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Rice bags are easy to make and have multiple uses. Among their other benefits.

Place in freezer for cold therapy & microwave for heat therapy. I also use a warm rice bag in the winter to warm up! My husband keep the bedroom like an icebox in the name of conserving heat; a warm rice bag under the covers warms things up nicely.

Benefits are if you need an ice pack: no more melting ice cubes or risking leaking water. And it’s form-fitting! No more spending money on heating pads that only have one or two uses. And they can be any size. I have little ones for hand-warmers in little pockets. The longer one down below is about 12″ x 6″. It works for wrapping around an ankle or arm. The larger one on the top gets warmed up and goes to bed with me.

Heating instructions: In the microwave, on high heat, but NO LONGER than 3 minutes. You can and will start a fire if you heat it longer than that.

Short side story: my ever-more-forgetful great-grandma accidentally typed in 30 instead of 3. Forgot she put in the microwave and went to bed. She woke up to smoke throughout the apartment! Thank God she woke up, though.

You'll need a kitchen towel and rice (do NOT use Minute rice.)
You'll need a kitchen towel and rice (do NOT use Minute rice.)
Cut the dishtowel down to the size you want the rice bag. Fold fabric in half. Pin.
Cut the dishtowel down to the size you want the rice bag. Fold fabric in half. Pin.

It’s very easy to make also, though unless you like sewing, you’ll want to break out the sewing machine! I sewed the one below with black thread so you could see seams; normally sew with matching color thread.

You’ll need:

  • Kitchen dishtowel (or pattern you desire in cotton). I prefer a kitchen dishtowel because it’s easy, but if you want to get creative, pick (or even stitch together) your own pattern.
  • Rice to fill the bag (do NOT use minute rice)
  • Sewing machine, thread

Assemble:

  1. Cut the dishtowel down to the size you want the rice bag (remember you’re going to fold it in half & you need a little bit of edge for seams…so you need to double the width measurement and add a bit for seams…does that make sense?). Example: The small rice bag’s size (above) is 12″ by 6″. So I cut out a piece of fabric that was 14″ x 14″ (12″ plus 2″ for seam allowance) x (6″ x folded in half= 12″ plus 2″ for seam allowance). If that was confusing, play around with a towel a little bit and it will make sense.
  2. Fold fabric in half. Pin. Sew the two outside edges. (Obviously one edge will be folded towel, so you won’t need to sew it.). You would normally use white thread for a white towel, but I used black on the example below so you could see it.
  3. Mark off between 1 & 1/2″ to 2″ on the corner of the un-sewn side. (See picture below). Sew the third side except for that small section.
  4. Wiggle your fingers in that small seam, and grab the far corner. Gently pull the bag inside out (so the pattern is on the outside). You can see from the one picture below I made the section too small and had to cut out a few threads.
  5. Once bag is right-side out, gently fill it about 3/4 full, maybe a little more.
  6. Sew the final gap (remember to tuck in the seam allowance). With matching thread, as you can see above, it barely shows.
Leave a small space to flip it inside out and to fill it with rice.
Leave a small space to flip it inside out and to fill it with rice.
After all but the "filling section" is sewn, turn it right side out.
After all but the "filling section" is sewn, turn it right side out.
Fill with rice.
Fill with rice.
Carefully sew the small opening.
Carefully sew the small opening.

Finished Product:

DIY Rice Bags: Use for Hot or Cold. Easy to make, cheap, and reusable.
DIY Rice Bags: Use for Hot or Cold. Easy to make, cheap, and reusable.