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Fun Sewing & Craft Projects

Project provided courtesy of:
Sew What’s New  ©

Rice Bag Warmers

Rice bags can be made from novelty or decorative fabrics of from muslin and a cover. What size should a rice bag be? Well, that depends on what it will be used for.

Possible uses are as:

  • warmer for knees, ankles, backs and hands
  • bed warmers
  • lovies
  • bread basket warmer to keep food warm or cool

To wrap a joint or arms or legs, try the dimensions 5 x 30. For a back warmer, make the dimension 10 x 12. If the recipient would use the rice bag for a back warmer, consider making a vest with a big pocket on the back to insert the rice bag in.

Want to make a gift for someone with arthritis in the hands? Make the rice bag in the shape of a glove.

For a bed warmer or a lovie on those cold winter nights, make the rice bag in the shape of an animal.

For a bread or bun warmer, make a basket liner with a pocket in the bottom in which to insert a rice bag shaped to fit the basket bottom.

Rice bags cannot be washed. If you need a washable bag, make the rice bag out of muslin and then add a removable (washable) cover. This a good way to use fun, novelty prints. Or better yet, make a quilted cover using a pattern such as bargello.

Things To Know When Planning Your Rice Bag

  • Use white, long grain rice. Do not use instant rice.
  • Do not wash rice bags.
  • To help the rice stay evenly spread, sew channels in the bag before inserting the rice. Sew three sides, press a hem on the open side, then sew channels from the sewn side to the open side. Add the rice using a funnel (don't overstuff the channels...fill one-half to three-quarters full) and sew shut across the open end.

Hot or Cold

When you are ready to use your new rice bag, place it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high (the time will depend on the size of the bag). Do not heat the rice bag too long-you could burn yourself. If you want a cold pack, place the rice bag in the freezer until cold (a couple of hours).

Note from Candace: Rice doesn't hold the cold very well. For a cold pack, fill the bag with gel crystals from a garden center (the kind used to keep houseplants from drying out). Never heat a gel pack in the microwave.

Contributed by Lisa Holzworth
SEW WHAT'S NEW Nov-Dec '98 issue

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