Need a portable heat source but don’t feel like going out to buy some fancy hothands from the pharmacy? Here’s how to make a simple Handmade Hot Pack from a cheap scarf and some rice.
What you will need
- Scarf made from fleece or flannel, not a knitted or crocheted material rice will fall out of
Preparing the Scarf for a Homemade Hot Pack
Start by laying out the scarf down. Mine was from Under Armor. Make sure you wash it before you use it, because once the rice is in it cannot be washed with rice in it, for obvious reasons. Cut out a good sized rectangle, big enough to fit in the pocket of a hoodie, and plop it aside.
Sewing the First Seam
Do a very thin and tight blanket stitch. Leave a good sized gap at the end, about two inches long, and tie off the string. Flip the bag inside out.
Why Minute Rice Cannot Be Used for A Homemade Hot Pack
Since this hot pack is for the microwave, minute rice is not a good choice. Minute rice is precooked, and will burn if you microwave it without water to eat it. This will result in a disgusting smell and possibly your microwave catching fire. Only use minute rice or other things such as lavender or lentils, but only with research of what others have done to make their own hot packs.
Doing a Second Seam
Never trust rice. Do another blanket stitch around the outside, to ensure no rice pops out of the bag. Don’t use popcorn seeds to stuff your hot pack either, as there is a risk of… explosion.
Optional Step for a High Quality Homemade Hot Pack
I recommend going around one more time with a sewing machine to reinforce the seams. A long straight stitch should be sufficient, right around the edges. I skipped this step myself, but if you have a pet that likes to steal your things or a child that may play with your hot pack, it’s a good extra precaution.
Stuffing the Homemade Rice Pack
Using the plain white rice and a big funnel, start scooping the rice into the bag. You do not want to overstuff the bag, as this can cause problems with the seams and make it less squishy. Fill the bag about three quarters of the way with rice, and pull the funnel out. You may want to clip or pin the bag closed for now.
Sewing the Hole
Use a tight blanket stitch again to close the end. Again, optionally you can run your sewing machine along the seam to further prevent rice spilling out everywhere.
Never microwave your rice pack for longer than a minute at a time, the rice will get too hot and burn a hole in the pouch. About 45 seconds is perfect, your rice pack will be super toasty but not scalding hot. The best part about these things is once it starts to cool down, all you have to do is shake it up and it will magically warm back up. After about three to five shakes, or the heat pack is no longer hot, warm it back up and carry on.
And there you go, you have your own plush hot pack. You could even take it a step farther and make a literal plush, sewing a basic teddy bear from the scarf and stuffing it with the rice and some sort of microwave safe stuffing. Happy Crafting!