DIY Rice Heating Pads

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I really, really, really don’t like to be cold. The worst is when my feet are cold. I find myself sitting with my legs crossed and my feet tucked into the backs of my knees in the winter, even in bed. I’m too old to live five to six months every winter as a pretzel. These DIY Rice Heating Pads have been a big help in making this winter warmer and tolerable. And my legs are happy to be stretched out in a normal position again. It only takes about 5 minutes and $2 to make a microwaveable rice heating pad of your own. 

Close up of 2 rice heating pads on pink blanket with title text overlay reading DIY Rice Heating Pads Made from a Bandana

Both of my babies chose to go to college in a cold and blustery Northern city. Somehow they both have roommates that leave windows open and thermostats low when it’s below freezing outside. This year, I’ve made them each one of these rice heat packs to help them stay warm this year. They can be used:

  • To heat your feet – put it on the floor and put your stocking feet on it
  • To heat your hands – hold it between your hands
  • To heat your core – place it on your core under your sweater or core
  • To heat your bed – put it at the foot of your bed before you get into bed
  • To stay warm at a sporting event – sit on it 

DIY Rice Heating Pads

These Rice Heating Pads make great gifts for:


Cotton Fabric – 6 1/2 by 12  inches – I used cotton bandannas and folded them in half and then in half again since the fabric was a bit thin. You can find cotton bandannas  with fun designs for around $1 each. The key is that you use 100% cotton so you can microwave it.

Cotton Thread – Be sure that you have 100% cotton thread so that you can microwave it.

three pink and red bandanas


If you use a bandanna, fold it so that you can see the text, this way when you turn it inside out after you sew the seams, you won’t see the text. Ask me how I learned this one.

bandanna with hearts and circle around the text on edge of fabric

And if your bandanna has words (like in the heart and “Love” black bandanna I used), think through how to fold it so that you can read the text once you sew them and then turn it right side out. 

Fold the fabric or bandanna so that the right sides are together. 

  1. If you’re using the bandanna, one side will be folded so you won’t have to sew that side. 
  2.  Sew a 1/4 inch around the edges.
  3. Leave a 2-3 inch opening on one side so you can turn the heating pad right side out and add the rice filler. 
black bandana with red and pink hearts
RIce in cup with funnel filling heating pad

Fill the heating pad with rice. Use a funnel or a rolled up index card to make it easier to pour the rice into the heating pad. It took most of a small bag of rice. Don’t want to overfill the heating pad. You want it to be full, but flexible so it can mold around the shape of your feet or hands.

sewing opening shut on rice heating pack

Hand stitch the opening shut well so that no grains of rice sneak out.

2 rice heat packs with hearts on pink blanket

Heat the Rice Heat Pad in the microwave on high for 30 – 60 seconds, depending on the strength of your microwave. Add a cup of water to keep the rice and cotton from scorching. 

Enjoy the cold weather more this year with these easy-to-make DIY Rice Heating Pads

More Rice Heating Pack Ideas:

For more craft ideas, see the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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  1. I never thought of using one of these to just help stay warm! I use mine for when my back hurts. I’ll have to try it the next time my hands get cold.

    1. I love using them for aches, too, Brenda. It’s just that I so-oooo much don’t like to be cold and I’m continually looking for ways to stay warm. My daughters have both said that it works great in their super cold Northern weather.

  2. These are really sweet, and appropriate for Valentines Day…and different pattern possibilities for other holidays… they will make great little gifts, I am going to make some for my friends, and me as well…Thanks for sharing your wonderful idea…….

    1. Loretta, it makes me so happy to hear that you’re making these heating pads to give as gifts for yourself and friends! Enjoy crafting and gifting.

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