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How to Make a Rice Heating Pad

By: Chris Hammond for
This image courtesy of

Ever have those insanely long weeks and all you want to do is relax and de-stress? This How to Make a Rice Heating Pad tutorial is a super easy project that can take your relaxation process to the next level. This is a crazy easy way you can make your own homemade heating pad instead of spending money on it. Plus, you could make tons of DIY heating pads with different essential oils to help you with different stressors you might be experiencing. This rice heating pad recipe is so incredibly fun and easy to make! 

If you're looking for a simple at-home remedy for your aches and pains, this DIY rice heating pad is sure to do the trick. Crafters looking to spice up the craft can easily add essential oils to this project for some added aromatherapy. This craft uses white rice you can buy at the store, making it especially easy to DIY.

Estimated Cost$11-$20

Time to CompleteUnder an hour


Project TypeMake a Project

Materials List

  • Two fat quarters of fabric
  • Essential oils
  • Scissors
  • Dry rice
  • Paper funnel
  • Sewing machine

How to Make a Rice Heating Pad

DIY Heating Pad Instructions

  1. Line your two fat quarter fabric sheets on top of each other. Cut off the salvage edge if you have one. 

  2. Fold the sheets in half right sides together. 

  3. Sew from one corner all the way around until you are about four inches from the end. Stop there, do a back stitch, skip two to three inches, and back stitch again. 

    Tip: For this project we used a quarter inch seam allowance, but you just need to make sure you keep it consistent.

  4. Clip the corners of your fabric, and turn your project inside out. 

  5. Make yourself a little funnel using a piece of paper, or use an actual funnel if you have one handy. 

  6. Fill your bag with dried rice. 

  7. Add three to four drops of essential oil and shake it around, making sure to keep your hole closed. 

  8. Tuck the edges of where your is together and sew over them. 

  9. Trim off all your little ends and shake it a little bit longer. 

  10. To Use: Heat it up in 15 second increments. Be sure that your pack is not wet or the bottom of your microwave, because you could run the risk of steam burning yourself. 

Adding Essential Oils

Adding essential oils to this project is a fantastic way to transform the project into a lovely little piece of aromatherapy. Heating up the rice and essential oils can help relieve aches and pains as well as allow you to relax and rejuvenate. The right essential oil combination on how you plan on using this homemade rice pad. Check out this infographic for more info on essential oils and their uses.


  1. (Click to Enlarge)

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I am wondering if it is OK to use brown rice. I have a ton of it and nobody in my household likes it. Will Brown rice work the same as white?

Hi there! Brown rice should work just fine! I just did a bit of research and it looks like other crafters have used brown rice in similar projects. Just experiment with the heating time in the microwave as brown rice might take slightly longer to get hot. Enjoy!

I have made many of these and have used various fillers besides rice inc,using corn kernels, which do actually give off moist heat when microwaved! I have out in dried lavender buds also, just sprinkled in with the filler. Some folks use cotton thread, but I have had no problem with all,purpose polyester thread, but use cotton fabric and have heated it around a minute to a minute and a half with no problem, though a,ways best to keep an eye on it! Thanks for great instructions!

I have always wanted to make one of these pillows! This is just a great gift idea, too.

This is a really smart idea! I wish I had known how to make this when I was growing up, because I used to get a lot of leg aches/"growing pains" and often had to use an electric heating pad.

What a great idea! I got one of these as a gift and I love it. It's great for sore muscles and headaches. I can't wait to make my own!

I love this so much! I love having heating packs stored around my house because they really help when I get a random migraine! This one worked so well, and I wouldn't have been able to tell a difference between a store bought one! Great project!

I have seen these heating pads before but always forgetting make them so I will be making myself a big to do. I like the idea she had about doubling the fabric which I have never seen and I like the idea of using your own essential in it. They sell these at craft shows but they can be very pricey so I love the idea to make my own. I can make any size I like and can use some fabric I have laying around. So simple and easy to make. These will make a great gift and a great one for a Father's day gift. I think i will make one for my husband to take camping with him. Great video and a tutorial too.

Why buy one when you can make it #NationalCraftMonth2017

What a great idea for a gift.

So much prettier than putting it in a sock. I received a smaller version of these for Christmas. Bonus, they can be used as cold packs too. Store in a zip-top bag in the freezer. They don't get or stay as cold as an ice pack, but good for cold sensitive areas. I hadn't thought about using an essential oil.

looks like I'll be dusting off my sewing machine... #NationalCraftMonth2017

I have made an easy version of these using a finger tip towel. #NationalCraftMonth2017

Ooh! I love these. I have one at home that's filled with corn kernels that I use when I get headaches!

This is sweet! I need to make a ton of these to share with my grandkids! Thanks for the awesome inspiration! I will be watching this again so that I can make it as I watch!!!

Now this I will use! Thank you! #NationalCraftMonth2017

#NationalCraftMonth2017 I love these! I have several.

This is clear and informative. I made a rice bag some time ago for my wrist. To keep it in place while I did something besides just hold it, I added a strap with velcro. It works nicely...except I filled it too full! I was told to heat it with a cup of water in the microwave so it would be moist heat, but not steamy.

I actually have made one of these, I love it! #NationalCraftMonth2017

#NationalCraftMonth2017 Love this idea! Going out right now to buy the rice!!

cute and so useful!


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