Thursday, January 19, 2012

Heated Rice Bags = Heaven

My back hurts. And its not just my back, its my lower back and hips. I seem to carry kids low. Really low. Like already dropped low... So my hips are killing me. Of course it doesn't help carrying a 30+ lb kid also.

So after listening to me bitch whine, my husband finally suggested a rice bag. He said he had one in high school that was a 2 foot long tube. I searched everywhere and couldn't seem to find one. So I decided to try out that sewing machine he got me and make one.

Supplies Needed:
1 Yard of Flannel
5 lbs of rice

I started off with a yard of flannel. It doesn't take the whole yard, I just had that laying around. (I did a corduroy one too, looks cute but seems to need longer to heat up)

I folded the yard in half long ways and cut a piece 14 inches wide. (and yes I am sewing using a builders tape measure... its all I could find)


Unfold it, and fold it in half long ways


It should be about 40 inches long. (and yes my pictures suck)

Turn it inside out and sew one end and the long side shut, leaving only 1 end open.

I found it easier to fold down, and fill with 2 cups of rice. (I also put in some lavender oil to smell pretty)

This is where my sewing skills get really awesome! 

Shake down the 2 cups of rice until you can sew a pocket shut. Sew across and close it. 

Repeat 5 or 6 times. So you have 5 or 6 pockets. (I messed up the first few and they only have 4-5 pockets!) 

I ended up using a whole 5 lbs bag of rice. I like the weight of it. You can add less if you want to.

When at the end, fold the edges over and sew shut. It should look like this




Here is the one I made in corduroy




Because its super long I can wrap it all the way around my hips. Or if your shoulders and neck hurt you can wrap it all the way around.

Just heat it in the microwave for about 4 to 4 1/2 minutes. Should stay warm for at least half and hour!

It perhaps the greatest thing I have ever made. Sure my sewing skills suck, and my seams aren't even but who cares! It works like its supposed to. 

I ended up making a ton of these for Christmas gifts also and EVERYONE has said its amazing! 

Let me know if you make one of these! Oh and let me know If I didn't explain it well, I can try again :)



This is linked up with:



The Frugal Girls - Chic and Crafty Party




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Craft Junkie Too

41 comments:

  1. My sister made me one of these. THE best idea EVER! I use it on my tummy during "that time of the month".

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    1. They are amazing! I use mine every night

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    2. My friend makes these with buckwheat. She adds lavendar to help induce sleep. Other essential oils work well too. I like a mix of eucalyptus and mint. :)

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    3. You can also put these rice bags in the freezer and use them when you need a cold pack. They work great hot or cold!

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  2. Great idea! Do you heat it in the microwave? How long?

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    1. Oh I forgot that part! 4 - 4.5 minutes in the microwave :)

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  3. I am in slow process of making sets of different sized bags for hubs and daughter. One I've made is similar in size and design to yours, but I made it out of muslin so I could put a cover on it that's washable so if spills happen, that can be washed. My cover is flannel and it's good to go the length of your back or around the hips. I'll write more on my blog and take pics as I go for the other sizes, shapes and their uses. Hubs has pain, made him one from pattern for traveler's pillow, only took about 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. rice, heats in 2 min. His is muslin and has a washable cover, too. blog-craftythriftydecoratingwifemom.wordpress.com
    Janet

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    1. I would love to see your post on it! I just came up with this on my own to work for what I needed. A cover would be a much better idea though!

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  4. I have made one of these, but I put it in the freezer and use it for an ice bag. I made it from left over fleece and rice from the dollar store... ;0

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    1. What a great idea! I have never sewn fleece, is it hard since its thicker?

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  5. What a great idea to make your own! I've had things like this given to me before, but I've never made them myself. I'm glad you found something to ease your discomfort.

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  6. any idea on how many heats/reheats they last for? I'm assuming they don't last forever??

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    1. No idea yet, I've used mine for over a month and its still going strong

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    2. I have had the same one (I use it for bumps and burns on tiny bodies, we keep it in the freezer like an ice pack) for at least three years and it's still as working good as new. I really like it because it conforms to the body and is amusing to little ones.

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  7. I love these!
    sidenote - I worked on a massive animal rescue effort involving over 400 dogs several years ago. We were housing them in a donated warehouse in the dead of winter. I had my crew go to walmart and buy hundreds of mens gym socks and bags of rice. we filled the socks with rice and microwaved them to put in with the pups to keep their beds warm.

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  8. I like to use mine to warm my sheets in the winter. Throw it into the bed, pull the blankets over it, and let it heat.

    I also made a cover for mine. Next one I make, I'm going to make it longer, to wrap around me, but I'm going to put velcro on the ends of the cover to help it stay put if I neet to be up and about while I'm trying to get chores done.

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    1. I will definitly make a cover next time! And the velcro idea is fantastic!

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  9. Do you have to use a certain type of rice??

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    1. Nope, just the cheapest rice I could find. It was $3 for 5 lbs.

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  10. I love this! I have made these using single socks for years, and put them in my bed to warm it while I brush my teeth at night. So nice to get into a warm, toasty bed! But the socks aren't particularly cute, so I'll have to try this easy sewing project (which is about as much sewing as I can handle!). Thanks!

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    1. They are easy to sew! If I can do it, you can do it :) I'll have to try putting it in my bed to warm it up!

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  11. I have made similar ones using muslin. I made flannel covers for them. They are about 4"x10". I keep a couple of them in my freezer for owies that need cold.

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    1. Great idea using the muslin! I'll have to try it

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  12. I make these using rice/barley mix & either sail cloth or lightweight denim (something durable & strong). My first have been in use 10+ years. Then I use different patterned fabric (flannel, cotton, fleece, whatever... ) to fit the personality of the recipient to make a WASHABLE cover.
    I do it like a sham pillow case, so 2/3 goes in one end & then the other side folds over the rest... so it's not open ended, know what I mean? That way the outside cover is washable.
    I also started making mini packs (about 6"x10") for the Grandbabies. As babies the first 2 had to travel 40 mins to their other grandparents @ 5am as part of their parent's commutes. Now all 8 Grandbabies have their own! Parents pop them in the micro & tuck them in carseats for early morning, late night or cold day car trips.

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    1. Denim is a good idea, and the cover sounds pretty easy yo make too. Great idea making it for the carseats too, I'll have to try it!

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  13. So you don't have to do anything special to the rice? That question is what's prevented me from making my own in the past.

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    1. Nope, didn't do anything special to it. Did find out that you can't wash it once its made, so a cover would be good for it.

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  14. Thanks for sharing this! I have pinned, and your newest GFC follower. :) I cannot wait to make this to help my back! {Hmmm... possible mothers day gift for my mother???} Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    1. Awesome! :) I can't wait to hear how yours turn out! Hope you like them as much as I do :)

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  15. You explained it well and I enjoyed reading your lil comments ...will definetly make one or two ... Thanks Beth...

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    1. Let me know how they work out for you!

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  16. I got one as a wedding gift and it lasted forever. I mean years and the only reason i gor rid of it then was because it didnt have a cover and it was all stained up. My daughter used it all during her years as a youngster. I kept it in the freezer and when i needed it cole, i just took it out and used it and when i needed it hot, i just put it in the microwave. They are great and last forever.(thr one a little lady made me did) I want to try and make me one. I have wanted one since but didnt know how to do it. I thinks she sewed it down the middle rather than having pockets.

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    1. I did the pockets because it is so long, I didn't want all the rice just going to the bottom. But if it was smaller I wouldn't do the pockets.

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  17. What a great idea! What kind of rice do you use? Thanks for posting this....cause if you were to go buy these in a store they are way overpriced!

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    1. Just regular, cheap white rice. I found it at Fred Meyer here, $3 for 5lbs

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  18. Were di you get the oils from? Also, do you premix the rice and oils....or do you just add the rice to the pockets then drop some oils in?Thanks!

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    1. I got the oils from a natural store, but maybe they would sell them at a fred meyer or walmart? And I just added some oil in each pocket with the rice. I think if you wanted a stronger lavender smell you could pre-mix the rice with lavender.

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  19. I just made two of them - a little smaller, but just as wonderful!!!
    Thanks for posting the instructions I saw them at a craft fair a while back & forgot about them until I saw your instructions. :)

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