Monday, December 6, 2010

Worth Repeating...A Great Gift Idea

I've posted this before but it's worth repeating.

These Therapeutic Rice Bags are under $4 each to make.

You won't want to make just one. Because, you'll want at least one for yourself!

It's sch an appreciated gift -- anyone I've ever given them to really likes them.

In fact, a friend of mine that was given one last year, ordered one for each of her adult kids and her mother for Christmas this year. She's going to "stuff their stockings"...!

They are fairly easy to make.

The place mats are sold at Wal-Mart and are perfect for this project. The reason is that they are firm and hold the rice well, and stay put where you need them.

First, remove any stickers or tags.

Next, fold the place mat in half the long way. Smooth it out. Feel those ridges? Those are going to come in so handy! Pin each end of the place mat at the upper corners only, as shown here. Go to the sewing machine and sew each end shut, reinforcing your seam at each end.

Now, take out your handy-dandy hem gauge and place a pin at approximately every three inches. Only one pin is needed at the top; approximate intervals will be fine for your stitching lines.

See the fine grooves in your place mat? Use those lines to stitch vertically! What could be easier?

Start at the right and work your way to the left side of the bag and continue to stitch each of your little sections off by following with your needle that little groove all the way down, not forgetting to reinforce your stitching at both the top and the bottom.

If you start your stitching at the right side of your place mat, you can roll it up as you work your way to the left until you have stitched all your vertical lines.

(These little sections will hold your rice, which will hold the heat, which will then be applied to your achey-breaky parts.)

Once all the stitching is done at both ends, and in the three inch intervals, hold your rice bag up in a 9 x 13" cake pan, and use a funnel with a fairly wide opening to pour approximately one cup of rice into each three-inch section.

Do not fill all the way to the top, you'll need some room for give and some room to stitch it shut. I left about two thumb-widths empty at the top.

Then, once each section (about one cup per section) is filled, stand your rice bag up in a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.

If you overfill, the best way to remove excess rice is to take it out with a spoon.

Try to get each section filled to the same level as the one next to it. Shake gently from time to time so the rice will settle.

Use lots of pins so the rice doesn't escape and get into your sewing machine.

Now, take straight pins and pin halfway down the length of the top opening and flip it over and pin the other half on the back side. The reason for that is because you have to start stitching it shut from the middle and go out to the edge. So, pinning all the way down one side won't work.

Stitch the top side that was pinned, starting at the halfway point. Remove pins.

Stitch the back side that was pinned in the other direction, and once stitched, remove pins.

Don't forget: reinforce your stitching at the beginning and the end of the seam that you make to sew the top of the bag shut!

Finally, pne more reinforcement on the long seam we made to shut the bag. Start at the bottom of one corner of your bag, and start a continuous line of reinforcement stitching.

All done, all reinforced.

Ready to use!
(Wasn't that easy?)

Heat the rice bag from 1.5-2 minutes, just be careful.

Apply that handy gift to your nearest and most achey body part.

Go forth. Go nuts! Buy place mats. Buy rice! Lots and lots Louisiana rice. And make rice bags. Your friends and family will love you for it!

Approximate cost per bag: $4 (Place mat 2.25 + tax, rice approximately $2 worth per bag, about two pounds per.)

Approximate time start to finish: half an hour or less.


I always roll these up, tie with a ribbon, and attach a cute tag or a label that tells the recipient how to use it.

The tag says something like this:

"Therapeutic Rice Bag
Keep in the freezer to use as a cold compress or...

When needed as a heating pad, heat in the microwave on a plate for one to one and a half minutes and apply to your ache or pain. Should hold heat for a half hour to forty five minutes. This bag contains rice, please do not get wet. Can be stored in freezer to use as a cold compress when needed."

And, one final note.... for all you quilters out there who know about the CHAIN sewing that makes repetitive stitching go so much faster, you can do that if you've got a pile of these to make. You'll save a lot of thread and a lot of snippin' go for it! I chained three to four at a time.

Just feed 'em through...

And pile 'em up....!

PS: At the time I bought the place mats, I also bought a table runner. With that I was able to make TWO draft dodgers for the old farmhouse entry doors. I will post those instructions soon. I am considering making windowsill draft dodgers for some of the farmhouse windows and the place mats are the perfect size.


Unknown said...

Wonderful and simple! I love it! Definitely something I want to make now that I've seen how easy it is. Thanks for the tutorial.

Karen~The Barely There Primitive Bear said...

I make rice bags, but I use a 5-6"
by 16' piece of muslin, like you
are making a pillow, fill it, then
fold end in and stitch shut. I then
make another, out of flannel and
I hem one end, for a cover you can
take off and wash. Everyone loves
them, that is for sure!

Bear Hugs~Karen

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

I don't sew-at all. But, I was lucky enough to have someone give me one for my Fibro! I wish I had a huge one to lay on. Ha!

Does your sis use one for herself?

Have a wonderful week, Joni!
xo, misha

Hollace said...

I love mine. My daughter made one for everybody a couple years ago using fabric that related to the individual (dogs, music, running, etc.) She did the double bag with a muslin liner so the outer fabric can be washed if necessary. You don't have to be achey to enjoy it...I like to sling mine around my neck when I am watching TV in the evening--it helps hold my head up and is so nice and cozy.

Tanya said...

Love this coworker made me a "corn" bag and we use it all the time. I'd like to try the "rice" bag! Does it matter what kind of rice?
Shoot me an email if you can!

Thanks Joni!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kerin said...

I agree.... this is a terrific gift!!
Thanks for sharing how you make them. I've made them before, but a bit differently.
I've also made these with feed corn that I got at my farm supply store.
Have a great week, and stay warm :)

Unknown said...

This is nice idea ..i read your posting this is useful & wonderful topic i like it but i know one another site i.e shantinathsales.This site has all information about heat pad so visit it.