Skip to Content

No-Sew Microwavable Rice Heating Pad For Soothing Sore Muscles

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 made with colorful old sock

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 including old sock rice bakers twine and lavender essential oil

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:

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!

old sock and bakers twine for how to make a rice heating pad

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.

adding lavender essential oil to an aromatherapy microwave heating pad for therapeutic benefits

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 using an empty toilet paper roll tube

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!!

homemade heating pad made with old sock filled with rice

No-Sew Microwavable Rice Heating Pad

Yield: 1 rice heating pad
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

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!

Materials

Tools

Instructions

  1. Tie up one end of a leg warmer tightly with bakers twine. You may skip this step if you're using a sock.
  2. If you're using lavender essential oil in your homemade heating pad, place the rice in a large bowl, add about 10 drops of lavender oil to it, and stir well. Or if you're using lavender buds, add about 1/4 cup and mix well. You can pour straight from the bag in the next step, if you're not using them.
  3. Stick an empty toilet paper roll tube in the open end of the leg warmer or sock to use as a funnel. Use a spoon or small measuring cup to pour the rice mixture in through the tube.
  4. Tie the end off tightly with more bakers twine, and your microwave heating pad is ready for use.

Notes

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.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon.com Services LLC Associates and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this project?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

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 made from colorful old socks

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.

Jayne

Thursday 18th of August 2022

Can I use a sock that is 80% polyester, 10% nylon, and 10% spandex?

Vanessa Kahl

Sunday 27th of February 2022

Does it matter how thick the sock is?

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 27th of February 2022

Hi Vanessa! No, it shouldn't really matter.

Debbie vinge

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!

TARA

Saturday 27th of November 2021

My physical therapist told me to use this when I had hand surgery and I love it! it's BETTER than an electric heating pad because you learn what temperature you like it and it's better than clay because it contours to your body so gently and easily! But I've been using a plastic bag all this time! OH NO. So happy I found this post!!!

Ann

Thursday 14th of October 2021

Should socks or leg warmers be at least a 75% cotton blend since synthetic material is made from plastic?

Tara Kuczykowski

Friday 15th of October 2021

Yes, I think that would be a good rule of thumb to follow. Enjoy!

Skip to Instructions