Jan 31

No-Sew Microwavable Rice Heating Pads

Rice Heating Pad

If you have little ones running around, chances are you have at least a few pairs of those adorable little baby leg warmers sitting in a drawer. While culling our collection recently, I was brainstorming for ideas on how to reuse them. Not coming up with anything, I tossed them into the donate box.

However, 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 sink (courtesy of one ornery 6-year-old).

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 bakers 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...

Microwavable Rice Heating Pad

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
  • bakers 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)

No Sew Rice Heating Pad

First you'll need to tie up one end of the leg warmers with the bakers twine. I simply cut a length of the bakers 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.

DIY Rice Heating Pad

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.

Easy Filling Rice Heating Pad

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 bakers twine as in the first step.

Easy DIY Rice Heating Pad

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.

Walmart Moms Disclosure

by Tara | 13 comments

  • Samina

    Great idea! I used my husband's old socks with some rice in them for heating pads (along with real, plug-in heating pads) when we took in our 3 day old (abandoned) kittens. The socks held heat well & the kitties loved to snuggle up to them to stay warm. Mike's socks weren't as pretty as the leg warmers, though! The babies are now 6 months old & have turned into adorable heating pads themselves!

  • Sadie

    I made one and it turned out fabulously! Feels so nice on an aching neck!!

  • Tanya

    Hi! Any substitutes for bakers twine??

    Thank you!!

    • http://unsophisticook.com Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Hi Tanya! I think embroidery floss should work, as well.

  • pat

    Sounds like it may be worth trying.

  • http://Dudeyboy Dudey

    Good idea

  • Christina

    I just made some! I got super warm socks from Costco and some rice.

    Instead of using the bakers' twin, I just knotted the end of the knee sock. Should work well!


    • http://unsophisticook.com/ Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Great idea, Christina! They should last a long time. Ours are still going strong over a year later! Although one is currently MIA -- need to track it down...

  • Tracy Sanders

    The rice is uncooked, right? I wanna make this today, just wanna be sure I make it right. When you heat it, is the water in a cup or do you apply it to the heating pad? Sorry if these are dumb questions I just never seen a rice heating pad before.

    • http://unsophisticook.com/ Tara @ Unsophisticook

      No problem, Tracy! Yes, fill the heating pad with uncooked rice. When you want to heat it, just place a cup of water in the microwave beside it to create a little steam. You definitely don't want to get the heating pad itself wet.

      • Tracy Sanders

        Thank you :)

  • Nicole L.

    The leg warmers I have are not 100% cotton there is 18% nylon and 2% spandex - will these sill be ok in microwave?

    • http://unsophisticook.com/ Tara @ Unsophisticook

      Hi Nicole! The ones I used have nylon and spandex in them, too -- haven't had any issues with them.

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