Make your own microwavable heating pad in under 5 minutes with this easy DIY project… This simple no-sew homemade rice heating pad provides quick relief for sore or stiff muscles, or use it to warm up on cold days or a cold night!
Microwavable Heating Pad
Need to make a microwavable heating pad in a hurry? I’ve got the easiest hack for making a reusable heating pad in UNDER FIVE MINUTES!!
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 weeding out 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 heating pad in a hurry, it dawned on me that those old baby leg warmers might make a pretty fantastic substitute for the fancier diy heating pad pattern 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 and a few cups of rice, I could create a no-sew homemade heating pad.
So I dug a few of the leg warmers back out of the donate box and got to work…
DIY Rice Heating Pad Supplies
Chances are you have most of the supplies to make a DIY heating pad on hand already. Kids will love helping make their own homemade heating pads with this easy project, too!
Supplies you’ll need:
- baby leg warmers or old sock
- bakers twine
- 2 cups uncooked white rice (this 5-lb. bag of Great Value rice is just $2.92 at Walmart!)
- empty toilet paper roll tube
- 10 drops of essential oil or lavender buds, optional
Note: If you don’t have baby leg warmers, a tube sock (or really any old sock depending on the size of microwavable heating pads you want) 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!
How To Make A Rice Heating Pad
I almost feel silly for sharing this hack for how to make a heating pad, but it really was a lifesaver for me.
First you’ll need to tie up one open side 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, because you just need the twine to close one end.
I know some of you are probably wondering how well using just twine will hold up. Let me assure you that my girls have used these multiple times, often tossing them around, and we haven’t had any accidents whatsoever. Just tie those knots as tightly as possible! Plus this means that you can easily take them back apart to refill the rice, wash the leg warmers/socks, add additional essential oils, etc.
Aromatherapy Microwave Heating Pad
Wondering why you’d want to add essential oils? Adding scent via essential oils can have a therapeutic effect and is a great way to turn a rice sock into aromatherapy rice bags! Not to mention they’re a great gift idea…
I mixed several drops of lavender essential oil with my rice in a large bowl before adding it to my microwave heating pad for a relaxing and calming effect. Plus I just love the way it smells! But you can use any number of different essential oils in a microwave heat pack, depending on what scent you like — or leave it out altogether.
If you do choose to add an essential oil, about 10 drops of the essential oil stirred into 2 cups of white rice is all you’ll need. Of course, this is a personal preference. If you’d rather not to add the essential oil directly to the rice, you could simply apply a few drops of essential oils to the outside with each use, as well.
And finally, another alternative is to add around a quarter cup of lavender buds to your rice before filling up the rice sock heating pad. Use a little more or less depending on the size of heat pack.
Easiest Way To Fill A Homemade Heating Pad With Rice
Filling the rice packs with the rice mixture was a little tricky (to be honest I made quite a big mess LOL), but then I had a great idea… I decided to try using an empty toilet paper roll as a funnel. By slipping it inside the small opening, I was able to carefully pour a small measuring cup of rice in without scattering it everywhere.
The amount of rice you’ll need will vary depending on what size microwavable heating pads you’re making. Typically you’ll want to use anywhere from a cup to roughly two cups of uncooked rice.
Basically you want to use just enough to fill the heating bag, but you don’t want it to be tightly packed. It should be loose enough to be manipulated to conform to whatever area of the body you’re placing it on.
After filling, finishing off this DIY heating pad is as simple as tying it off securely with another length of bakers twine, as in the first step. Voila — your new microwave heating pad is ready to use!!
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 A Microwavable Heating Pad
Microwavable heating pads have so many uses! My husband uses these homemade heat packs for his back pain and tense shoulders after a long day at work, and my favorite use for these heating packs is for menstrual cramps. We have all different sizes at this point, and each family member has their own heating pad.
How To Use Heating Pad For Heat Therapy
- 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 the rice sock from the microwave and shake to evenly distribute the rice. Check the temperature of the bag to make sure it’s not too hot.
- Apply the warmed heating pad to the desired body part.
This rice heat pack also works great as a cold pack (or as an aromatherapy ice pack if you added essential oils)! Simply place the rice sock in the freezer for about 45 minutes to chill thoroughly.
Need a little more intense treatment to relieve sore, stiff, tired muscles? Blend up a batch of this simple homemade massage oil for sore muscles! Or take a long soak in a hot bath filled with these magnesium bath salts for sore muscles.
Sunday 30th of October 2022
So u put the water in the microwave WITH the sock not the sock IN the water?
Monday 31st of October 2022
Yes, just place a bowl of water in the microwave next to the rice sock. You don't want to get the rice wet, but this will create just a little bit of steam for moist heat.
Wednesday 19th of October 2022
This may be a silly question but can you reuse the same rice heat pack over and over. I'm thinking of using this concept for some handmade Christmas presents but there wouldn't be any point if it was single use. I assume they can be reused but I thought I'd check before I start crafting.
Wednesday 19th of October 2022
Hi Kerrie -- yes, you can reuse them indefinitely!! They make great gifts.
Thursday 18th of August 2022
Can I use a sock that is 80% polyester, 10% nylon, and 10% spandex?
Monday 22nd of August 2022
Hi Jayne! If you're using it as a heat pack, I'd recommend sticking with a blend that's primarily cotton.
Sunday 27th of February 2022
Does it matter how thick the sock is?
Sunday 27th of February 2022
Hi Vanessa! No, it shouldn't really matter.
Friday 10th of December 2021
❤️❤️❤️❤️ it! My husband has 2 abscessed teeth, and a warm/hot washcloths didn’t seem to help with the pain. So I figured I’ll look here and I ❤️❤️❤️❤️ this. So does my husbands jaw!