Rice Packs

I don't know how we would have survived the little bumps and boo boos of the toddler years without a couple of rice packs in the freezer. In my opinion, rice packs are better than ordinary ice packs. They can be used to cool, but not freeze, bruised knees or a feverish forehead or warmed in the microwave to provide relief from cramps and sore muscles.

Rice packs can be made with just about any lightweight fabric you have a few scraps of. It's also fine to vary the size, if you choose. For now, I am going to show you how to make four rice packs with a used, soft t-shirt, some velcro, and of course, rice.


  • A clean, used, plain colored, adult t-shirt (make sure there is no screen printing on the shirt)
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • 4 - 5/8 inch wide x 4 inch long strips of sew-on Velcro (the matching loop and hook sides are 1 strip)
  • Sewing machine
  • thread
  • 40-60 ounces of uncooked rice


Fold the t-shirt in half lengthwise on your cutting mat. Make sure it is smoothed out and there are no hidden wrinkles.

Use your rotary cutter to remove the hem of the shirt.

Cut two 5-inch strips from the shirt. Unfold the strips.

Lay one of the strips flat on the cutting mat. Cut off the seams on each side of the strip, making two 5 x 14 inch rectangles. Repeat for the second strip. You should now have four 5 x 14 inch rectangles.

For the rest of the directions, make sure you do each step with all four rectanges of fabric.

Lay your fabric right side down on an ironing board. Fold each of the short ends in 1/4 inch, press and pin. Sew down each of the ends with a 1/8 inch allowance.

Position the Velcro so that the hook side is centered on the wrong side of one end of the fabric and the loop side is on the other and pin it down. Stitch around each piece of Velcro to secure it.

Fold your fabric in half with right sides together. Pin the sides. Stitch each side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Trim the seam allowance on either end of the Velcro to about 1/8 inch.

Turn your work right side out. Fill each pack with 10-15 ounces of rice. Secure the Velcro and place your rice packs in the freezer so they are ready when you need them.

When you want to warm the packs, place them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time until they reach the desired temperature.

If they start getting a little dingy, empty the rice into a bowl, wash and dry the covers, refill them with the rice, and toss them back in the freezer.

Next time someone needs a little soft, cool comfort for their boo boo, you'll be ready.

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The Chilly Dog: Rice Packs
Rice Packs
The Chilly Dog
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