If you have little ones running around, chances are you have at least a few pairs of these adorable little baby leg warmers sitting in a drawer. While culling our collection recently, I was brainstorming for ideas on how to repurpose them. Not coming up with anything, I tossed them into the donate box.
Later that day, my daughter was looking for our rice heating pad for a strained muscle, and I remembered that I had to throw it away after it took an unfortunate dip in the bathroom sink (courtesy of one ornery 6-year-old boy)...
Needing to make a new rice heating pad in a hurry, it dawned on me that those old baby leg warmers might make a pretty fantastic substitute for the fancier pattern that I've used in the past. At this point, I didn't really want to drag out the sewing machine, but I thought that maybe with a little baker's twine, I could create a no-sew version.
So I dug a few of the leg warmers back out of the donate box and got to work...
How To Make A No-Sew Rice Heating Pad
Note: If you don't have these small leg warmers, small knee socks would be a great substitute. I know we have more than a few unmatched socks sitting in the laundry room at the moment. Either way, they make for a fabulously easy homemade heating pad in a hurry!
Supplies you'll need:
- baby leg warmers or knee socks
- baker's twine
- 2 cups white rice (this 5-lb. Great Value rice is just $2.98 at Walmart!)
- empty toilet paper roll
- 10 drops of essential oil (optional)
First you'll need to tie up one end of the leg warmers with the baker's twine. I simply cut a length of the baker's twine and tied it around the end tightly in a double knot, then wrapped it around a few times and tied a second tight double knot and trimmed the excess. Obviously, you can skip this step if you're using a sock.
Now, just to alleviate any concerns with the twine holding, my girls have used these multiple times, often tossing them around, and we haven't had any spillage whatsoever. Just tie those knots as tightly as possible! Plus this means that you can easily take them back apart to refill the rice, add additional essential oils, etc.
I chose to add lavender essential oil to my rice for a therapeutic effect. It's such a relaxing and calming scent, but you can choose any scent you like or leave it out altogether. If you do add an essential oil, about 10 drops stirred into 2 cups of white rice is all you'll need.
If you prefer not to add the essential oil directly to the rice, you could simply apply a few drops to the outside with each use, as well.
Filling the leg warmer with the rice was a little tricky, until I decided to try using an empty toilet paper roll as a funnel. By slipping it inside the open end, I was able to carefully pour in the rice with a small measuring cup.
After filling, finishing off the no-sew rice heating pad is as simple as tying it off with another length of baker's twine, as in the first step.
Making this no-sew microwavable rice heating pad took less than 5 minutes start to finish -- and that was with stopping to photograph the steps!
How To Use Your Homemade Rice Heating Pad
- Place the rice heating pad in the microwave along with one cup of water for 1-3 minutes. This will add moist heat and keep the rice from scorching.
- Remove from the microwave and shake to evenly distribute the rice.
- Apply the warmed heating pad to the desired body part
These also work great as an ice pack! Simply place the rice sock in the freezer for about 45 minutes to chill thoroughly.