DIY Gifts (59) – Rice Filled Heating Pad

A rice filled heating pad is one of the easiest and most appreciated gifts to sew! 

Beginner Sewing Projects shows how you can sew one.  A simple project like this makes a great first sewing project, so if you’ve got a kid who wants to learn to sew they could make these as special handmade gifts for loved ones on their Christmas list.

Gift No. 59



3 Pieces 3 Yards 62 (160 CM) Inch Wide Vintage Floral Cotton Fabric Rose Pattern Flowers – 900 g Long grain rice – thread and needles – plastic funnel

Before cutting, wash, dry and press your fabric.

Step 1 Cut fabric to size

Then cut the fabric to 7″ x 20″ (18 cm x 51 cm) with a rotary cutter and cutting mat or scissors, if you prefer.

If your fabric has a print, keep in mind that the rectangle will fold in half. In other words, the center of each half will make up the center of each side of the heating pad.

A burst of flowers is shown in the center of the example.

Step 2 – Fold fabric in half

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, with the short ends meeting. Clip or pin to hold.

Step 3 – Sew together

To sew, you will make two lines of stitches. Beginning one inch from the corner of the short sides where the ends meet, sew to the corner with a 1/4″ (1 cm) seam allowance.

Then lift your presser foot, and continue sewing down the side and off the fabric at the bottom.

Repeat on the opposite side of the fabric rectangle. Essentially, you are making a rectangle that is closed all the way around except for 3″ (8 cm) at one end.

Step 4 – Turn Right Side Out

Step 5 – Fill with Rice

Next, fill the fabric pouch with rice. A funnel makes this step quick and easy.

Now prepare a needle and thread for hand stitching.

Step 6 – Hand Stitch to Close

Use a ladder stitch, sometimes called an invisible stitch to close the opening. If you need guidance for this part, check out our guide on How to Sew Common Stitches by Hand.

Continue stitching until the rice is fully enclosed.

Your homemade heating pad is ready to use!


To use the heating pad, heat it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Microwave ovens can vary, so take care to test the warmth before placing it directly on the skin.

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