Tuesday, December 11, 2012

{Tutorial} Heat Therapy Bags

If you've never used a rice bag, then you have been missing out! I was given one of these during my first pregnancy, and I use it every. single. day. even when not pregnant for pain relief, and therapeutic heat!
They are perfect for Mommy's aching back, legs and feet, or wonderful to add a little warmth to your baby's crib before you lay them down at night.
I'm going to show you how to make a channeled rice bag. The sewn channels make the bag easier to use, because the rice stays in place, rather than falling all to one side. It also makes the bag easy to roll into a log-shape to put under your neck.
Let's get started!

1/2 yard cotton duck fabric
2.5 lbs uncooked rice
sewing things

Start by cutting your cotton duck into a rectangle 20" x 18". Fold the rectangle in half, right sides together, to give you a 10" x 18" rectangle.

Sew down one short side and the long open side, with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Clip the corners, but don't cut the stitching!! Turn your bag right side out and poke out the corners. Topstitch around the three closed sides. This will reinforce your seams so no rice will come out!

Now we'll sew our channels. You can measure, or just eyeball it and hope for the best. You'll sew two long lines of stitching from one short end, to the open end of the bag. Sew them so that your three channels are pretty evenly spaced.

Using a funnel, begin to fill your channels with rice. Use at least 2.5 lbs of rice, but no more than 3. You want the rice to be able to move around and have a flexible bag. Your bag will look about 2/3 full.

Now, fold over the open side at least 1/2".

Then fold down again, and pin. Stitch across the fold at least 2 times to make sure it's secure. You could use a pretty stitch if you want to.

Then, your heat therapy bag is complete!

You can roll it up, or use it flat.

And they look so pretty too. You won't mind leaving it out! Unlike those plug-in heating pads.

Directions for use:
Place your heat therapy bag in the microwave in 30 second intervals until the desired heat is reached. Lay it on your aching neck, back, etc. for comfort.
For use with babies and children, do not exceed 1 minute and only lay it on their bedding to warm it. Do not place the bag directly on children or babies.  
The rice will stay warm to the touch for up to 1 hour, but will cool gradually, making it safer than electric heating pads.
The bags can also be placed in the freezer if you want a cold bag, but I'm not patient enough to have tried this yet.
Remember...it contains rice. If you get it wet, you'll have to add new rice and sew it up again.
*Happy Crafting*


  1. Your fabric chouces are alwsys perfect perfect perfect!!!


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