Make a DIY microwaveable heating pad filled with rice to quickly soothe aching muscles or just to keep yourself warm.
In my recap of LiveFit Phase 1, I mentioned that I have a talent for straining my neck, especially when I do more upper body weight lifting. Although I’m doing my best to prevent this from happening in the first place, I’ve found heating pads to really help alleviate the stiffness.
We have an electronic heating pad, but I often don’t realize how stiff my neck is until I’m at work. That’s when I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to make myself a microwaveable heating pad—nothing too fancy. I’ve heard about DIY rice heating pads and thought that would be the perfect little solution to my problem.
I picked up some more brown rice from the store as well as a little fabric sample from the craft store (Michaels), and I was all set to start my DIY-ing. It’s important to use a material that is 100% cotton as to avoid potential burning or…fires…happening in the microwave. So! I chose this fun little pattern to house my rice achy muscle cure.
What you’ll need:
- 100% cotton piece of fabric (I used 10” x 11.5” but this can vary according to your needs)
- Rice (generic, flavorless, not instant)
How to make it:
- Cut a 10” x 11.5” rectangle of fabric and fold it in half (inside out) to be 5” x 11.5”. (The size is ultimately up to your preferences; this is just what I did.)
- Using a needle and thread, sew along the edges (with a few centimeters buffer before the edge) to tightly close up the fabric to form a pocket.
- Once this is complete, fold the new pouch right side out and fill it with about 3 cups rice—or enough for it to loosely move around to comfortably rest on an aching muscle area.
- Finish sewing the last open edge. Voila! Rice pouch complete.
To use it:
- Microwave for about one minute (enough for it to be very warm, but not too hot where it can’t comfortably rest on exposed skin for a long period of time).
Piece of cake! Ish.
You could definitely use a sewing machine to make this if you’re competent and have one available. I’ve actually never used a sewing machine before (#ashamed), even though I went through a stage where I really wanted to. So although I basically taught myself how to sew—and tend to stab myself a surprisingly high number of times—I get it done. I’d say that’s what counts…haha.
When I’ve used this, it does smell a bit like brown rice. (FYI: the rice shouldn’t ever cook since it’s dry. Just make sure you don’t let the pack get wet or sit in a moist place.) The smell doesn’t bother me, but it’s just something to be aware of in case that bothers you. You could definitely add some whole spices (like cloves or cinnamon sticks) to improve the smell when it’s warm, or you could even add some essential oils.
I didn’t really care when I made this. I just wanted a quick and dirty version I could take out of my desk drawer for a quick muscle relaxer when needed. Yep, this will work quite nicely. 🙂
This could also make a creative DIY gift idea if you wanted. The fabric possibilities are endless. For now, I’ll be hogging this rice-filled pouch to myself until I get better at weight lifting without straining my neck.
Do you use heating pads? If so, what kind (electric, microwaveable, etc.)?
Do you sew? Or are you domestically challenged like I can be?