how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack

by | Feb 8, 2021 | All Things Home, crafts, Sewing, Tutorials | 27 comments

A part of cleaning, organizing, and purging is dealing with materials that were purchased with intention.  I buy them because I intend to do something with them.  When I was cleaning out my cleaning supplies, I found the materials for two projects that have been languishing in a closet for too long.  Some of the supplies were purchased to make beeswax food wraps and some were intended for a rice & lavender-filled hot/cold pack.  Last week, I made the hot-cold pack and I thought I would share how to make it.  The nice thing about this project is it’s super quick and simple and it made me wonder why I waited so long!

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

How to Make a Rice & Lavender Hot/Cold Pack | Printable Instructions

 

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

How to Make a Rice & Lavender Hot/Cold Pack | Required Materials & Tools

  • 4 lbs rice
  • dried lavender (I used about 1-2 cups, but I didn’t measure it out.  If you don’t like the smell of lavender, you can omit this ingredient)
  • scrap cotton or linen fabric (I used a piece that was 40″ x 6″ for a neck/shoulder/back/knee-sized pack and a smaller scrap for an eye/head pack)
  • cotton thread
  • scissors (THESE are my favorites for fabric)
  • measuring tape or ruler
  • straight pens
  • sewing machine
  • iron

One important note is that you need to use dried lavender, not fresh, or there is a risk of the lavender buds molding.  I used to buy lavender buds wholesale, but now I just buy a small bag off of Amazon that is the perfect size to fill this vintage Weck jar.  THIS is the specific bag and brand I purchased.  (My mom bought the Weck jar when we lived in German and she used it to store flour.)

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

I just bought some plain white rice from the grocery store, but you can always buy in bulk if you’re making a bunch of these lavender hot/cold packs.

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | vintage weck jar | miss mustard seed

How to Make a Rice & Lavender Hot/Cold Pack | Instructions

Step one – Iron fabric, so it’s wrinkle-free.  It just makes sewing projects neater and the fabric easier to work with when everything is ironed first.
I wish I could share the source for this fabric, but it’s a remnant from the vintage checked fabric I used for the checked chair I upholstered a few years ago.  I also use a piece of this fabric as a tablecloth.
When selecting a fabric for this project just make sure that it feels nice and soft against your skin and has a tight weave to hold the lavender and rice in over years of use.

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

Step two – Cut the fabric to desired dimensions. 40″ x 6″ is a good size for a neck/shoulder/back/knee-sized pack, but you can always make it larger or smaller depending on your needs.  I had leftover fabric and rice/lavender, so I ended up making an eye/head pack, too.

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

Step three – Fold 40″ x 6″ piece of fabric in half length-wise, right sides together, so the folded piece of fabric measures 20″ x 6″.

Step four – Iron fold and use straight pins to keep the fabric from shifting

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

Step five – Sew on two long sides, leaving the top side open.
how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed
Step six – Turn right-side out and iron seams.

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

A ruler is a great tool to get the corners pushed out.

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed
Step seven –  Mix dried lavender buds into the rice and fill the sewn sack with rice/lavender mixture until about 2/3s of the way full. Do not overfill. It’s better to have the pack a little floppy and loose, so it will mold around your neck, knee, shoulder, etc.
As I said earlier, you don’t have to add the dried lavender buds if you don’t like the scent of lavender.  I love the smell and find it relaxing, so I wanted to include it.   If there is another scent you prefer, you can always add a few drops of essential oil to the rice.

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed
Step eight – Fold raw edges in on the unfinished side and pin. Sew along the edge to finish.
how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed
Store in the freezer to use as a cold pack. To use as a hot pack, heat in the microwave for 1 minute at a time until the desired temperature is reached.
how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed
These would also be nice foot warmers to tuck under your sheets on a cold night or you can omit the lavender and use them as a doorstop/draft guard.  There are so many variations that can be made to this project.
how to make a rice & lavender hot/cold pack | easy sewing project | miss mustard seed

It felt so good to use up these materials and get this project checked off my list as a part of organizing and no-spend February!  I also made a trip to the thrift store (to donate only) and organized a few more cabinets and drawers, so I’m making nice progress.

For those doing one or both of these challenges with me, how is it going?

27 Comments

  1. Betsy

    I can’t thank you enough for this posting! I’m in physical therapy now for a bout of bicep tendonitis which after weeks of therapy was actually caused by my neck. A friend just told me yesterday about making a bag to hold rice that I can wrap around my neck. Your timing is perfect.

    Reply
    • Kris

      Betsy, you may want to check with your PT–sometimes heat can exacerbate your problem and you may be directed to use cold packs instead. They will better know where you are in the healing process and whether heat or cold will be best for you.

      My daughter has made rice bags before. The heated rice has an odd smell but we don’t love the scent of lavender. Have you tried any other scents?

      Reply
  2. Catherine

    Good idea to use fabric staying in the cupboards!

    Reply
  3. Sharon

    “I also made a trip to the thrift store ”

    What happened to no spend February??!!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      To donate! I didn’t even go inside. 🙂

      Reply
    • Leslie C

      Sharon, while cleaning out my cabinets and hall closet I made two trips to my favorite thrift store. So proud of myself for staying outside and not going in and shopping. And that was hard for me. 😊

      Reply
  4. Sharon

    Wow good for you!!

    Reply
  5. Jo

    I am glad you labeled this organization challenge “February Organization Month” because I can see it will take me the entire month of February to complete. I am not complaining just coming to terms as to how long this process will take me. I am truly enjoying the journey, it feels wonderful when a room has been completed.

    Reply
  6. Jodie J Felten

    So far I went through all my closets and put a “ton” on stuff on FB Marketplace at a steal of a deal (because I didn’t want anything that wouldn’t sell). Because of COVID, I set up a card table on my covered front porch and as people bought things, I set them on the card table for them to come and pick up and just leave the money on the table for me. After they left, I collected the money on the porch. I have made over $500 so far! (I have a lot of closets and a LOT of STUFF I felt I could part with!) And now I just open my closets and sigh with contentment that they are not overflowing and I can reach everything I need! Thank you for inviting us to share your “February Organization Month.” It was just a boost I needed! Much love from Oregon!

    Reply
  7. Barbara Ann King

    Thanks for the wonderful idea! I just ordered the dried lavender flowers and I’m going to use up some of my scraps to make the packs for family members.

    Reply
  8. Dee S

    Marian,
    I love my rice bags. I deal with Raynaud’s syndrome and my hands and feet are painfully cold if the temperature in the house is below 70 degrees and/or if I am in a draft. I take both of the rice bags to bed at night, one for my feet and one to hug against my body. I purchased mine and the rice is contained close woven fabric. But there is an outer case of a very soft, plush fabric, maybe a velour. The opening of the outer case is an “overlap” area midway down the length of the case. I appreciate being able to remove the rice bag and launder the outer case. Mine came with whole cloves added to the rice. I love the smell of cloves, but alas, the scent has long disappeared. Here in Kansas we are heading into a very long cold spell – 17 days never getting above zero. My rice bags will be well used!

    Reply
  9. Vikki Nay

    I am continuing on with my organization this month. I worked on it all of January but still have a ways to go. But my kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room are all organized and free of anything I don’t love or need! Unfortunately I took something of my husband’s to goodwill and he isn’t too happy with me. Oops!

    I grow lavender here in southern Oregon so I have a lot of it. I use it in my bath, but now I might make some of those neck/back hot/cold packs. They would make excellent gifts.

    Reply
  10. Mildred

    How many pounds of lavender does it take to fill your WECK jar?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      I filled the jar with just one pound. It’s pretty light and fluffy.

      Reply
  11. Margaret

    I have a rice bag made for me when I was off work with back issues. The nurse who makes them uses terrycloth hand towels, folded in half and stitched, which makes for a very sturdy bag. I’ve used mine every day of the last three years.
    One caveat: be very careful about putting the bag between a solid surface and a body part. It is possible to burn yourself, especially if you go to sleep with the bag underneath.

    Reply
  12. M

    What size is that wreck jar? I’ve never seen one that big.

    Reply
  13. Irene Kelly

    Oh what a great idea. I made lavender sachets to give as gifts and go with the closet keepers I made in 2019. Now I must try this idea with all the lavender buds and oils I have leftover. Thank You for sharing just another reason for me to continue to follow you on your blog. You always inspire me ! Thanks again.

    Reply
  14. monique odman

    Incredible, where on earth have you found out to mix rice and lavender, bag it to use it cold or warm?
    All I need is the white rice. This morning I was just looking at the great lavender plant in the front of our house in a planter and told my husband that I hoped the lavender under the snow would survive this colder than usual winter here in Brooklyn NY. It held lots of flowers last year which I have, so I may follow your lead.
    I still have small bags of lavender flowers tucked in between my tee shirts and sweaters in the closet, I often squeeze the bags to release the scent.

    Monique

    Reply
  15. mary m

    I made a rice pack and put it in the microwave for two minutes to put on my stomach. Didn’t feel too hot but I suffered 3rd degree burns and took month of rehab at the wound clinic. Okay to use but never never put it in the microwave for two minutes

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Oh man, I am so sorry to hear that! I think it depends on how powerful your microwave is. When I looked online, many people suggested two minutes as a good time for microwaving the rice pack, but I like heating it a minute at a time to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.

      Reply
      • mary m

        Thank you Marian. My two year old microwave has 1100 w. My bikini days are over, lol
        My burns were so serious that the burn doctor considered skin graph but i moved on and began to heal slowly. My heart goes out to people wish visible burn scars as you cant hide them.

        Reply
  16. Rhonda

    I love the huge WECK jar. Is it vintage?

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! My mom bought it when we lived in German. She used to keep our flour in it. 🙂

      Reply
  17. SueA

    Very nice post. I’ve made these for years and they are always so nice to have with me when I travel.
    Marion, where did you get that lovely wooden scoop? It’s very pretty and scoops are so handy!

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      The wooden scoop is from Polder’s Old World Market. You can find them on Instagram.

      Reply
  18. Joan

    I use flax seeds. They can be bought in bulk. One and one half minutes in microwave is enough time. If too warm just wrap in kitchen towel to use until it cools a bit. Make sure microwave and your hands are dry because if it gets wet will burn a hole.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Thanks for sharing, Joan! I’ll have to give flax seeds a try!

      Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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