How-to: Sew a Rice Pillow to Use as a Heating Pad or Cold Pack

flannel rice pillowEven back before I was a crafty lady, I nevertheless was able to make myself a rice pillow. It consisted of…ahem…a tube sock filled with rice and tied off at the top, and bless its heart for being so ugly, but it worked great. I heated it up or chilled it down and used it for all kinds of aches and pains, including the birth of my older daughter, and I only got rid of it by passing it on to a dear cousin who was pregnant, so that she could make use of its good labor mojo.

And then I turned into a crafty lady, and I made our family a much larger set of much cuter rice pillows.

Rice pillows are a mainstay in our family’s natural first aid kit. Microwaved for a minute, they turn into a heating pad perfect for anything from menstrual cramps to chilly footsies on a cold winter night. Frozen for an hour, they’re cold packs, great for everything from sore muscles to feverish foreheads. They’re weightier than either store-bought heating pads or cold packs, which allows the temperature to penetrate, and they’re made of comfy, soft, snuggly flannel. Add in a cutesy print or two, and you have the perfect comfort tool for a myriad of remedies.

Read on for the step-by-step instructions for making your very own rice pillow in your own cutesy print:

cut the fabric for the rice pillowOne of the nice things about making your own rice pillow is that you can make it any size that you like. You want to make it larger than a bean bag, so that it has some heft to it, but otherwise it’s up to you.

I typically make my rice pillows about 4″ x 8″ to serve my own family of people both little and big. When I make these for my pregnant friends to use in their labors, I usually make them about twice as long in order to fit around a big ole’ pregnant belly.

After you’ve picked a good size, cut your fabric to that width plus 1/2″ (assuming 1/4″ inch seams), and that length plus 1″.

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