Microwaveable Heat Wrap Tutorial

Need a practical, last minute gift for someone?  Why not make them something useful, a gift basket with some favorite teas, soothing lotion, perhaps a candle or homemade soap, and of course, a special flannel microwaveable heat pack to relax those achy muscles:


This project is rated Easy for beginner sewers and takes only 10 minutes once you have the following supplies:


Important Tip! Be sure to buy 100% cotton fabric for this project.  Cotton flannel from your local quilt store would be an excellent choice.  100% cotton fabric is safe to use in the microwave.

Let’s Begin!

Step 1: Fold over the ends about 1/2″ and stitch:


Step 2:  Right sides together, stitch down both sides.  The fold in the middle will become one closed end of the pack.  After this step is completed, you will have a tube with one end of the tube open and one closed :


Step 3: Turn right side out, and use a chopstick or similar object to push out the corners:


Step 4:  Fill with rice and  then stitch the pack closed.  It is important to only fill the pack about 60-70% full of rice for flexibility:


Once you have stitched the end closed using your sewing machine, your project will now look like this and be ready to use:


***Optional Step***   Blog visitor Sandy recommends that you fill the bag up a quarter, then stitch across, add another 1/4 of  rice, then stitch again.  Continue until you get to the top.  This will keep the rice from shifting too much.

Your finished project would then look like this:


Microwave Instructions:

To heat your wrap/pack, just put it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.  Adjust the time based on your make/model of microwave and pack size:


You are now finished with your first heat pack!  It stays warm for a very long time and easily wraps or molds to your body.

Make them in various sizes: I made my sock monkey heat wrap to fit my elbow or knee.  This one, sock money wrap #2, was made to soothe my abdomen or lower back.  Notice that I was experimenting with sewing channels and grids to see which I like best.  I ended up liking the long channels best:


As with all my tutorials, please let me know if you make one and how you like it.  Fell free to link to this page and also check out my free tutorial page here.

Regards, Carla

PS:  Randi made 8 of these heat packs today and also made terrific covers so they are washable.  Check out her photos here.  Great job, Randi!     And here is my heat pack with pillowcase:


34 thoughts on “Microwaveable Heat Wrap Tutorial

  1. Very cute, love the fabric.

    I’ve made many of these over the years (10yrs or so). I always sew channels, insert my rice … I do this so the rice doesn’t shift to one end … stays evenly.

    I also make small ones for GC and keep in the freezer for boo-boo’s.

    Merry Quilting.

    Thanks for that tip! I’ll add it to the tutorial and credit you.

  2. my sister made these years ago… gave me on… I have made a few over the years.. but kinda forgot about them til now.. you reminded me..thanks for the refresher! In a pinch i have put rice in a sock and tied the end…when i just wanted to use it for me…. and not a gift. I love this material!

  3. Great idea!! Good excuse to go to the quilt store and buy some flannel! I’m going to make one of these. Something quick, fun and useful — can’t beat that.

    Barb, you could also just use some flannel from your stash, too. LOL! The sock monkey fabric was nabbed from my stash pile.

  4. Carla, this could not have come at a better time! My closest friend suffers from leukemia and recently underwent abdominal surgery. She has been complaining of stomach cramps and has been sleeping with the heating pad on. I suggested one of these but she doesn’t have one. Now she will! Thank you so much for sharing so generously.

    Kathy, what a good friend you are! Be sure to experiment with size to fit the ailment.I would make it larger for abdominal pain, longer for neck and back pain, etc. I made mine for my elbow, which I injured while forging metal. Good luck! Carla

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  6. Thanks for posting this Carla. I’m going to make them for each of the kids and my husband. I was still scouring for the homemade item to give them, this year… I have time….. I have time…. I have time…..

  7. To make moist heat put a glass of water in the microwave for about 2 minutes then add your rice bag for another couple of minutes. The moisture in the air will give you a wonderful moist heat bag to use for those sore shoulders after stitching up all these bags 🙂

    Terrific tip, Kalli!! I actually did that the other night, but didn’t think to add it to the tutorial. Thank you!!

  8. Carla,

    As mentioned earlier, I made a heat wrap for an ill friend. I did make it larger for abdominal pain and made four long channels. I had some flannel angel fabric that I had been saving for just the right project! She was thrilled and after our morning coffee she headed home for a nap with her new gift. Thanks again, Kathy

    What a nice friend you are, Kathy! I love my larger one and now use it when a body part is sore. Thanks for the tip!

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  12. Wanted to let everyone know, I had made two of these about 7 years ago after my husband successfully burnout 4 sets of cherry pit-packs. I made mine out of drapery material I had left when I was making my bedroom drapes. Nice and heavy material and holds up well in the microwave. This year I had the idea of heating them up before going to bed and using them as bed-warmers. Surprized hubby one night when he crawled in and found them in the bed. They make great bed warmers – I live in the south so do not have need for electric blankts and this works great for the few cold days we do have. Will be making lots for next christmas to give all our kids/hubbies and grandkids.

  13. Hi Carla! I’m brand new to MQResource and found my way to your site. Your quilting is AMAZING, and gives this newbie lots to aspire to! About the rice bags…I use a couple of them to reduce the bounce of my quilt in my new Handi-Quilter16 frame. Proabably something you “big girls” are all aware of, but it’s been a big help to me! I look forward to keeping up with your blog!

  14. Thank you so much for the great tutorial, this project turns out great! I put a picture of the one I made with a link to your page on my blog today! Thanks again!

  15. I am totally inspired! I had been given one of these & used it all the time. Lost it while traveling & wished I knew how to make one. Now I will make a dozen. I have tons of flannel just this size left over from making flannel receiving blankets for years. Thanks for your generous help. PS The pillowcase cover is a great idea too.

  16. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I will be MODIFYING one I purchased from a friend years ago, so that the “rice” doesn’t shift around. (My friend used a larger kernel, I think he said it was corn.) Will make another one from some cotton I have on hand, and some rice that’s in the pantry! Thanks again!!

  17. Ok Everybody…this may sound really crazy…but I use mine when making bread! Yup, bread!!… I have a tube heat buddy, and when the bread is getting ready to rise…I heat the ‘buddy’ and place the covered bowl on it…and it works awesome!!! The bread rises in no time!!! Enjoy!

    • This little pillow filled with rice,
      Is such a comforting device.
      Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on HIGH
      and kiss those aches and pains goodbye.
      Apply it to the troubled spot,
      The heat will ease the pain a lot.
      Or warm those little toes, so cold.
      You’ll find this nice to have and to hold.
      Or freeze it for a little while,
      And fix that boo-boo up in style.
      Instead of a compress made of ice,
      Use this pillow filled with rice.

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  20. thank you sooooo much. It is 4:30 in the morning and I have such a spasm in my neck that I can’t sleep. And, ofcourse I cant find the heating pad. So I found your site and instructions. I am going to make one and go back to bed.

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  22. I recently made one using the leg of a pair of discarded denim jeans. Worked beautifully and loved being able to recycle the fabric.

  23. Hi, I would like to use corn in mine. Do you have any suggestions on what kind of corn to buy and how to thoroughly clean the corn before using it.

    • Hi Amy, The issue with filling the bag with corn is when you microwave it. You will end up with popcorn 🙂 I would suggest you stick with rice or a type of legume. Have fun!

  24. I just made a couple of these with soft terry cloth rags. The pinterest post I followed had me add an oil to the rice, like lavender for relaxation! Your flannel is cuter than mine, though!

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