Bags of Warmth

Bags of Warmth

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 Cool weather is here, in fact we have already had our first frost plus a few more. This kind of weather just makes you want to get cozy with a shawl or an afghan and a little added warmth.  

I’ve been making these rice bags or stress bags for a few years now.  In fact one year I think everyone on my Christmas list got at least one of some shape or other.  Now you can go out and buy these items but I’m the sort of person that will look at an idea and think to myself “I can make that for less money.”

ricebags2

All you need are some pieces of material, some rice and a few minutes at the sewing machine. Don’t use the quick cook or minute rice but instead buy long grain or whole rice.

To make the long bag with two pockets you need a piece of fabric about 35 cm. long (about 14 inches) and about 15 cm. wide (6 inches). The best types of fabric are cotton or towelling.

  • Fold material in half (right sides together) and stitch around the edges leaving the end open.
  • Turn inside out.
  • Fold the top edges in about 1 cm. (half inch) in and stitch down the middle of the bag. This will give you two long tunnels.
  • Fill each tunnel with rice (not the quick cook type).
  • Stitch the end closed.

Warm by placing in microwave for 1 or 2 minutes. Check as temperature depends on your microwave. These rice bags can even go into the freezer to be used as an ice pack.

The C shaped rice bag fits around the neck and rests on the shoulders  I’m showing it separately with a rough pattern outline which was cut on the fold (obviously not the same dimensions)

making a rice bag at craftygardener.ca

The pattern is like a large letter C. It measures about 37 cm. long (15 inches ) but has the extra ends that will sit on your shoulders. At the widest part it is about 20 cm. in width ( 8 inches).  It fits nicely around your neck and you can feel the nice soothing warmth immediately. This one can be customized to fit yourself or the person who receives it as a gift.

  • Cut out pattern on fold of material. Cut 2.
  • Put right sides of fabric together and stitch around the edge, leaving a small opening to enable you to turn the bag right side out.
  • Fill with rice.
  • Stitch opening closed.

Warm by placing in microwave for 1 or 2 minutes. Check as temperature depends on your microwave. These rice bags can even go into the freezer to be used as an ice pack.

making a rice bag at craftygardener.ca

For the rectangular rice bag, about 30×16 cm ( 12×6.5 inches) You need to cut out two pieces of fabric, place right sides together, seam around 3 sides and turn the bag right side out. Fill with rice and sew the fourth side together.

heat packs filled with rice, warm in the microwave

These bags can be heated over and over again. When you decide to replace the rice, all you need to do is open up one of the ends, pour out the old rice into the composter and refill with fresh rice.  These rectangular ones are great for tucking behind your back.  You can even warm them up and pop them into your bed and your feet will be toasty warm.

Here is a poem you can print on card stock and attach if you are giving a rice bag as a gift.

rice bag poem at craftygardener.ca
making a rice bag at craftygardener.ca

The shape and size of the bag is only limited by your own imagination. There are small round or rectangular ones to tuck inside your mittens. Or how about a fun shape, like a fish or a bear for a young child to take to bed.

This is another poem that can be attached to a rice bag gift.

rice bag poem at craftygardener.ca
Making rice bags at craftygardener.ca

Stay warm as the winter chill sets back in.

sewing line

I’m sharing with: The Really Crafty Link Party, Handmade Monday, To Grandma’s House We Go, Creative Compulsions

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