Make Your Own Rice Heat Pack With a Crochet Cover
There’s nothing like a rice bag for warming up on a cold night, easing period pain, or soothing sore muscles.
For those of you who aren’t aware, a rice bag is a fabric pouch filled with rice for use as a heat pack/heating pad. You put it in the microwave, the rice inside the pouch heats up, and voila! Heat source.
Hot water bottles are great and everything, but a rice bag doesn’t require you to pour super hot water into a small opening. And they’re so easy to make!
- About 100g of yarn—I used 100% cotton
- 5mm crochet hook
- Scrap fabric—an old t-shirt would do the trick, but I used some cotton
- Needle and thread OR a sewing machine
- 1 bag of rice—I used brown rice and it smells delightful when it comes out of the microwave
- Yarn needle OR a super big regular needle
Rice Bag Cover Crochet Pattern
To make your rice bag you’ll be making two pouches—a fabric one for the rice to go in and a crochet one for the fabric pouch to go in. First you’ll crochet the outer pouch. Below is my pattern. It’s my first one, so here’s hoping it makes sense!
Note: The pouch is worked in up-down stitch. Up-down stitch is basically alternating single and double crochets. There’s a great tutorial on it here. I like the texture/look this stitch gives the end product.
Round 1: Ch 40. Sl st into first ch to create a big loop, being careful not to twist the chain.
Round 2: Ch 1, dc in first ch, sc in next ch (1 up-down). Repeat around the loop. Sl st to join. (20 up-downs, 40 stitches total)
Round 3: Ch 1, sc in dc, dc in sc (1 up-down). Repeat around. Sl st to join. (20 up-downs, 40 stitches total)
Rounds 4 – 26: Repeat rounds 2 and 3. At the end of round 26, ch 1.
At this point you start working on the flap that closes the pouch, and the rounds become rows.
Row 27: work 10 up-down stitches across the next 20 stitches, ch 1, turn.
Rows 28 – 34: Repeat row 27. At the end of row 34, fasten off.
Slip stitch the bottom two edges of the bag together, then turn the bag inside out.
Fold the flap down over the rest of the bag and, using your yarn needle, stitch the two side edges of the flap to the edge of the bag. It’s basically like a NZ style pillow case, but the flap sits on the outside rather than the inside.
Weave in all your ends.
Lastly, I stitched a wee flower in the corner. I made the flower using this pattern, with a 4mm hook and the same yarn as the rest of the bag.
The Inner Pouch
Now for the rice pouch to go inside. You will definitely need to make a fabric pouch to go inside your cover and hold the rice, unless you want to start finding grains of rice all over your house.
Cut two identical rectangles of fabric that are a touch smaller than the finished crocheted pouch.
With your needle and thread (or sewing machine, if you have one) stitch your two rectangles together around three and a half sides. Be sure to leave the opening, so you can fill the bag with rice.
How much rice you use is a personal preference thing. I like for the bag to be a generous three quarters full, so the finished product doesn’t flop around too much. Fill the bag with as much rice as you like, then stitch up the opening in the bag.
Slot the rice pouch into the crochet pouch and flip the flap closed. And you’re done! Enjoy your new crochet rice bag.
Using Your Rice Bag
I take the inside rice bag out and put that in the microwave on its own, as I’ve found the cotton yarn gets a bit sweaty, for lack of a better word, when I put it in the microwave.
One minute is plenty of time—you don’t want to overdo it and burn yourself! Also, I have heard about these sorts of heat packs causing fires in people’s homes, so that’s another reason not to overdo it. Start at 30 seconds and if it’s not warm enough, put it back in until you’re happy. Be sensible; if the bag is so hot you can’t touch it, let it cool for a bit before putting it in your bed.
5 thoughts on “DIY Rice Bag: Free Crochet Pattern”
I love that idea! (cuz some people are allergic to certain fabrics). I was wondering if the ones that I make, could I sell them?
Yes absolutely, go for it! If anyone asks about the pattern I’d appreciate you pointing them in my direction 🙂 These are so great, I still use this one I made over two years ago, and I’ve made several for friends/family, too.
Put some lavender in with the rice, gives a lovely relaxing aroma too
Great idea! 💜