How To (Kind of) Make a Rice Pad

A while back I told you about a silly little thing that I totally love.

I have heard them called bed buddies, rice bags, stress busters. Who cares what they are called? I just love mine! I am always cold, and just three minutes in the microwave is all it takes to heat this up and make a cozy little pillow for your lap, your back, your feet, wherever. Today I thought I would give you a few pointers on how to make your own.

(Notice I said pointers. This won't be too detailed, so be prepared to improvise a bit!)

First, go out and get some unconverted white rice. This is the cheap stuff, not instant, uncooked. Wish I could tell you exactly what "unconverted" means, but I can't. But just think about how this thing needs to be able to go into the microwave again and again, so, you know, plan accordingly.

Below, you can see I fashioned a bag out of muslin, sewed it up (tightly, so the rice doesn't leak out), and left a hole through which to pour the rice. Make sure whatever material you choose is 100% cotton (again, that microwave element). Put in as much rice as you think feels good. Me, I like the rice bag to be full enough that it has a nice weight to it, but can still shift around. After I poured the rice in, I sewed the bag up with my sewing machine. It's not pretty. But it doesn't have to be.

Next, I chose a pretty 100% cotton flannel, and put together a pillowcase for the rice bag. It's kind of like a pocket pillowcase, just folded over onto itself and sewn together. I added some Velcro to the edges to seal it, but also to allow me to remove and wash it. (In case I spill red wine on it. Um...not that I know anything about that.)

While I was at it, I made one of these for Nina, my three year old. I can't tell you how many nights find us both "cozied up" with our rice paddies on the couch. And yes, I know rice paddies are something completely different in China. I can't help it! Someone (not sure if it was Nina or me) in my house started calling it the "rice paddy" and now the name has stuck!

Give this a try if you're always cold like me! Just pop it into the microwave for three minutes, then sit yourself on the couch. It stays warm for a long time...perfect for TV watching, reading, or even taking to bed with you. Because it loses heat slowly, the rice pad is great for sleeping. By the time it cools off, you're asleep, but you don't wake up all sweaty like I do if I forget to turn off my electric blanket.

OK, enough boring details about my life. Rice pad=Good. I hope you give it a try!


MamaSue said...

I need one of those! I am cold all of the time...well not in the summer because I live in Texas. great idea!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

Love your fabric - I love to take mine to bed! I haven't ever made one for my kiddos, though. I bet they would love it.

Loui said...

Hi Carrie..
This would be perfect for elderly folks..
especially those in assisted living where electric blankets and heating pads are not allowed.
what a beautiful, inexpensive project that could be.
thanks ever so for sharing..
gonna make me one to day!
or maybe a couple for friends..
warmest hugs,laughing smiles..

southerninspiration said...

GREAT idea, Carrie!
Thanks for sharing.


adsgram said...

"...you don't wake up all sweaty like I do if I forget to turn my electric blanket off."

OR soaked like I did last week when my hot water bottle sprang a leak. LOL! I may have to get sewing!

Have a great day!


Holly said...

This is such a great idea! I saw this done a while back in another blog and had forgotten all about it. I think that person put some lavendar oil in with their rice too. Definately going to give it a try today. Thanks again for sharing, always fun to see what you're up to. Have a great day!

Harmony said...

A friend made me one for Christmas and I use it all the time! I think I'll try to make some for my boys, since they always try to steal mine!

Jboo said...

I need to make these for Mr. Tennis -- he goes through those Bed Buddies like you would not believe and yours are much much cuter! :)

Have a great week!


Elizabeth Sampson RN, RMT said...

I make the corn bags and I absolutely love them. They are the same as the rice bags just a little heavier.

Elizabeth Sampson RN, RMT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QuiteContrary said...

I've made these (but longer and narrower) for every member of my family and we LOVE them. On cold nights we all warm them up and put them under the covers at the foot of our beds. We stay toasty warm all night long and don't have to dry out the air in the house by having the heat turned up as high. I think I may try your "paddie" style next!

Life with Kaishon said...

You are always cold? I am always hot. My husband is always cold though so maybe I will make him one of these : )

Simply Fabulous said...

I love my rice bag! I always rely on local craft fairs and such to get mine but thanks for the great tips.

sweet european dreams said...

I didn't realize until now that you can make these with RICE. My MIL told me how to make one with deer corn...DEER CORN? What aisle is that on? So, now I'm off to make my toasty new RICE paddy. Nice post!

Kim said...

I made a rice bag last year and I love it! The only problem is I should make a couple more because my girls love it as well!

Michele said...

Hi Carrie ~ I need to make me one of these....awesome! Thanks so much for the tutorial!


Jennifer said...

My mom has made all of us a few of these. My dad farms... so there is corn inside instead of rice. We love them!! But ours don't have an additional cover that you can remove... that is *brilliant*! Thanks for that great idea!!

Anonymous said...

I have also seen them made with wheat, cherry pits and flax seed. Also, (not sure how to do this) quilted so it all doesn't bunch on one end. My favorite ones have "arms" that reach around your neck and hold on so it stays put when you move.

I'm loving your blog.

Kelly said...

My girs (11 and 12) and I made these on one of our many snow days in January. We love them and use them all the time. My girls even take them on the cold bus in the mornings, so toasty:-)

sanjeet said...

- I love to take mine to bed! I haven't ever made one for my kiddos, though.
data entry work from home

SJ said...

These work great for soothing sore muscles too. You can make a quickie one out of a tube sock and an elastic band, although yours are way cuter! They are good for sore knees, shoulders and excellent for cramps of the er feminine nature ;) The patchwork one is adorable!