Most DIY rice and lavender heating pads come as big squares of fabric, which is great if you have upper back pain. However, they don’t address isolated areas of the body, such as shoulders, hands and feet. I’m sharing a tutorial on how to make a rice heating pad with lavender that is microwavable and works on ANY part of the body. (It looks adorable, too!)
These aromatherapy rice bags will make you want to treat yourself to some rest and relaxation or sew up a gift for someone special.
This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. For more information, please see my disclosures.
You may already have a rice heating pad or two lying around, so let’s talk about why a lavender heat wrap makes a difference.
Why does lavender help you sleep better?
Studies show that lavender aromatherapy can improve the quality of your sleep and help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Where do I sign up, right?!
According to WebMD, lavender can have the following additional benefits:
- Alleviates menstrual symptoms
- Reduces pain after surgery
- Alleviates canker sores
- Improves hair growth
That’s why it’s important to kick your feet up and relieve those sore muscles with a powerful combo of heat and lavender. Can I get an amen?
How to Make a Rice Heating Pad with Lavender
- Plain white uncooked rice (1 to 1.5 cups)
- Dried lavender flowers (1/8 to 1/4 cup)
- Fabric of your choice (1/8 yard) – see links at the end
- Plastic funnel
- Sewing machine
- Optional: lavender essential oil
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What kind of rice works best for a homemade heating pad? There’s no need to buy a special type of rice for your DIY lavender heat pack. Any plain white rice will work.
- Is there a no-sew heating pad option? Yes, you have the option to hand-sew this project or use stitch witchery for a no-sew heating pad option. The important part is making sure you can securely close the pouch and keep the rice and lavender inside.
- Will any type of fabric work? I used a variety of cotton calico prints, but you can experiment with canvas, felt or minky fabric. Double-layering fabric may help retain the heat. Do not choose a fabric with any metallic filaments if you plan to microwave your lavender heating pad. Let’s not set the house on fire! 😬
- What other projects can I make with lavender? When you buy these culinary dried lavender buds, you can make my lavender lemonade recipe or DIY lavender sugar scrub with any leftover supplies!
Grab your fabric, and prepare to be relaxed by the delicious lavender scent!
Step 1. Cut fabric in the desired pattern
I designed a heart-shaped lavender rice heating pad, which can serve as a great gift for women of all ages and be used as a sachet or air freshener.
You can download my same pattern in Adobe PDF format here.
You will need to cut a front piece and back piece for each heating pad you make. For my heart-shaped design, I folded the pattern and fabric in half to make it easier to cut. I love using this pen with water soluble ink to trace my patterns.
Step 2. Attach any embellishments (optional)
Step 3. Sew the heating pad
Place the front and back of your heating pad together so the right sides are facing each other. Using a standard 5/8-inch seam allowance, sew around the edges.
Don’t forget to leave a 1.5-inch opening so you can turn your fabric right-side-out and fill the bag with rice and lavender later. Be sure to also trim the tip of the heart (if using the pattern) to prevent bulk.
Step 4. Fill heat packs with rice, lavender and essential oils (optional)
Using a funnel, fill the heating pads with about 1/4 cup of rice at a time, alternating with dried lavender buds. You will only need 1/8 to 1/4 cup of lavender buds total, unless you want a stronger scent.
You can definitely cut back on the dried buds if you supplement with drops of lavender essential oil.
Step 5. Finish sewing the heating pad
To finish the lavender heating pad, close the opening along the sewn edge with an invisible stitch. See this video tutorial on how to sew an invisible stitch for details.
Recommended fabrics (scroll and click images to shop):
Microwave and Oven Instructions for Heating Rice Packs
Microwave Heating Instructions
The warming time may vary based on your microwave model. I find it best to heat the lavender rice bags in 30-second intervals but no more than 1 to 1.5 minutes.
Oven Heating Instructions
If you don’t have a microwave, you can heat your lavender rice pad in an oven-safe dish at a low heat (200 degrees or less) for 10-15 minutes.
Where to place heating pad
Place the heating pads on your neck, shoulders or, my personal favorite…on your feet! Wouldn’t these feel so yummy on your feet after a day on the ski slopes? You can use these cuties anywhere you need pain relief.
Gift Ideas for Rice and Lavender Heat Packs
I intend to use my rice heating pads as gifts for friends and family this Valentine’s Day, but here are other great spins to put on this DIY project:
- College logo heating pads for students
- Lavender sachets for drawers
- Mother’s Day gift or birthday gift
- Aromatherapy gift basket
- Teacher gifts
- Bridal shower or wedding shower favors
Pin it for Later!
How to Make a Rice Heating Pad with Lavender
- Cut fabric in the desired pattern. (Download free heart-shaped pattern in post.)
- Sew pattern with 5/8-inch seam allowance, or glue edges together with fabric glue, leaving a 1.5-inch opening.
- Using a funnel, fill the heating pads with about 1/4 cup of rice at a time, alternating with dried lavender buds. You will only need 1/8 to 1/4 cup of lavender buds total, unless you want a stronger scent. You may also mix lavender and rice beforehand.
- Sew an invisible stitch, or use fabric glue, to close the opening in the heating pads.
- Microwave the heating pads for about 30 seconds at a time, for no more than a total of 1 to 1.5 minutes. Alternatively, heat the pads in an oven-safe dish in the oven at low heat (200 degrees F or less) for 10-15 minutes.
- Place the heat packs on neck, shoulders, feet or other pain points, making sure to use caution to prevent skin irritation. Re-heat the lavender heat pad as needed.
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make a microwavable lavender and rice heating pad! Please drop me a line to tell me what you think! I read each and every comment. 🙂