30 minute heating pad


As I’ve been interrogating friends with kids to make sure I have the bare necessities, Lauren mentioned that having a heating pad for future nursing aches and pains would be nice. I could have run out to Walgreens and picked one up for $10, but since I’m pretty desperate for anything to pass the time right now I decided to make one. After browsing Pinterest for a few ideas I jumped in and put one together in less than thirty minutes. hotpad1

I used flannel fabric I found in my fabric stash (no clue what I bought it for originally or how much it cost) and cut two rectangles. They ended up being 16.5″ x 6.5″. I didn’t have any specific measurement going in, just eyeballed what looked good.

Turning the right sides to face each other, I sewed the two rectangles together leaving about a 2″ opening on one side.

I then turned it right side out and poked the three corners out. To give it a little extra reinforcement (I really don’t want a rice explosion at any point), I went ahead and stitched around the outside, still leaving the 2″ gap open.


I picked up the cheapest bag of rice from Safeway. There are other materials you can use (beans, for example), but rice was easy and cheap.

Using a funnel I made with a piece of paper, I dumped about a third of the bag in through the opening. Then I sewed a vertical line to keep that rice in it’s compartment. I repeated a second time. For the final compartment, I dumped in the remaining rice and then sewed the 2″ opening shut.

You don’t need to make compartments, but it was relatively easy and this keeps all the rice from pooling in one side of the pad. I can see this being useful if you’re using it lying down.


I made this incredibly simple because it’s for my own use. If I were making it for someone else I’d do a better job of measuring my compartments (they definitely are not even) as well as dividing the rice before pouring it in (again, not quite even amounts).

IMG_7072_edited-1I warmed it in the microwave, along with a glass of water (I read that the steam will keep the rice from burning), and was pleasantly surprised to see that it stayed warm around my neck for about 30 minutes.

Project: 15/35
Time: 30 minutes
Tutorial: inspired by browsing Pinterest
Cost: $1.50 (one bag of rice)

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