The Easiest Homemade DIY Heating Pad Ever

You won’t believe how easy it is to make this homemade DIY Heating Pad and it doesn’t require you to be an expert sewer. Learn how to make it here

Are you as cold as I am? If where you live is as cold is as where I live, this tutorial will help you a lot to stay warm. I made these 2 homemade heat packs as gifts for friends back in Bogotá since it’s cold most of the year there!

The EasiestHomemade DIY Heating Pad Ever cover image with Title overlay

DIY Homemade Heating Pad Tutorial

This is the easiest DIY Homemade Heating Pad you will ever make!!! Either if it’s for yourself or as a gift you will have it done in less than 30 minutes.

You may have endless ways of doing this project. I found this one the easiest but as you might know, imagination is the limit.

Heating pads are a fantastic way to not only stay warm but to ease neck and back pain, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. A heating pad is often recommended for heat therapy due to its ability to increase blood flow to painful areas. I used to use heating pads a lot for menstrual cramps.

This made at home heating pad project is something that would make a perfect and thoughtful gift during winter or if your life is mostly cold as well as to relieve sore areas.

You only need fabric, ribbon, and white rice, besides thread, a needle, and a sewing machine. Though, I think this is something you might be able to hand sew as well.

Anyway, have a few scraps of fabric you can make this. Also, the size is what you want it to be.

I just love this and the best part is a couple of minutes in the microwave and you will have quite some time of warmth. I love putting the DIY heating pad on my lap while watching TV or close to my hands while I’m on the computer. It’s just awesome.

view of opened and close Homemade DIY Heating Pad

How to make this DIY Homemade Heat Pack

Here are several ways to create your own heating pads, but I’m showing you here how to make large ones to cover more areas weather it’s to stay warm or ease a pain.

Let’s go!

Supplies:

  • Your favorite fabrics. I used 2 different ones, one for each side.
  • Ribbon {fabric matching color}
  • Regular rice – uncooked rice.

Tools:

Rice Variation and Alternatives

  • Best overall options: Whole corn, walnut shells, flax seeds, and jasmine rice are great fillers. I read that cherry pits are great for larger packs, but their heat doesn’t last in a small pack.
  • Best scent: Cherry pits, jasmine rice, or walnut shells. If you choose a different filling, you can make it smell really nice by mixing in drops of essential oils, dried flowers, dried herbs, or cherry pits.
  • Most pleasant calming feel: Flaxseed, whole corn, jasmine rice.
  • Best heat retention: Whole corn, rice, wheat, and walnut shells.
  • Worst options: Buckwheat hulls (too expensive), clay beads or cherry pits (poor heat retention in a small pack), dried pinto beans, lentils or whole peas (beany smell), or flaxseed (even after a few heatings the oils were starting to smell a little rancid). Quick note, flax seed would probably make an amazing cold pack if you kept it in the freezer.
view of pieces of fabrics to make a DIY Heating Pad

Instructions:

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Step 1: Cut the fabric

First, cut your fabric to the desired size. Mine was 2 rectangles 30×15 cm {12X6 Inches}. It’s a large homemade heating pad.

Step 2: Creating the heating Pad Main bag

Then putting together the front and back pieces right sides together, trace your layout.

I left 1cm (1/4 inch) seam allowance from the edge on each side and traced lines every 7 cm (2.75 inches). This will make the rice pockets.

open fabric view marked with measurements

Or course this will be only for reference you will see why in a bit.

Cut a string of ribbon about double the length of your heat pack.

Fold in half.

view of string of ribbon on open fabric marked with measurements

Place it in between both fabrics lengthwise about in the middle of one of the short sides.

Pin in place.

view of ribbon string pinned to a fabric with another fabric on top

Step 3: Sewing the pack

Stitch along the sides leaving one long side open.

view of fabrics sewn to the sides and opening the side without sewing

Turn it right side out. Press.

This is where I was talking about the reference.

Your lines are now inside but you can make a few dashes so you know where to stitch.

Fold your open side edges inwards to make a hem. Pin in place.

I do this because it’s easier to fill each pocket from the open end and then stitch them close later.

view of the pins holding the hem

Stitch around the edges again (french seam) to make it look prettier.

Stitch each pocket’s lines.

general view of sewing machine sewing the pockets

Cut all the remaining threads.

Step 4: Filling up the heat pack

Using a large funnel fill 3/4 of each pocket with white or jasmine rice.

Optionally you can add a few drops of essential oils to each pocket

Step 5: Closing up the heating pad

Using a pin, Close each pocket really close to the top of the rice. Sorry I completely forgot to take a picture of this step.

Once you have filled a pocket just press all the rice down press closing the pocket right where the rice is and pin. This is only to make it easy to stitch close the heat pack.

view of diy homemade Heat Pack almost ready

When you are done filling the pockets and pinning each one, just stitch along the edge.

Remove the pins and let the rice spread.

general view of the DIY Heating Pad ready be rolled

Step 6: Finishing up the cute Heat pack

Roll the heat pack and tie it with your ribbon and make a cute bow.

view of the diy Heating Pad rolled up and closed with a ribbon

There you go!

I even made some other Homemade Heat packs in different colors!

view of one diy Heating pad rolled up  and another straight

It’s super easy, quick to make and so, so awesome to stay warm.

My two different homemade Heating Pads ready to be wrapped up as a gifts

Crafting Tips

  • Experiment with combining different fabrics for the front and back of your heat pack. Consider using a soft fleece for one side and a smooth cotton for the other to create different textures.
  • Create a dual-purpose heat pack by adding Velcro strips to the back. This allows it to be attached to a belt or waistband for targeted relief on the go.
  • Create your heat packs to different themes or occasions. For example, make heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day or pumpkin-shaped ones for Halloween.
  • Infuse your rice with drops of lavender oil, eucalyptus or your favorite essential oil for added relaxation or sinus relief. Simply add a few drops of your favorite oil to the rice before filling the pockets.
  • Use decorative stitches on your sewing machine to add personality to the seams of your heat pack.
  • Add different textures to your heat pack by incorporating materials like ribbons, lace, or faux fur trim along the edges.
closer view of rolled up homemade DIY Heating Pad

Hope you enjoy today’s tutorial and that you got inspired to make your own.

Variations and alternatives

Some homemade heating pad without rice alternatives that can be made at home dependnding on what you are using it for could be:

  • The Wet Dishcloth: Grab a wet dishcloth, put it in a microwave-safe freezer bag, and heat it in the microwaves. Wrap the hot bag in a towel and apply it to the sore area for 15-20 minutes.
  • The Oven-Heated Towel: This method is perfect for making a larger heating pad. Fold a damp towel and place it in an oven preheated to 300°F (149°C) for 5-10 minutes (time varies based on towel thickness). Wrap the warm towel in a thinner dry cloth and apply it to the affected area for 15-20 minutes.
  • The Rice Old Sock: Take an old, clean sock and fill it three-quarters full with uncooked rice, corn, barley, or oatmeal. Tie or sew it shut and heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Always test the heat on the inside of your arm before applying it to ensure it’s comfortably warm, not hot.

Safety Tips

While heating pads are generally safe, there are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • Avoid using the diy hot pack way too hot directly on the skin. To pre-heat the bed is very useful when it’s really hot though.
  • Avoid using heating pads immediately after an injury as heat can increase swelling.
  • Any heating pad use while pregnant should avoid. Applying heating pads to the abdomen or pelvic area is not recommended and also should steer clear of hot tubs and very hot showers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a homemade heat pack?

A heat pack or heating pad is a microwavable grain-filled bag that is widely used to provide relief for general muscular aches and pains and to bring heat in cold weather. They consist of a fabric outer cover with a grain filling which is usually rice, wheat, barley, or lupin.

What is a homemade heating pad good for?

A heat pack is great to keep yourself warm which is a great benefit but the original purpose of a heating pad is to relieve pain. It could help increase blood flow and decrease pain for muscular injury. It can also be used for relaxation, menstrual cramps, back pain, sore muscles, and so much more.
Just keep in mind that a homemade rice heating pad is not a substitute for real treatment or your doctor’s diagnosis.

What filling makes the best heat pack?

Best overall options: Whole corn, walnut shells, jasmine rice. I read that cherry pits are great for larger packs, but their heat doesn’t last in a small pack.
Best scent: Cherry pits, jasmine rice, or walnut shells. If you choose a different filling, you can make it smell really nice by mixing in drops of essential oils, dried flowers, dried herbs, or cherry pits.
Most pleasant calming feel: Flaxseed, whole corn, jasmine rice.
Best heat retention: Whole corn, rice, wheat, walnut shells.
Worst options: Buckwheat hulls (too expensive), clay beads or cherry pits (poor heat retention in a small pack), dried pinto beans or whole peas (beany smell), or flaxseed (even after a few heating’s the oils were starting to smell a little rancid).
Quick note, flaxseed would probably make an amazing cold pack if you kept it in the freezer.

Can you use a heating pad while pregnant?

According to Medical News Today, Women who are pregnant should not apply heating pads to the abdomen or pelvic area. They should also avoid hot tubs and bathing or showering in very hot water.

More Sewing Projects to Try

If you enjoyed this fun DIY Heating Pad tutorial, you might also love these other cute sewing project ideas too:

✂️ Tutorial

The Easiest DIY Homemade Heat Pack placed on the floor on a carpet

Homemade DIY Heat Pack Tutorial

Camila Rojas
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this homemade heat pack and it doesn’t require you to be an expert sewer. Learn how to make it here
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Crafting Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Category DIY & Craft
Topic Gifts, Sewing
Pieces 1 Pad

Tools

  • Sewing Machine

Supplies
  

  • Your favorite fabrics. I used 2 different ones one for each side.
  • Ribbon {fabric matching color}
  • Regular rice
  • Large funnel
  • scissors
  • fabric mark-and-be gone markers.
  • Essential oils *optionl.

Instructions
 

STEP 1: CUT THE FABRIC

  • First, cut your fabric to the desired size. Mine was 30×15 cm {12X6 Inches}. It’s a large homemade heating pad.

STEP 2: CREATING THE HEAT PACK MAIN BAG

  • Then putting together the front and back pieces right sides together, trace your layout.
  • I left 1cm (1/4 inch) seam allowance from the edge on each side and traced lines every 7 cm (2.75 inches). This will make the rice pockets.
  • Or course this will be only for reference you will see why in a bit.
  • Cut a string of ribbon about double the length of your heat pack.
  • Fold in half.
  • view of string of ribbon on open fabric marked with measurements
  • Place it in between both fabrics lengthwise about in the middle of one of the short sides.
  • Pin in place.

STEP 3: SEWING THE PACK

  • Stitch along the sides leaving one long side open.
  • Turn it right side out. Press.
  • This is where I was talking about the reference.
  • Your lines are now inside but you can make a few dashes so you know where to stitch.
  • Fold your open side edges inwards to make a hem. Pin in place.
  • I do this because it’s easier to fill each pocket and then stitch them close later.
  • Stitch around the edges again (french seam) to make it look prettier.
  • Stitch each pocket’s lines.
  • Cut all the remaining threads.

STEP 4: FILLING UP THE HEAT PACK

  • Using a large funnel fill 3/4 of each pocket with white or jasmine rice.
  • Optionally you can add a few drops of essential oils in each pocket

STEP 5: CLOSING UP THE HEATING PAD

  • Using a pin, Close each pocket really close to the top of the rice. Sorry I completely forgot to take a picture of this step. But once you have filled a pocket just press all the rice down press closing the pocket right where the rice is and pin. This is only to make it easy to stitch close the heat pack.
  • When you are done filling the pockets and pinning each one, just stitch along the edge.
  • Remove the pins and let the rice spread.

STEP 6: FINISHING UP THE CUTE HEAT PACK

  • Roll the heat pack and tie it with your ribbon and make a cute bow.
  • There you go! You are done! You can make more in different colors.
Keyword diy heat pack, diy heating pad

Some other heat packs I love from my favorite bloggers:

If you enjoyed this DIY Homemade Heat Pack tutorial, don’t forget to PIN and share it with friends!

The Easiest DIY Heat Pack Ever pinterest image with title overlay

Til' next time...

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