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No-Sew Microwavable Rice Heating Pad For Soothing Sore Muscles

Make this simple no-sew homemade rice heating pad in under 5 minutes. A microwavable heating pad is perfect for sore muscles or warming up from the cold!

colorful no-sew rice heating pad made from baby leg warmers or knee socks

Rice Heating Pad

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 microwavable 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. I read about quality drugs online on the 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 homemade heating pad.

So I dug a few of the leg warmers back out of the donate box and got to work…


supplies needed to make a diy rice heating pad

DIY Rice Heating Pad Supplies

Chances are you have most of the supplies to make these rice heating pads on hand already.

Supplies you’ll need:

Note: If you don’t have baby 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!

homemade heating pad made from an old baby leg warmer or knee sock filled with rice

How To Make A Rice Heating Pad

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.

add essential oil to a rice bag heating pad for therapeutic benefits

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.

easily fill a rice heat pack with an empty toilet paper roll tube

How To Easily Fill A Rice Heat Pack

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.


No-Sew Microwavable Rice Heating Pad

No-Sew Microwavable Rice Heating Pad

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

Make this microwavable heating pad in less than 5 minutes, start to finish! Perfect for soothing sore muscles or warming up from the cold...




  1. Tie up one end of a leg warmer tightly with baker’s twine. You may skip this step if you're using a knee sock.
  2. If you're using essential oils, place the rice in a bowl, add about 10 drops of the essential oil to it, and stir 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 this open end of the leg warmer or sock to use as a funnel. Use a spoon or small measuring cup to pour the rice in through the tube.
  4. Tie the end off tightly with more baker's twine, and your rice heating pad is ready for use.


How To Use A Microwavable 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.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #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

How To Use A Microwavable 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.

This rice heat pack also works great as a cold pack! Simply place the rice sock in the freezer for about 45 minutes to chill thoroughly.

homemade massage oil with essential oils

Need a little more intense treatment for sore muscles? Blend up a batch of this simple homemade massage oil to relieve sore, stiff, tired muscles!

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Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Pure genius! I was about to go out and buy a new rice bag sincerely I misplaced mine. You just saved me $$ and time (no sew). I had all that stuff on hand. Huge thanks!

Tara Kuczykowski

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

So happy to hear that it helped you out, Karen!

Katherine Jacobs

Saturday 14th of December 2019

So glad I found this on the internet when I typed in "substitute for an electric heating pad". I'm 85, will be 86 in Jan 2020, and discover I can still learn new things. Love your idea! And all the questions and your answers at the end were super helpful.

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 15th of December 2019

Aww thanks, Katherine -- have fun making and enjoying them!


Tuesday 10th of December 2019

I used a dollar tree sock, rice and lavendar essential oils. Tied it in a knot at the top. Working great in a pinch and super cute sock lol

Tara Kuczykowski

Tuesday 10th of December 2019

Love it!


Tuesday 9th of October 2018

I have one of these that I actually paid for...who knew I could make my own with old socks!

Pam Dana

Tuesday 9th of October 2018

We love rice heat bags so much! Love the idea of the no-sew version! Thanks!