto your heating pack then the oils will build up on the bag over time and can increase the fire risk.
It’s not particularly effective
Essential oils aren’t cheap and glugging 5-10 drops on your rice heating pack before every use is going to get expensive.
If I want to feel the benefits of essential oils I use my diffuser as a few drops will last hours rather than minutes.
It can cause irritation
Essential oils are potent and are supposed to be diluted before use.
Adding undiluted oils directly to your heat pack increases the risk of your skin coming into direct contact with the oils.
It’s also important to note that some essential oils are unsafe to use around babies and infants and even pets o it’s best to be cautious.
How To Make A DIY Microwave Heating Pad
My friend Alex over at The Mini Smallholder inspired me with her wheat heat pack but I had a bag of rice in the cupboard so I opted for that instead.
DIY Rice Heating Pad Supplies
- A bag of rice (any type).
- A piece of scrap material. (pillowcase, sock, pre-loved shirt).
- A sewing machine or a needle.
DIY Rice Heating Pad Instructions
- Fold your material in half (mine was 16cm x 30cm) with right sides together.
- Sew along edges so only one smaller end is left open (This is where you’ll funnel your rice in!).
- Now, turn it the right-way so that the rough ends are hidden.
- Use a funnel (I made mine with a cereal box) to fill the heat pad with rice until about 2/3 full.
- Fold the remaining side in so that the rough ends are hidden and sew it closed.
How to heat a DIY Rice Pack
Some people report that their heat pads start to smell burnt after a few uses. Popping a mug of water in the microwave when you heat your pack should prevent it drying out and burning.
To avoid overheating, I heat my pack for 30 seconds at a time, giving it a shake at each interval.
It usually takes 90 seconds to heat the pack but all microwaves will vary.
However, that may not be true for your microwave so be careful not to overheat your rice heating pad.
Be aware that if your microwave turntable doesn’t turn your pack will likely develop hot spots so be particularly careful.
My heat pad stays warm for around an hour.
There are some useful safety tips in this article too.
How To Cool A DIY Rice Pack
To use your rice pad as cold pack just pop it into some tubberware or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn and keep in freezer until you need it.
So, there you are…your very own DIY Rice Heating Pad!
They make the perfect zero waste Christmas gift too!
Get creative like and try something different…
I love hearing from readers so please let me know what you think of your Rice Heating Pad…