Rice Heat Therapy Packs
The other gift my mom and MIL received for Mother’s Day were these Rice Heat Therapy Packs.
They are simple, handsewn fabric bags filled with rice and essential oils. I used a combination of Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils for sinus congestion, colds, and achy muscles. I made the packs long enough so that they will stay on your neck, but they also work well over your eyes for headaches. You can stick them in the microwave for 1-2 minutes (and the packs stay hot for a long time!) or stick it in the freezer if you prefer cold relief.
I don’t have a step by step tutorial, but I DO have a few words of warning about the essential oils. Peppermint and eucalyptus are NOT the best choices for putting on your face, and I got carried away with the first batch of rice I made. I used WAY too much essential oil! You could smell it from across the house, and when I tried to “test” it out on my own sinus headache, my eyes were watering from the fumes. My point is this: take it easy with the essential oils. Start with a drop or two and add more later. I wound up “borrowing” rice from old sensory bins to tone down the oils.
You all know that I don’t sew much and don’t own a sewing machine, but here’s what I did: I took one piece of fabric that was double the width I wanted and sewed together, creating an inside out “sleeve.” Then I sewed one of the open ends shut, turned the fabric right side out and filled with rice. Then I tucked in the other end and stitched it closed. I’m sure there’s a way to do this so that both ends “matched” (this is probably a no-brainer for anyone who has made a pillow), but my skills aren’t quite there yet. I was just trying to get my stitches close enough together so the rice wouldn’t come out!!
I made one of these for myself, too and I’ve already used it several times this week. I love mine, and I hope my mom and MIL enjoy theirs too! This would make a great teacher/neighbor/friend gift too. (I wish I’d had time to sew some for all of the The Littlest Apple’s teachers this year.) Given how much extra scented rice I have leftover, we’ll be using this gift idea again in the future!