Rice heating pads are one of the first projects I ever made. They're the perfect combination of easy, practical, and when you use a nice fabric, cute! And with the addition of a calming essential oil like lavender, this heating pad is sure to sooth any soreness or cramps, making it a great staple item to keep around the house.
13"x13" square of 100% cotton fabric (do not use fabric with any amount of polyester in it as it could melt in the microwave)
Matching thread and bobbin
4-6 cups rice (more if you want a very firm heating pack)
1 sheet of 8.5"x11" paper
Lavender essential oil (optional)
Step 1: building the pack
Fold the fabric square in half so that the "right" sides of the fabric are facing each other. Pin and sew the short sides of the rectangle you've folded.
Next, sew the long edge of the rectangle, leaving 3" open on that edge so that you can turn the rectangle right-side-out.
Cut the corners of the rectangle so that you will have clean corners when you turn it right-side-out.
Using the 3" gap you left on the long edge, turn the rectangle right-side-out.
Step 2: filling the pack
Optional: pour 3-5 drops of your essential oil into your 4-6 cups of rice and stir to mix.
Curve your piece of paper into a funnel with one short end and one long end to guide your rice into the pack. Tape the paper to hold it in place. Then, place the short end of the funnel into the 3" gap you left on your pack and slowly pour the rice into the funnel. Pause after every handful of rice you pour to distribute the rice across the pack.
Step 3: sealing it off
To seal off the pack, tuck in the raw edges of the gap you used to pour the rice into the pack, and sew up that gap with a straight seam. Be sure to secure this gap well, as a loose seam could mean a rice disaster!
To heat, microwave for 30-60 seconds.