Rice heating bag and removable cover (and all from scraps!)

Do you have one of these?  Is it just about least attractive thing you own?  (That beaten up cutting mat I insist on photographing is a close second.)

I never realized how gross our rice heating bag was until the other day when I woke up with a super stiff neck and wore it around the house all day.  It's basically a sock with some cheesy plastic rope on the ends.  Not cute. 

So I whipped up a much prettier one in no time at all.  I still look like a nerd with a heating bag around my neck, but at least it's slightly more stylish.  What's even better?  I made it entirely out of scraps. 

Here's what I did...

For the actual heating bag, I had some ticking stripe fabric left over from pillow cases I've been making.  I cut a strip 10 inches x 23 inches.  That's how long my Bed Buddy is, counting the handles.  I think the mattress ticking makes for the perfect inside, and the extra heft of the decorator fabric works well. 

I folded it in half lengthwise and sewed down the long side and one short side with itty bitty, short stiches so the rice wouldn't escape. 

I turned it rightside out, poked out the corners and filled it with rice.  A 2 pound bag was just right...I used nearly the entire bag.  It only needs to 3/4 or so full to still bend.  (I love how the rice is called "fancy."  No plain rice would do!)

I then tucked in the the other short end and sewed it shut.  Heating bag complete!

Next for the cover.  I gathered up all kinds of scraps and pieced together two long strips, 6.5 inches x 24.5 inches each.

I hemmed a short side of each of the pieces and sewed two 10 inch ribbons onto each piece, 2 inches in from the outside.

I then pinned the two pieces, rightsides together, and sewed the 2 long sides and unhemmed short side.

I turned it rightside out, poked out the corners and stuffed in the rice bag.

Tie the ribbons and that's it!  I might still look like an old lady walking around with my heating bag around my neck, but at least it's a lot cuter than it used to be.  To heat it, stick it in the microwave, 1 minute at a time, until it's the right temperature.  Be careful and don't burn yourself.

A little note:  I always pre-wash and dry my fabric to try to eliminate any future shrinkage.  If you don't wash and dry your fabric ahead of sewing it, I would add an inch to the dimensions of the cover.  You don't want it to shrink in the wash and then be too small for the rice bag!

Another little note:  I said "rice bag" about a million times in this post.  Doesn't "rice bag" sound like a mean name to call someone?  Like "What a rice bag!!" or  "Hey! That rice bag just cut me off!"  It could catch on...


  1. We use a rice bag all the time - never thought of making it cute!

  2. Rice bag...LOL at your last comment. This is so cute. I have a friend that may help me learn to sew and then I can really put your tutorials to use.

  3. I have 2 of these that I use every night. Making a removable and washable cover for each of them was one of the smartest things I've ever done!

  4. Oh and by the way, did you know that you can put it in the freezer for 2 hours and it acts as a cold compress? You can save your frozen peas for eating!

  5. Love the rice bag!! My girls and I have made about a (million ok several) for gifts at Christmas every year. We try to find cute flannel prints for the cover to make them even more cuddly. We also have put cinnamon sticks and cloves and allspice in with the rice so when you heat it is smells yummy.

  6. I was scrolling up and down SITS roll call...vainly looking at pictures of SITSTAS and their names and comments. I sometimes methodically choose the ones who roll called ahead of me to visit, and other times I randomly select. I chose you because I giggled when I saw your name "Your cool friend Cheryl". How clever. I'm just thankful I don't have a need for a rice bag because I'd be the schmuck with the ugly store-bought heating pad. I don't do crafty very well. I hope that you had a fabulous time making it, and I hope you're having a Happy Monday.

  7. wow - you are the coolest mom on the block! holy moly! i am duly impressed...

    visiting from SITS and new follower

  8. That looks so pretty! What a creative person you are... I'm impressed.

    Just stopping by from SITS to say hello!

  9. Your fabrics look so pretty together. Thanks for the idea! I'm going to go whip one up for a friend's birthday present.

    By the way my friend Erin introduced me to your blog and I love it!

  10. I had one, that I did not make as I am nowhere near crafty boo, and it got stolen from my desk at work. So weird.

  11. I love this project, and I am totally going to start calling people rice bags. Thanks for the suggestion!

  12. Genius. What a cute idea, and precious idea. Great execution.

    Take care,

  13. Ok, promise I don't sound that repetitive in real life. That's what I get for blogging and talking to my hubby at the same time.

  14. That is SO cute! I wish I could sew:(
    Stopping by via sits!

  15. Yours looks way cuter than my corn bag, sewn in flannel.. and calling someone a rice bag sounds funner than calling them a corn bag! ha ha Hey, I nominated you for the "One Lovely Blog Award" cause you rock! Come check it out at www.mycreativeattempts.blogspot.com

  16. Very cool idea!! Calling someone a rice bag is hilarious!

  17. These are great, I'm loving your projects! Especially the crayon leaves, they're fabulous. I'd love to link to them if you don't mind.

  18. GreAT IDEA! I live with my rice bag in the winter time!!


  19. Ok,I'm pretty sure there will be lots of 'RiceBags' on my commute to school tomorrow!
    Thanks for the new vocab word!

  20. bwahaha...Rice Bag! I think I woke up the kids laughing!

    (Nuts...this keeps signing me in as my daughter!!!!)

  21. We use a rice bag all the time - never thought of making it cute!


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