It’s cold outside but this easy to make heat bag will help keep you toasty warm. Wheat bags are so easy to make, and they’re a great DIY gift idea too. Use your wheatbag for recovery from sports injury, to reduce inflammation in long term injuries, or just for a warm, snuggly comforter for cold nights.

What is the best filling for heat packs?

I’ve made these in the past and used wheat (you must only ever use buckwheat in wheat bags) however after a bit of Googling it turns out there are all sorts of things you can use including rice which is both inexpensive and easy to get hold of. Rice also has the added bonus of not smelling as much as wheat. I put about a ¼ teaspoon of cloves in mine and it smells wonderful!

These cute heatbags are super easy to make, but there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Make sure you use 100% cotton as it will be going in the microwave and obviously being heated, so synthetic P6260174materials can be dangerous.
  • Don’t be tempted to over-stuff the heat-bag. For the size I made (18cm x 28cm) I used 3 and ½ cups of rice.
  • When heating your bag for the first time you’ll need to keep checking the temperature, as microwaves vary in heating time, and each wheat bag is different. Mine take around 2 minutes to warm. So heat it for a minute, and then in 20 second increments until it’s nice and warm. Once you know the correct time for your heatbag then you’re good to go.
  • Every second or third heating time, warm the wheat bag with a cup of cold water in the microwave to prevent it from drying out too much.
  • Always let your heatbag cool right down to cold before reheating it.
  • Never heat in the oven.

I realise the above sounds a little cautionary, but heatbags have been known to catch fire in the microwave. And they can get very hot if heated for too long, which could cause a nasty burn for a small child. Do check out the Product Safety website for more tips on keeping safe around wheat bags.

How to make a rice heat bag or wheat bag


What you’ll need

100% cotton material (for example quilting print)

Rice (preferably white short grain) or buckwheat

A funnel

Sewing machine

Ground cloves (optional)

What to do

  1. Cut out two pieces of material the same size. Mine were 18cm x 28cm but you can make them bigger or smaller.il_fullxfull.434737337_1c4l
  2. Place them right side together and sew around leaving a 3 to 4cm gap. I sewed round twice as the rice I was using was a fairly fine grain but this isn’t necessary if using short grain rice.
  3. Feed material through the gap so the right side of the fabric is now on the outside.
  4. Using the funnel, fill with rice and cloves if you are using them.
  5. Sew across the gap as neatly as possible as this seam will show.


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Have fun making your own heatbag!

These really would make a great ‘get well soon’ present for someone who has a cold – especially if you included some homemade lemon honey drink on the side!

If you’re after the same result but without having to sew anything, this post shows you how. And for 100s more crafting ideas, check out our Creative arts and crafts section.

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Jodie Samson

looks great and easy to do

Jarrod Rendle

Super easy. We’ve been using our rice bag A LOT this winter!

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