I’m in Utah and freezing cold. I long to be back in “warm” Denver. Yes. We are having amazing warmth in Denver and I’m not sure I really believe that winter will ever come when I’m at home. But, I’m not at home and it’s cold here. As I crawl into bed at night, I long for my rice bag. Yep, you heard me right. My Rice Bag. In my opinion, a rice bag is the best fix on a cold winter’s night. Have you ever gotten in bed at night and the cold sheets throw you into a shiver?
Then, you quickly rub your legs together as fast as you can, not to make sparks as you did as a kid, but just to warm up the sheets so you don’t freeze to death before you fall asleep? Well, I have. A few years ago. I inadvertently solved that problem with a Rice Bag.
You may have heard of making and using a rice bag for sore muscles, labor pains, etc. It definitely works for that. In fact, it was just weeks before my first child was due that I made my first bag. But, little did I know then how much I would use that bag and many others since for a completely different purpose: warming my bed before I get in. I just heat it up and stick it in my bed between the sheets while I get ready for bed, brush my teeth, etc. When I’m done, my bed is toasty warm. Gone are the days of a cold shock before falling to sleep. I love it.
If you’ve never made a rice bag, it is so simple and incredibly cheap. All you need is cotton material, thread, a sewing machine and rice.
Here are some simple step by step directions:
1. Choose your material. You can choose any 100% cotton material you’d like. I’ve used old corduroy pants, an old flannel pillow case, and store bought cottons. Anything will work. The only caution is to NOT use any synthetics. Fleece may seem like a soft idea, but don’t use it. Synthetics will catch on fire when heated with the rice in the microwave. Believe me, I’ve done it.
2. Cut your material to double your desired size. For my kids (in twin beds), I’ve made bags that were 4×6. For me (in a queen bed), I’ve made bags that were 8 inches by 8 inches. Any size works great. Just double the length and allow for a 1/2 inch seam. So, for an 8 X 8 bag, cut out a piece of fabric that is 9 X 17. Again, don’t worry too much about being exact. The final size doesn’t need to be precise.
3. Fold fabric in half, inside out. Fold it so that the two sides you want to see on the final project are facing each other.
4. Sew. Using a 1/2 inch seam, sew along the 3 open sides (1 side will be created by the fold). You’ll want to leave 2-3 inches open in order to turn the bag inside out. Besides this hole, make sure that have not left any open gaps in your sewing.
5. Turn fabric inside out by pulling fabric through the gap you left.
6. Using a funnel, pour rice into the bag. Fill about 2/3 full.
8. Heat in the microwave. This will depend on your microwave. 1 minute worked great for the 4 X 6 bags. 2-3 minutes for 8 inch bags.
9. Slip between your sheets a few minutes before going to bed.
10. Climb into your warm bed and warm up your feet on the bag. Believe me, it’s heaven!
I hope you enjoy them. No more freezing nights. If you want you can get creative. Cut the fabric into shapes, if you’d like. Or if you’re lazy (like I was the first time I made one), just cut out the pocket on an old pair of corduroys. Fill the pocket with rice and sew up the top. Have fun with it. These make great gifts. I’ve given them to family in Minnesota and in Chicago and both have commented on how nice it is to get into a warm bed on those cold winter nights!
Happy Warm Winter!