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Instead of using electric heat pads & blankets or hot water bottles for your aches and pains, these microwaveable bags are just the ticket! They’re known by a few different terms such as: bed buddies, stress busters, magic bags, corn cozies, rice bags–but they’re basically all the same thing.

These bags serve a dual purpose as you can also keep them in the freezer to use has a cooling pad or freezer pack when needed.

Microwave Heating Pad Directions:

No pattern is necessary, simply cut two pieces of cloth in the size/shape you wish your bag to be. Make sure to leave a seam allowance for yourself (about 1/2″).

Some prefer regular square shape bags, others prefer tubes or more rectangular shapes. Experiment, whip up a few different sizes and shapes to try. These are really easy to make as well as cheap!

Filler Options:

Uncooked rice
Wheat
Feed corn
Buckwheat hulls
Barley
Oatmeal
Beans
Flax seed
Cherry pits
You can also add the following to the above for a soothing fragrant heating pad: Spices, herbs, essential oils.

Ideas: lavender, rose petals, ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, peppermint oil, crushed mint
If using: Mix herbs, spices and essential oil with choice heating pad filler (such as rice) and let sit in a sealed container for a few days (occasionally stirring). This will help set and distribute the fragrance a bit.
Fabric Options:

Cotton: (plain, prints, flannels, denims)
Alternate ideas: old socks (sew or knot end closed), washclothes, old towels
You can also choose to make cozy, removable & washable outer pouches. This is especially nice to do when giving as gifts.

Fabric Ideas: use old towels, fleece, velour knits, pretty fabric prints and flannels (don’t microwave anything other than cotton fabrics). The softer & fluffier & better!
Instructions for Making the Heating Pad:

Cut and sew the fabric for the heating pads the size and shape you want (usually a large washcloth size works well). Leave an inch or two open on one side so that you can fill bag with your choice of filler. Fill the bag about 1/2 to 3/4 full, more or less as you prefer. Don’t fill too full though, you want the bag to mold itself around your body when you apply it. Once bag is filled, sew opening closed either by hand or machine (making sure filler is contained at the opposite side of bag).

If wanting a removable cover, just sew a “pillowcase” idea with your soft, plushy fabric by making it a little larger than your heating pad and leaving an open end (make sure to finish off ends by sewing a hem). Or you can add a strip of velcro to close it. Make sure to never microwave this cover unless it’s content is full cotton. Remove cover to wash as needed.

Filler Suggestion for headache soothers:

Rice (or other grain listed above) and a mix of:

Dried lavender
Marjoram
Betony
Rose petals
Cloves
Rosemary
Directions for use:

Place in microwave and heat for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on size of bag. Do not leave unattended “just in case” the filler smokes or starts on fire. As a precaution, you can set a cup of water inside the microwave while heating the bag to add moisture or spritzing bag lightly with water before heating. If you add spices and herbs, this is a good idea to do.

If You’re In a Pinch:

If you need a heating pad “now” and don’t have time to sew one, try filling a ziploc freezer bag (make sure it’s the microwaveable kind) 3/4 full with uncooked rice, seal shut. Heat for a minute or two then wrap in a hand towel and use as needed.

You can also fill a clean tube sock, tie closed the open end, heat and use as needed.

Caution:

These microwaveable heating pads are glorious to use for aches and pains, or just to pamper yourself after a long, hard day–but be careful when removing from microwave and applying to body. Shake bag first, feel around and make sure it’s not too hot and won’t burn, especially when using on a child.
 

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I love rice bags for aches and pains, I add a bit of lavender to mine for a relaxing scent. They make such nice inexpensive gifts also. :)
 

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I have made a rice sock...they work really well.
 

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Rice socks are WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I had my oral surgery, my rice sock was a LIFESAVER!! I'll be using one again when I get the next oral surgery! :)
 

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Thank you so much for the instructions! My MIL has some store-bought ones that I have used, and I love them. I was wanting to make some of my own, but didn't know what to fill them with. Now I have a fun project for the weekend, that is right at my sewing skill level!
 

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I was given a rice sock when I was pregnant with #2. They are really nice to have when you have those aches and pains. I didn't know that you could add a scent to it, so I'll have to try that one. Thanks!
 

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I love these bags. They come in handy during TOM when everything seems to ache.lol
 
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