Living Frugal | How to Make a Recycled Rice Heating Pad

Hey everyone, life has been pretty tough lately. With the holidays right around the corner we are all feeling the pressure even more to purchase gifts, and spend lot’s of money. But, it doesn’t have to be that way, living frugal can be a good thing even during the holidays! Try reusing cotton clothing, or leftover fabric scraps to create a heartfelt, recycled rice heating pad for someone you love this holiday. You can create these heating pads for next to nothing so not only will your pocket be happy, but who doesn’t love a handmade gift? Get creative and try using dad’s old band t-shirt (with his permission of course) or maybe your pap’s old cotton jacket or hanky. Starting with something meaningful and reusing it can give a gift a new journey, and even more meaning to a loved one.

So let’s get started! Here is what you will need :

  • Cotton Fabric ( Think about how big you want it to be, and then choose fabric that will accommodate to that size.) You don’t have to do a rectangle or square, you can choose any shape you want as long as you can fold it in half and both sides match up.
  • 4-5 Cups of dry rice (again, the amount of rice will depend on what size your pad is, it could be more or less.)
  • Needle & thread or sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Funnel
  • Essential Oils to put on the rice (this is optional)

How to Assemble:

  1. Start by ironing your fabric really well, and then cutting to the size that you want. Keep in mind that you will be folding the fabric over, so the folded version minus 1/2inch. will be the final size. (I encourage you to watch the tutorial video above to get a better idea of what this looks like!)
  2. After you cut your fabric to the size you want, you’ll want to fold the fabric in half so the outside of the fabric is touching together. Be sure all the ends are perfectly matching up, iron the seam carefully and pin together so it doesn’t move when you’re sewing.
  3. Sew around the piece, leaving a 2-3 inch. opening where you can turn the piece right-side out and this is also where you will be able to put your rice into the piece.
  4. Once the piece is sewn and knotted off, turn it right-side out so the seam is hidden inside the work.
  5. Where you left the fabric open, carefully turn in the edges so they are folded equally with the sewn seam, press this fold with the iron. This step is important because it will be much easier to sew your opening shut with everything crisp and ironed.
  6. Now you’re ready to put the rice in. You can do this using a funnel, or just hand pour into the opening. Fill the bag with the amount of rice that you prefer. I like to lay the piece down flat and once the rice is spread out and filled about a fingernail high I will stop filling.
  7. Now you can stitch the opening closed by hand or on the sewing machine. Be sure your stitching is very secure and covers the entire opening so no rice can get out!
Be sure to only heat the rice pad up in intervals of 20-30 seconds at a time in the microwave only! Check the pad with your hand in between each interval, when it is warm to the touch it’s ready! Relax worn muscles, warm up between the sheets, or put on aching feet after a long day!

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