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Thursday, January 17, 2013

A sewVery Simple Hot Pad Tutorial

I am off to a slow start with blogging this year, but I have been very busy at home sewing and working on projects.  One project in particular is a tutorial on how to make your own rice filled hot pads with a removable cover.

You may remember my original hot pad post from last year where I made some smaller sized hot pads with a velcro closure.  This velcro closure allows you to remove the inner rice bag and wash the exterior cover.  We use hot pads to warm up our feet in the bed, so being able to wash the outside cover is a necessity!

We've been using these smaller hot pads all year, but I've been wanting to make a larger version with a simpler bag closure for a while now.  So today, I'm sharing with you my tutorial for making these oversized hot pads with an overlap closure for the exterior bag.  This method is by far the easiest way to make a hot pad cover.  So, gather your supplies, and let's get busy!

Sew the pieces together using a 1/4" hem along the three sides that you pinned.

At this step, you have an option to sew a 1" piece of velcro to the overlap closure to help keep it secure when the rice filled bag is inserted.  I did not do this, although I thought about it at first, but my bag stays closed just fine.  For a narrower, smaller bag, this would definitely not be needed.

Now to make the inner bag that will hold the rice. Take your two pieces of muslin, pin together, and sew together using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Just make sure you leave a 2" or 3" opening in order to turn the bag inside out. Press the bag flat making sure to press under the raw edges at the opening. This will make it easier to sew closed in a minute.

Using a funnel, fill the muslin bag with your rice.  For these large hot pads, I used roughly 18 oz. of white rice to make the bag full but not overstuffed. Carefully pin the edges of the bag opening shut and sew together using a 1/8" seam.

Insert the rice filled bag into the hot pad cover, heat the bag in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, and remove the bag from the microwave using the handy dandy twill tape handle.  Place the hot pad under the covers in your bed a few minutes before you jump in, and by the time you crawl into bed, you'll have a nice toasty warm spot to put your feet.

This oversized hot pad will stay warm for more than half an hour when you heat it up for 3 minutes.  Just be careful when you first remove it from the microwave because it will be very hot!

This tutorial can be used to make any size hot pad.  Just adjust the measurements to fit any scrap pieces of fabric you have lying around.  Make small ones to keep your hands warm or medium ones to use on sore muscles, but please remember to always make sure the pads are not too hot before letting a child or elderly person use them.  These things can be extremely hot when first removed from the microwave, especially if you hold them in one spot on your body for more than a few seconds.

Now I just need a day or two off really nice, sunny weather so I can make pictures of Ella outside wearing all the new things I've made her!  I have a lot of blogging to do!  Come back soon to see the two Sweetheart Dresses I made using LuvintheMommyHood's pattern, a pair of leggings using the Go To Leggings pattern by Andrea from The Train to Crazy, plus a few other things I put together since the new year began.

See you soon!  Have a great day!


  1. Perfect! I was just thinking two nights ago that I needed to make some rice warmer thingees (because that's what my brain was calling them) to keep on my lap when Im sewing in my freezing laundry room. Thanks!

  2. Super cute idea!Thanks so much for sharing the great tutorial! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous weekend!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  3. Thank you for the tutorial!!! We need some these days in Paris!!! It's so cold!!! I pin it for later ;)

  4. I love these so much and cannot sleep in the winter without one at my feet! Cute fabric!! Thanks for linking up at my Pin Me Linky Party. I am following you now.

  5. Hot Hot Hot and so CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!

    Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality! I'm looking forward to seeing what you share tonight!

  6. Isn't it amazing how well rice works in a hot pad? I've made something similar! Great idea to make a cover and then have a muslin bag filled with rice! I'm so glad you shared this at Loving Valentines Day!


  7. Ive been wanting to make this for about a month now.there was another rice bag with lavender on here,but i couldnt find it. Anyway I jst made one today! I didnt use muslin for the inner bag,just the same cotton for both bags.is there a reason for the muslin? It gets pretty hot,I think 2 min is good.even my boyfriend likes it! Sonja

    1. Glad you and your boyfriend like it! The reason for 2 minutes is because it takes that long to heat up the large amount of rice used in this size bag. If you make a smaller bag and use less rice, adjust the heating time accordingly and always make sure the pad is a comfortable temp before placing it on your body. I use muslin for the inner bags because it is inexpensive and doesn't have a print that might show through the outer bag fabric.

  8. For those that do not have a microwave how would they heat the rice bag? The reason I ask is I have a friend that wants one of these but he doesn't have a microwave. So is there any way other than a microwave to heat it up?

    1. I personally have never tried to heat it up any other way nor can I recommend a different method. These were designed to be heated in the microwave.

    2. My mother used a similar item as a child, and they heated them in the oven.

  9. Like your idea of two covers, one of which can be removed to wash. Have made many of these using fleece as the cover. Also, sew tubes in the material and fill each with rice (not too full) before sewing the open end shut. This prevents the rice from "bunching" up and lay flatter.

  10. what kind of rice are you using is it minute rice orsome other ty


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