{Tutorial} Felt Rice Packs

Around our house someone is always in need of a boo-boo bag. There always seems to be a mashed finger or toe that needs an ice pack. We also always have our share of cold fingers and toes. Since I wanted an item of dual purpose I decided to make a pack that could be both heated and cooled.

I don’t know if any of you had corn bags when you were you but I distinctly remember on cold winter afternoons heating up a corn bag and cuddling up for warmth. I also distinctly remember that corn is awful at capturing cold.

I’ve heard of using buckwheat as well but since I don’t regularly shop at locations selling buckwheat nor did I want to have purchase 25+ lbs at one time that wasn’t one that interested me either.

That’s when I discovered rice. Actually G discovered rice. I love that little man with all my heart but dang can he get on my last nerve sometimes. One night as I was cooking dinner he decided to help by throwing random pantry items in the bottom drawer of the freezer while I was looking in the other drawer. I didn’t realize until the next day that he had managed to stick rice, a jar of salad dressing, and some dry beans in the freezer despite my knowledge. This was when the realization of cold packs filled with rice began.

I also needed to test the heat quality of rice. So I got out another bag, nuked for 30 seconds and warmed my fingers in a wonderful cup of warm rice. Who knew rice was a super cheap, super wonderful possibility?

These could be made using fabric or felt, which is what I opted for. They can also be made in simple squares, rectangles or a fun shape, like I made.

Supplies:
-basic sewing supplies (machine, thread, pins, etc.)
-felt (or fabric)
-heart template (optional)
-rice (1lb did six hearts for me, but this is dependent on how full you fill them and the size of your shape)
-needle and thread (for blind stitching the seam)

Tutorial:
1. Determine your shape. I wanted a heart, so I got on the computer, accessed Word and entered a smart art shape. I resized my heart to be 6.5″ tall by 5.5″ wide. This way it was a fatter, not skinnier heart.

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2. Gather your felt in piles of three.

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3. Trace the heart pattern onto the back (not patterned, if using patterned felt). I used a regular ink pen which you couldn’t see after sewing it up!

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4. Pin those suckers together! It’s very helpful!! Then cut!

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5. Match a front to back with right sides together (important if you have patterned felt). I used a simple cream on the back, three pretty pattern ones and three plain fronts. (I made six.)

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6. Sew around the edge leaving a turn hole.

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7. Clip and turn.

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8. Poke out the seams otherwise you get a blob. My mom gave me this super tool, I’m not sure what it’s called but it works well to push out the ends.

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9. Grab your filler. I used 1 lb of brown rice for the six hearts I made.

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10. Whip stitch or blind stitch the seams closed. I still haven’t perfected my blind stitch so no pictures of that one!

You’re done!!

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Remember when heating that too long and it’ll burn you. You assume all risk here!

They are also great cold too!

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