Healthy, Homemade Gifts: Rice Sock


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

I've written about the miracles of the rice sock.

This handy low-tech gadget eased an excruciating sinus headache I had a few weeks back. Since I made mine, it had soothed sore knees after yoga, loosened a tight lower back and even warmed cold feet as I typed in my home office.

Have a friend who constantly battles aches and pains? Make one of these as a holiday gift!

Buy a new sock or, if you're especially handy, sew a long, thin tube for your rice sock. These rice socks come in handy, and they're an easy craft for kids. Make sure you use a new, clean sock if you're giving this as a gift. (If you want to get really fancy, buy a kit or use fabric scraps to sew a long sleeve for your rice sock.)

1 large (new) sock
1-2 pounds rice (any kind; the amount with vary based on the size of your sock)
Needle and thread

Fill sock with rice, then sew the top shut or use a ribbon to tightly tie the sock closed. (Make sure you explain to the recipient that they put it in the microwave until it's hot, then place it on the aching body part.)

Bonus: Add a few drops of essential oil to the rice to create an aromatherapy sock.

Rice socks are amazingly handy. Am I right? Who's with me on this?

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  • LINZW3
    I'm a third grade teacher and my students are preparing themselves to take the state standardized test. As a stress reliever, we made these rice socks. During the test and during classwork, students can place these on their laps or around their necks. The heavy weight is exactly what some kids need in order to sit still and focus in the classroom. To buy materials for my class of 19 kids, it cost me less than $30, not to mention the numerous benefits it provides! To make it even more fun, we decorated them with puff paint and pretty ribbon! :) They loved them! - 4/1/2010   9:14:21 AM
  • 142
    I put lavender in mine. Each time it is heated, it gives off a lightly fragrant, moist heat. It is flexible, so it fits around nicely wherever you need it. Also good on cold nights to warm the foot of the bed for cold feet! Have never frozen mine, but I shall - good idea. - 11/21/2009   10:42:09 AM
  • 141
    I also make these in a collar shape for wrapping around the neck. To make them fancy for a lady gift, I add lace. - 3/22/2009   10:58:53 PM
  • 140
    Never knew that you could freeze them to cool down. I will try that next time I have a headache. Thanks - 1/19/2009   8:36:54 PM
  • 139
    My grandkids love to make these for themselves. We get those extra long cotton knee socks, line them with an old panty hose leg (to prevent seed leakage) and fill them with millet bird seed. Some people do not like the smell of the bird seed, but I do. The kids even decorate them w/permanent markers. You can also put them in the freezer when you need a cold sock. - 1/6/2009   11:02:35 AM
    The kids and I made these for Christmas gifts, fun. I threw one together for myself last night (christmas eve), because I have a cold/sinus infection. Worked great, and I could leave it on while I fell asleep. - 12/25/2008   8:37:26 AM
  • 137
    I have a microwavable wrap I bought a few years ago. I accidentally found out that it would clear up my sinuses. I now wrap it around my head and I'm rarely congested. When I decided to make a sock wrap, I found out that buckwheat worked better than rice in holding the heat. The sock is the perfect size for congested sinuses in the cheek area. - 12/23/2008   10:31:34 PM
  • 136
    I have my rice bags for a several years, and I absolutely love them! For anyone who hasn't ever tried one, make one! They are so nice during the winter or just when you have sore muscles. - 12/18/2008   1:48:53 PM
  • 135
    I have never even heard of a rice sock. What on earth would this do for you? What are the benefits? - 12/17/2008   5:15:57 PM
  • 134
    I had one of these about ten years ago. It was a definite life saver when it came to menstrual cramps or other aches and pains or just to keep warm. I really love the idea of making these for gifts. They are economical gifts that are also fairly easy and fast to make. Thanks again for this idea. It's Great!! - 12/16/2008   5:09:10 PM
  • 133
    I can always tell when my daughter starts her period - the rice bag comes out, and she curls around it all evening. Someone made one for me when I was pregnant years ago, and I am a total convert. I never thought about cold, though! - 12/16/2008   8:01:41 AM
  • 132
    I make mine using old flanel pajamma sleeves doubled up. (one inside the other). I add some herbs for a nice scent. - 12/16/2008   7:17:47 AM
    I think that this idea could be used for Boot warmers. In the winter months, my boots seem to get damp and so cold, I was thinking of buying some boot warmers, I think that I will try making a couple of these, microwaving them and placing them in the foot of the boot. Think that it will be a more economical approach. Thanks! - 12/15/2008   10:33:46 PM
  • 130
    I made a bunch of these yesterday! I figured it cost me about $2 to make- half that was the rice. I made a muslin tube (4x18) to put the rice in and then used a variety of materials (flannel and some cottons) for the outer cover ( I cut these so they are 4 1/2 when folded inches wide so they are slightly larger than the rice sock). I put velcro on the outer cover and they turned out super nice! I used a few drops of lavender essential oil and they smell fantastic. Thanks so much for a wonderful idea! - 12/15/2008   5:04:37 AM
    Great for a tense neck - 12/15/2008   2:57:13 AM
  • 128
    I bought a package of tube socks and a 10 lb bag of rice today. The first one I made was for me. It's great. It's indistinguishable from one I bought several years ago and paid good money for. I'll be making several more as gifts for Christmas. I also bought a large towel at Target so I could cut it up and make washable covers for the socks. - 12/14/2008   11:50:29 PM
  • 127
    I'd never thought of the essential oil for aromatherapy. Wonderful idea! - 12/14/2008   9:12:01 PM
  • 126
    My partner, who has MS, lives with these things! They now make them in all forms - even hand and foot mitts!!!! - 12/14/2008   10:43:50 AM
  • 125
    My rice sock has been an absolute salvation over the years! I suffer from Fibromyalgia and that moist heat is just the ticket! - 12/13/2008   10:36:11 PM
  • 124
    I bought one a good while back and it has handles sewn on both ends. Loop- like ribbons. I pull one end thru the other and wrap it around my sore/heel spur foot after a long day. Wonderful! - 12/13/2008   10:30:17 PM
  • 123
    Boy, this is a great idea. I think I am going to use it for some early gifts to help family and friends make it through the holidays. - 12/13/2008   6:51:00 PM
  • 122
    Have never made rice socks, but have often used corn socks with dried field corn. They work wonders. - 12/13/2008   9:04:45 AM
  • 121
    It can also be used as an ICE PACK. Store it in the freezer. Use it for headaches or injuries. Good reason to make two. One for cold, one for heat.

    I like the sock idea. I was already familiar with this, but only sewing an 18 inch long tube. - 12/13/2008   8:41:46 AM
    A co-worker makes these and just loves hers. She has fibromyalgia. - 12/13/2008   8:36:54 AM
  • 119
    So many great ideas here! I'll be making several of these for Christmas gifts for the extended family. Thanks for sharing. - 12/13/2008   7:49:43 AM
  • 118
    Although I've used these heated for years to soothe back/neck pain and to keep me warm due to poor circulation, I hadn't needed to freeze one. Reading people's comments about using them cold gave me a 'Spark' of inspiration - perhaps this would be of use to the menopausal ladies who suffer so terribly from night sweats and hot flashes. - 12/13/2008   4:44:57 AM
  • SHERI1969
    I have rice bags here and they are awesome. You can freeze them or heat them. And the heat is wonderful and not burning hot like a heating pad. - 12/13/2008   12:20:44 AM
    i've done these for years by sewing nicely designed dish towels into a tube shape. - 12/12/2008   9:39:39 PM
  • 115
    I haven't heard of these but they sound like a great idea and a great gift. - 12/12/2008   6:57:20 PM
  • 114
    What a delightful & practical idea! THANK YOU for sharing it with us.

    I wonder whether or not the added scent might lead to rice molding or deteriorating in any way? How long can we safely keep & reuse the rice socks? - 12/12/2008   6:41:30 PM
  • 113
    thanks for the tip good idea. I have to do this for my self first and then for my friend,thank you, - 12/12/2008   6:37:33 PM
  • 112
    I think Ill do that it's such a good idea! - 12/12/2008   5:49:57 PM
  • 111
    this is a great idea for christmas gifts for someone who is crafty. I am gonna make a dozen of them for christmas to give to family and friends. - 12/12/2008   4:28:48 PM
    I had never thought of making one myself. I have a friend who suffers terribly from sinus so I'm making two today for her. A small one for her eyes and a larger one for her forehead. Thank you! - 12/12/2008   4:24:46 PM
  • 109
    I am making rice Neck Wraps(rice socks) and also Eye Pillows for christmas gifts. The Eye Pillows are the same as the Neck Wraps except that they at 4" x 7". I have scented my rice with Jasmine, lavender and Cucumber and Green Tea Essential Oils. They are for when you just want to relax and rest your eyes. They are made of silk or satin material.

    Great ideas, Thanks,

    Michele - 12/12/2008   3:06:57 PM
  • 108
    Just a note to anyone who may have trouble with mice....rice is a food grain. I had a teapot pad with cinnamon in it and a mousy visitor chewed holes in it. (It also alerted us to the mice! which we then had to take care of.) Rice could have the same attraction so if you DO have a possibility of critter sure to store your rice sock in a jar or tupperware when it is not in use. - 12/12/2008   3:00:32 PM
    I learned about this last year when my daughter came home from a friends house with a small version of one. Her friends mom gave it to her because she had an earache, and it worked wonders (she is my ear infection child). Every time she gets an earache now we pull it out and throw it in the microwave. She loves it and it works to keep the ear protected from the cold air when we have to go to the doctors for the ear. - 12/12/2008   12:59:30 PM
    I love this idea,& it is something anyone can make.This year it is a great idea as everyone is having a ruff time in the money department - 12/12/2008   12:50:44 PM
  • CLAWW855
    I have one of these that is lavender scented. It works great on neck and shoulder pain. - 12/12/2008   12:44:50 PM
  • JMLEE509
    In the summer, I put my rice sock in the freezer, then at night throw it in my bed to cool off. I never thought about heating it up! - 12/12/2008   12:35:15 PM
  • 103
    Thank you so much for this blog!! Especially everyone's little tidbits like the different sizes idea, or the christmas socks (how CUTE!) etc. I see a travel pillowcase filled with one of these to give my friend's Dad, as he's always cold.

    - 12/12/2008   12:16:46 PM
    Nice! These work really well. It is really soothing when warm and on your neck. I used to have one that I got as a gift one Christmas. It wasn't homemade though! I searched everywhere to find a new one and finally found one at Bed Bath & Beyond. I wish I'd seen this a few months ago! - 12/12/2008   11:37:42 AM
  • 101
    this sounds so cool - 12/12/2008   11:37:36 AM
  • 100
    Geez, all I need now are essential oils. I already have everything else at home!

    Great idea! - 12/12/2008   11:28:05 AM
  • 99
    Wow, since I'm suffering with sinus trouble right now, I'm heading for my sewing machine! - 12/12/2008   10:56:44 AM
  • 98
    I can't believe I recently spent over $30 last year buying one of these when I could have made one of my own!

    Thanks for this awesome blog. - 12/12/2008   10:56:18 AM
  • 97
    I made the tube style 'rice sock' nearly 30 years ago. Mine is approximately 12 ins long and I put in about 1 cup of rice then sewed across the tube (4 ins from bottom seam) added another cup of rice, sewed across the tube at about 8 ins then added the last cup of rice and sewed the top. This way the rice doesn't settle to the bottom. I actually had two - one I used in the microwave for heat therapy and the other I put in the freezer for bruises etc. In hindsight I would actually make a cover to go over these tubes so they could be washed every now and then. - 12/12/2008   10:53:49 AM
  • 96
    This is such a great idea - I think I'll make some for my extended family. We have 2 larger ones that are filled with lentils and they're GREAT. About a minute in the microwave is perfect, and ours are large. I think socks will make great hand warmers, but take much less time in the microwave! - 12/12/2008   10:24:00 AM
    Rice socks are great. I used one during labor. I had back labor so bad and the rice sock felt so relieving. I'll definately do that again!! - 12/12/2008   10:17:15 AM
  • 94
    Yes, this would make a great gift. Thanks for the idea. - 12/12/2008   10:07:49 AM

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