Rice Hot Pack (or Cold Pack) - Free Sewing Pattern

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ricebuddy1 (17K)

Rice Hot Pack (or Cold Pack) and
Rice Buddy ''Faux Hot Water Bottle''

By Jane Lake

We now have directions for two versions of the popular rice pack free sewing patterns on this page. The original Rice Buddy Hot Pack , in a versatile tube shape, or a Faux Hot Water Bottle Rice Pack. If you wish to add the power of aromatherapy to your hot packs, you can add small amounts of herbs or a few drops of your favourite herbal essential oil to the rice before filling the packs. Lavender smells wonderful and has been used for centuries for its calming effect.

Handy Tip: Both rice hot pack variations can be used as hot packs by heating in the microwave, but they also make useful cold packs to ease sprains and strains when stored in the freezer.

Directions for the Original Rice Hot Pack: For those who would like to stick with the traditional rice pack project, which produces a 3'' x 4.5" tube, divided into rice filled segments, here are the full directions:

Supplies: scrap of cotton fabric, 37"x 10"; thread; chalk; sewing machine; one cup measure; measuring tape; scissors; 6 cups of white rice (not instant).

This is an easy to make beginner''s sewing project. Ability to measure, cut, and sew rectangles with half inch seams.

What You Do:
Fold fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew along the bottom and length using half inch seams. Turn tube right side out. Measure and mark with chalk, from bottom seam, every 6" along the length, ending a half inch from end. Pour one cup of rice into tube and sew across width at the first 6" mark, enclosing rice in a 6" x 4.5" rectangle. Repeat for remaining 5 cups of rice. Turn in a half inch from end, and sew very near the edge to close tube.

Include these instructions with your gift: "Rice Buddy Hot Pack/Cold Pack. Microwave for 3-5 minutes, until hot, and use as you would a hot water bottle. Great for easing aches and pains. For cold pack, store in the freezer."

ricebuddybottle1 (18K)

Directions for the Faux Hot Water Bottle Rice Pack:


cotton, fleece or other suitable fabric; printed template or a hot water bottle to use as a template; scotch tape, sewing thread; sewing machine; one cup measure; measuring tape; scissors; approximately 3 cups of white rice (not instant); funnel.

Skills: Beginner''s sewing project. Ability to trace, measure, cut, and sew with quarter inch seams.

What You Do:

Print the top half and the bottom half of the hot water bottle template. Join the two halves with scotch tape. Alternatively, trace around a hot water bottle, and add 1/4 inch seam allowance all around to make your own template.

Fold fabric, right sides together, and pin the template along the fold line where indicated. Cut out two pattern pieces like this.

Pin the two fabric pieces, right sides together.

Starting at one side of the neck, sew all round to the other side of the neck, using 1/4" seams. Leave the top open. Turn right side out.

Top stitch a straight line down the center of the pattern, from the nub on the bottom to the base of the neck.

Use the funnel to put approximately 1/3 - 1/2 cups of rice in each side of the line just sewn. Now top stitch in a straight line across the pattern, trapping the rice in two segments, approximately 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the pattern.

Repeat this step two more times, ending with a short sewing line across the neck of the fabric bottle pattern. See photo for details.

Now turn in a quarter inch hem on the neck, and sew close to the edge to close.

Include these instructions with your gift:
"Rice Buddy Hot Pack/Cold Pack. Microwave for 1-3 minutes, until hot, and use as you would a hot water bottle. Great for easing aches and pains. For cold pack, store in the freezer."

Gift Basket Suggestion: These are wonderful wrapped around your neck when you have the flu. If you know a friend who is feeling ill, why not put a gift basket together? A clementine orange crate is perfectly sized for this gift. Arrange either rice pack in the crate, or a similar sized basket, and add layered chicken noodle soup-in-a-jar, soda crackers, Vicks vapor rub, cough drops, a good book, and uplifting music (nice choice for a cd: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Songs Of Joy And Jubilation To Open the Heart and Rekindle The Spirit.) Wrap your gift basket in cellophane and tie with curling ribbon.


Leave a Comment

1-5 of 54 Comments
terry – South Carolina
Jan 16, 2011 - 09:30

i made a friend a rice pack out of a flannel type material. She loved it, until it started having little burn holes in it, where it apparently was melting, the material. She says she was only leaving it 2 min in the microwave. I am wondering if the material may have had polyester in it. Any suggestions.

Reply to terry
Ashlee – Utah
Feb 16, 2011 - 02:20

I''ve heard either putting a cup of water in the microwave with it, or lightly misting with water prior to microwaving helps. Good Luck.

Beverly Burnett – Columbus, Indiana 47203
Dec 18, 2010 - 18:36

So excited to try this for Christmas gifts. Can''t wait to try this project. loking forward to seeing if it works for migrane headaches. Both daufgters have them. Hope they work.

Amelia – Vic
Nov 03, 2010 - 03:40


Sue – California
Aug 18, 2010 - 12:33

I make "neck chillers". They tie around your neck or where ever so you don''t have to hold it. I use cotton fabric 36'' x 6'' sew it right sides together leaving a 6'' opening in the middle, close the ends at an angle when sewing. Turn it right side out, sew 2 cross stitches 12'' apart to make a pocket, add velcro or a snap to close the opening then I make 3'' x 10'' rice packets to insert. Don''t put too much rice in or it doesn''t lay around the neck nice. I store the extra rice packs in the freezer in a plastic bag so I can keep switching them out. My granddaughter likes the cold packs better than the hot ones. I make hers in cute kids patterns.

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