Friday, February 5, 2016

Sewing Tutorial: Rice Heating Pad (Giveaway!)

Here I was sitting, a few weeks before the holidays and wondered, what can I make this year for my friends? Usually I buy something or just skip the whole “sending friends a gift” part, but this year I wanted it to be something special, something homemade that they all can use because I struggled hard throughout the year and without my friends, the ones who called, the ones who spent time with me or took the kids of my hands for a few hours, this past year would've been even tougher.

So what do you make or do for such amazing people that you value so much?

I had no idea.

So I sat in front of the mess that I call my “Arts & Crafts” closet and dug through yarn, fabrics, papers, paint and a lot more...and couldn't come up with anything.

One day my beloved friend Jackie invited my family over for some delicious White Chicken Chili and while we were standing in the kitchen and talked she showed me a sock, filled with rice, that she warms up in the microwave to sooth neck and back pain.

All I could think was “Really, a freaking sock?!”

And there was my idea - Rice Heating Pads. That way she wouldn't have to mess with a rice filled sock anymore.  I thought about it some more and realized it was just simply the perfect idea. We all get stressed out and a lot of my friends suffer from back and/or neck pain.

Plus, if times ever get tough, they can enjoy some rice ;)

These heating pads have a generous size of approximately 18” x 9”, which means they definitely fit around your neck and shoulder area, or across your lower back and if you happen to be a tiny woman like me, then it fits up your entire back.

There's another plus to this tutorial: I am giving one away!!  So, follow the tutorial to see how to make a few of your own, and then enter to win one and let me do the sewing for you!

The tutorial might seem a little confusing, but I promise, it's super easy once you get started!

Let's get to it:

Sewn Rice Heating Pad

What you will need:
1 fat quarter of fabric
rice (4 cups per fat quarter)
sewing machine

I would like to add a little advice about the rice (haha, that even rhymes!), I highly recommend a round short grain rice, or barley because it's just simply more comfortable, but you can use whatever rice you want or have laying around.

Step one:
Iron your fabric. That's actually an important part for any sewing project you plan to do. No measurement is right if the fabric is wrinkly!

Once you ironed it, fold it in half and trim the edges so that both sides fit perfectly on top of each other.

Step two:
Turn it to the left side and start sewing around the edges, leaving an approximately 2” opening. That is the hole you will use to turn the fabric to the right side and to fill it with the rice.

Step three:
Turn the fabric to the right side and then iron it all nice and flat.

Fold the fabric in half and iron again, then fold in both sides and again, iron it all (it's a lot of ironing, sorry! You may be able to skip one or two of those but I am a perfectionist and like to iron ;) )

Fold it open and make sure you see three clear lines, if not, fold and iron again. You will need those lines to sew straight lines unless you feel confident enough to wing those straight lines.

Step four:
Sew along the lines but leave approximately 2” – 3” open towards the edge, on the side with the hole.

Step five:
Fill one cup of rice in each one of the columns with the help of the funnel. Make sure to shake it all down into the bottom of the column.

Step six:
Finish sewing the columns and the opening shut.

Enjoy your rice heating pad or pack it up for a friend with a cute note!

As a thank you to all of our readers, I'm going to giveaway one of these rice heating pads!  This giveaway is for US residents (including APO/FPO addresses), and the winner can select from any of these three fabrics:

Bright Dots, French Blue, or Brown Leaves

To enter the giveaway, you must leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter below, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This allows us to contact you if you win!) This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 2-20. 

The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Once the winner has responded and confirmed, their first name will be posted on our Giveaways  page.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love all your fabric options - I think my favorite is the French Blue. I agree with you so much about the importance of friends when life is being hard, and also to share in the good times. One of my oldest friends goes back to high school - years later, we were companions through our kid's early years and times of divorce and then moved away from each other. We never lost touch, and now share the joys of grandparenthood and the sorrows of health concerns with each other via Facebook. (Thanks, Debbie!)

  2. I like the Aztec looking fabric. I do have a very close knit few friends who I can count on and call any time of day or night. My sister is one of them. We don't get to spend a lot of time together anymore but when we do it's always awesome.

  3. I'd choose the French Blue if I won. This looks like an awesome gift that would definitely come in handy.

  4. What an awesome giveaway with a great handmade gift for the love ones! I would love to have the French Blue pattern. It looks so beautiful.
    Thank You for the chance!

    Fiona N

  5. The French Blue is so pretty! I've been guilty of making the sock style rice buddy....I should have busted out the sewing machine! Now I will. Having good friends that are there for you is one of this life's blessings.

  6. Oh what a fun and functional idea...I love this...We are getting hit with a big ole cold front, and this would come in handy. I love that Bright Dots fun!

  7. I'd like the bright dots. We use rice bags a lot.

  8. I have a best friend who lives several sates away, even when she was in Japan, and I was here in the States ( her husband was in the Army) we would always take time for each other if one of us needed the other one, or just wanted to talk. Once I was unable to contact my parents ( I was 17 o 18) and this was before cell phones(-aging myself here) and my tire got a flat tire. She dove all the way over to my home and then ode with my dad to help me out.

  9. I love these kinds of heating pads, they work wonders on my lower back! Thanks for sharing the great tutorial at Merry Monday!

  10. I'd choose the French Blue. I have a best friend who frequently travels to my state to help out.
    Thanks for the chance.

  11. I love these and so easy to do. Thank you for sharing with us at Brag About It!

  12. My husband uses for his migraines a bag similar to this filled with herbs. It can be heated or cooled. This is practical and easy to make. Thanks for sharing and linking at my party today. I hope you bring some more back next week. Don't forget our Tuesday Talk party too. Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m. Still going on this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

  13. My dear best friend lives a few hours away from me. We go months without seeing each other but when we meet we always hit it off. We enjoy sending each other cards or small gifts because we love homemade crafts. If I won I would send this to her. She is such a sweet soul and I think she would love the french blue pattern.

  14. Great idea like the red dotted one....

  15. Pinned! This is such a great idea, heat can be so soothing on sore muscles. What a thoughtful gift. Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  16. I'd choose Bright dots. My roommate in college is still one of my best friends, you build a bond when you're confined to a 10x10 room!

  17. I have one of these and they are wonderful! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  18. I love the bright dots fabric! My bff has been there through all my ups and downs in life.

  19. What a great idea!

    Thanks for Sharing Your Cup!

  20. I want one in the French Blue fabric. My husband has been there for me through thick and thin.

  21. I love these and so easy to do. Thank you for sharing with us

  22. I like the leaves (love the tribal one!!!). I have several friends that are always there for me and are coaching me thru the boy teen years. Thank you for the giveaway. This looks like a wonderful heating pad and, as my 14 year old son said, would help my back aches.

  23. I like the tribal one the best! And I have one friend that I can call at anytime and she will be there for me.

  24. I like the red one with circles or dots in it. I have a friend that volunteered to help me move. I didn't even have to ask that's a true friend.

  25. I like the French blue fabric- this would be so helpful because my back has been hurting me and the doctor recommended heat!

  26. I like the bright dots fabric. The person who has always been there for me is my mom. I am 38 and she is my best friend. She is my biggest supporter and confidant. Everyday she gives me good advice, so I'd have to say she's helps me everyday.

  27. What a neat idea for a useful & thoughtful gift! I'd choose the Bright Dots fabric because it's fun looking! :) I have a couple friends that I can call anytime of day for anything, one being my brother. Contact email is amandastovallATmeDOTcom

  28. I love the bright dots fabric. My best friend moved about a year ago several states away, but I know that at anytime, day or night, I can call her up and she will make time for me. True friends are hard to find, so I refuse to let distance keep us apart.

  29. I love the brown seems very soothing like when my Mom and Sister where their for me when I battled cervical cancer. chaselhoff at usa dot net

  30. I like the brown leaves:) My twin sister has been by my side throughout most of my surgeries and anytime I have needed her:)

  31. ok so I have the store bought ones but wore mine out and I really love that you made it so it cant really move around in the bag!! I am going to try this and refill with my stuff from my old heating pad!!!