Warm Compress Rice Bag

Warm Compress Rice Bag

THIS should be a testament to how much I love you guys… I am sharing some of the most unattractive pics of myself ever! So… this is what I’ve looked like the past couple of days. There are only 2 photo ops of me this week… nose running or blowing nose. Okay, on second thought, I could have shared a more unattractive picture of myself… sans Kleenex! Anyway, I’m at the beginning of a cold… you know when everything aches, liquid comes out your nose as quickly as you can take it in, and you find yourself cursing the cold virus for its evolutionary ability to mutate!

So far, everything is in my head. This morning I went on a quest to find this wonderful little rice bag my equally wonderful SIL made for me several years ago. The more I looked, the more my head hurt. Finally, I decided it would be just as easy to make a new one as it was to continue this grueling quest!

So, in my weakened condition, I climbed the stairs (of course with camera thumping on my chest) and in 15 minutes, I was heating my new rice bag in the microwave, then sitting back and enjoying the warmth on my abused sinuses!

For those of you that have yet to discover the joys of a rice bag, it is simply a cloth bag, filled with rice, that you warm up in the microwave. (Some people simply put rice in a sock and tie it off.) The rice conforms to the area of your body you put it on, in my case it’s usually my sinuses, but can also be used on muscles and joints. When the bag cools off, simply nuke it again, and it’s good to go. (Note to self: store the rice bag in the cabinet above the microwave so I don’t misplace it again!) 

These would make great spur of the moment gifts to have tucked away somewhere… who couldn’t use a little extra pampering now and then? You can also put dried herbs and flowers in the bag for additional comfort and aroma therapy. They make great stress relievers. I so wanted to add some lavender to the rice, but I used the last of my supply over the holidays. I resigned myself to filling my bag with just rice, but given the relief it has brought, I’m not complaining.

If you you would like the embarrassingly simple directions for making your own Rice Bag, they can be found HERE, or with our FREE Patterns. BTW… for future reference… what is your favorite aroma therapy herb or flower to add to sachets? 

FYI… if you’ve ever tried to take a self portrait, you know how difficult it can be. Try doing it blindfolded! Thank goodness I have a digital camera because I have about 50 unusable pics of various parts of my body and the room!)



  1. Kimara, I feel your pain… lol
    I’m sitting here with coffee on my right and the Kleenex box on my left — just the start of a cold, but I’m going to fight it to the death!
    I love making rice bags, especially with the kids — they are great help in stuffing the bags, when you really need extra hands!
    Love using up odds and ends of fabric for it too… at Christmas, I discovered a neat mixture for a bigger version of the bags: about half buckwheat hulls, half something heavier like rice or seeds — something organic anyway! I sewed 4 channels in the bag, side by side, and it works very well as a bed-warmer for the kids. (Finished size: about 8″x 11″)
    Favourite scents for these: lavender or eucalyptus!
    Hope you get better soon!
    Terri A.

    1. Love the bed warmer idea. With turning down our thermostat, and refusing an electric blanket (seems counterproductive, plus I hate how they heat) I just need the bed warmed a bit til our own body heat makes us toasty. I just bought a hot water bottle for that purpose, but I’m loving the idea of an aromatic bed warmer. Thanks for sharing. 

  2. I am doing a little victory dance. Wish you could see if. This past weekend my MIL gave me her old sewing machine because she got a new one. But it doesn’t look old to me. I think she bought a new one so she could give me this one. She is a sweetheart. She also gave me a trunk of fabrics she had “laying around”. I read your blog and went straight to work. When I cut the fabric 10″ the strip was enough for 4 rice bags. I sewed them all up and just stuffed one. I putting the other 3 away for Christmas gifts. I will fill them then. I am so excited. This is the first thing I made on my new old machine.

    Thank you so much for your site. I love you guys, really I do. I can’t believe how much you give. Know that we love you for it. I’m sorry you are not feeling well. Evil viruses!

    My all time favorite potpourri ingredient are rose petals. I love roses in the garden and in my sachets. I put some in the rice bag, along with a couple drops of rose oil. It smells so good warmed up. Thank you so much. Sorry this is so wordy but I’m so excited. You guys rock!

    1. Well, I’m feeling pretty special that we were a part of the maiden voyage of your new "old" sewing machine:) Great idea to make a few extra and put them away unfilled. They’ll take less storage space and won’t encourage some little mousey friends to nosh!

  3. I have these all over the house and last year I sewed a fabric box that sits on top of the microwave that holds 1/2 of my rice bags. We will at least know where 1/2 of them are at any given time.

    I use lavendar with a hit of clove oil in mine.

    Hope you feel better soon!!

  4. Feel better dear sweet Kimara! I hate to think of you as sick, even with a cold. I have a question that you or one of your readers may be able to answer. I love the smell of mint. It is my favorite aroma therapy scent. How can I get that scent in homemade mixtures? I grew mint last summer and dried some but they just didn’t seem to hold their scent. I want to make one of these rice bags with a mint scent but I’m afraid the mint I have dried isn’t going to do anything for it? HELP!

    1. you might just try buying peppermint/wintergreen, etc essential oil and putting that on the bag. I have found that dried mint just isn’t like when it is in full bloom!

  5. Please get well soon Kimara! I love rice pillows myself. I have a heart shaped one which I love to use on a cold, rainy night!

    Be well! xoxo

  6. I hope you feel MUCH better soon. I love cuddling up with a heated bag when I’m not feeling well. I like to use flax seed in mine. I have not scented mine before, but I’m certainly going to try now. Probably mint or maybe rosemary – love that piney smell.

  7. Prayers and positive thoughts for a quick recovery! I think this month we will make one for each set of grandparents and add them to our Granparent envelopes.

  8. I think I am coming down with the flu! Aches in every joint and muscle!!! 🙁 Wish I had a giant bag for my whole body.

    My Grams made a few of these years ago and while my mom was battling her cancer we would heat them up to bring comfort to her sore spots. I love your idea of storing them near the microwave too.

    Hope you are feeling better soon!


  9. i love how you are entertaining yourself (and us) while feeling so miserable. 😉 these bags are great. lavender is my fave. i don’t do the microwave….thinking toaster oven may be okay? my son has a wool lamb with a cherry pit filled insert that i warm in the toaster oven on low before bed. so nice. feel better real soon!

  10. it’s a little tip from the tradition chinese medicine::use red beans instead of rice! hot red beans can ease the swellness of body n allows better blood circulation. try it! =)

    1. Never heard of that. I’ve got a stack of extra unstuffed ones made, and I even have dried red beans in the house… uh, see the well stocked pantry, hehe! So… I’ll stuff one and give it a try. Much thanks.

  11. the ricebags are also handy when not ill, they live in my sewing room and are very handy to keep down patternsheets and such 🙂

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