Monday, December 3, 2012

{Rice Warmers}

Happy December! We are settling back into normal life after our two week trip. Is it really possible that we have only been home since Friday night? It's been a blur of sick kids, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning and decorating. We had a wonderful time with our family, but it always feels so good to be HOME! 

I am thrilled to say that I am guest posting over at the wonderful Rhythm of the Home blog this month! Today is my first post, as part of their "Being" series, and I will be sharing every Monday!  To go along with my post over there, I wanted to share a tutorial for these simple rice bags that we make. We use them heated up for sore muscles, or from the freezer for bumps, and we all take one to bed with us to help us stay toasty while we fall asleep. They also make wonderful gifts! Now I do also have to say that my camera and I were having a bit of a fight this evening and nothing I did would fix the dreadful lighting I hope the black and white images work alright for everyone! 

  • two pieces of flannel about 7.5"x7.5" although you can adjust this. We like smaller ones for the freezer, but this size is good for heating pads and bed warmers! I like to use old receiving blankets (which is why the edges of this one are rounded).
  • one pound of rice
  • a few tablespoons of dried lavender *or two-three herbal tea bags to scent your warmer
  • sewing supplies (scissors, sewing machine, thread, needle if you are sewing the opening shut by hand)
  • a funnel -I use a canning jar funnel and it slides into the opening perfectly, although in a pinch you could roll paper into a cone and that will certainly get the job done!

Step 1: Cut out your flannel pieces. Squared edges are fine, and what I normally do, two of these edges were already rounded so I just traced the curve onto the other corners.

Step 2: Place right sides together and stitch around your edges, leaving a 4" opening. Be sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end of this seam! Do a narrow zig-zag around the edges to ensure everything stays nice and tidy.

Step 3: Turn rightside out and smooth seam along curves by running your finger along the seam inside of the warmer. Iron everything nice and flat, and press the seam allowance in 1/4" at the opening.

{See how nicely the funnel fits in the opening? This happened by accident one time I was winging it and I was clever enough to measure it.}

Step 4: Fill the bag 2/3 full with the rice. It might not seem like enough at first, but any more and it gets tricky to sew shut, and once you lay the warmer down and everything redistributes there really isn't room for anything more than this. This bag used an entire one pound bag of rice. Add in your dried lavender, or if you're using herbal tea bags, simply cut the bags open and sprinkle the contents into the warmer.

Step 5: Either stitch the opening shut by hand, or carefully zig-zag shut with your machine. The machine is obviously faster, but is also tricky since you have to be careful to not dump the rice! I've done it both ways, it's really up to you.

Step 6: Enjoy! Like I mention in the picture, we heat ours for 2 minutes, but every microwave heats differently so check it. With kids, err on the side of cooler, I always heat my own a bit more. You can just shake it around to cool it quickly. However, don't over heat it! You just think burnt popcorn smells bad.... *ahem* I have found that a smaller size of about 3"x3" is also quite handy. We store them in the freezer for bumps, and they are great heated up (it takes much less time for the small size!) for pocket warmers. If you want to make these a bit fancier, (or are giving them as gifts) you might like to make a cover for them. Simply make a slip cover like a pillow case, about 1/2" larger than the finished warmer.

I hope that helps you out a bit, let me know if you make them! 


  1. Excellent tutorial Tilly! Now...I shall get to it :-)

    Lots of love,

  2. love the warming comfort of a rice sock. I've never added dried lavender to mine - I will have to try that next time - great idea!

  3. We could not live without our rice pillows!! We call them herbies around here and I stuff them with rice, flax, lavendar, chamomile and rosemary. I have one that is 8 years old and still has a wonderful smell, especially when microwaved which is pretty much the only thing the microwave is used for in our home : ) Tricia @ crunchycatholicmomma.blogspot p.s. thanks for stopping by earlier!!

  4. Thank you so much for this. I made one last night and I loved it!! I posted pics on my blog. Great Tutorial!!


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