Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Making Your Own Rice Sock Buddy

With the Arctic Blast on its way, I thought it was about time to make another Rice Sock Buddy.

I first saw the idea of a Rice Buddy on the old Home & Family show several years ago. The idea is, you take a new tube sock, fill it with dry uncooked rice, and sew up the top.

To use it, you zap it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, until it’s warm enough for you. Then hug it, and enjoy the portable warmth. No batteries, no cords, no electro magnetic fields.

I have been using mine like crazy this winter! I zap it to toasty warm and carry it with me when I go to put deer corn out or get in the mail. I have another one warmed up for Mr. Man when he comes in from the cold. They just feel heavenly against a frozen face or *nose*.

I keep it in my lap sometimes, carry it around the house like a little baby, or even put it under the covers with me. It’s like having a faux pet in your lap while you watch TV! J And it is especially good at keeping my fingers from turning into icicles.

So, having made these out of tube socks in the past, I decided to go whole hog this time and make one out of fabric.

I wasn’t sure I had any cotton or linen fabric. Not that I don’t have an embarrassingly large fabric stash, for someone who doesn’t sew anymore. But I’m an old Stretch-and-Sewer, so most all of my fabric is knit. Thankfully, I found some woven in there after all, so made this cute little guy. Ooh, pretty! Maybe I will use knit fabric next time. Wouldn’t one made outa fleece be delicious?

Now if you’re making it out of fabric, of course, the size is up to you. The tube sock isn’t the most attractive thing in the world, but it works really well. In fact, after awhile it gets kinda floppy, which is perfect for tucking around your shoulders or neck for some extra TLC. So really, it has its place, too. I like to knead mine.

Now, I have also used flaxseed instead of rice, and have found that the rice gets and stays hotter. But I guess it’s just which you want to smell. I’ve never wanted one with lavender added, but you may. Me, I just use cheap rice. Maybe next time I will try tucking a fabric softener sheet in with the rice. Hmmmm... (Oh, great. Now I think of that!) J

And I have truly used mine so much lately that I don’t know how one manages without one! And even for one who doesn’t want to ever sew again (who, me?), it really is easy.

Just use a funnel and fill up a new tube sock with cheap rice, secure with pins, and sew across the end. In fact, I sew 3 seams across the end, just because the thought of a busted seam and rice going everywhere is just too crazy for me to cope with. So why not 3 seams for a little peace of mind. J

So, I hope you try making your own little bit of warmth and comfort. With the temperatures headed for single digits this week, you may be really happy you did.

Lucky Dog


  1. I have degenerative arthritis in my thumb and I've made one with a hole in one end for my thumb and then wrap it around my hand then secure it with velcro. It's wonderful!

  2. My Eldest's college group made rice bags for their fund raiser. Last year, I got one made from denim. This year, she gave me a starry night type print neck roll. Heavenly when the feet are like popsicles. I'm also enjoying your blog

  3. Hi Kim! Hi CJ!
    So happy to have you here!! :)

  4. I like the tubesock solution!
    About 10 years ago, barley bags were the rage around here (Calgary, CANADA. They sold well at every craft sale. Printed flannel makes the surface skin-friendly and the barley holds heat well, smelling quite nice.
    Another twist, is the soaker bag which contains water-holding crystals that swell with water -- nice cold tap water. In this case, they're best used to cool off during hotspells in the summer. When they dry out, they are flat for storage. Wet, they're ready
    to wrap around the back of your neck. Made for dogs too!
    The newest rage is worksock hats. You sew a pair together to make a hat, using toes/feet
    for ears. Kinda imagine a sockmonkey for your head.

  5. Thanks for posting this ~ reminded me that I have one tucked away in my closet. Duh ~ and how many cold days did I sit in my recliner under a blanket...could have been so much warmer!?! BTW, the one that was made for me has a little slip cover (pillow-case style) that can be removed and washed. Just a little added bonus!

  6. Mr. Man has reported that the one filled with flaxseed is softer and lighter than the rice-filled sock. He prefers that for his neck. FYI.

    I have zapped my tube sock full of rice so much that it's kinda toasted, and doesn't smell of rice very much any more. Just of *warmth*! I really like it so much better now! :)