Make Your Own – Hot/Cold Rice Bags

We have an issue in our house with nosebleeds. I know, kinda gross, but Malcolm gets them every time it gets really dry. As soon as it happens we try to dry it up and then put a little bag of ice on the bridge of his nose to try to keep it from continuing. It is wet and messy and uncomfortable for him to try to go back to bed with that on his face (yes, it almost always happens in the middle of the night) but we do it because it helps.

I was looking through Pinterest the other night and came across these hot and cold bags from Bee in My Bonnet. She uses them for handwarmers but I knew they were perfect for Malcolm. So I took her basic idea and put my own twist on it. I couldn’t just create bags with one fabric so I freehand pieced (nothing was measured, I just cut about the right shape and sewed them together) knowing that they could be squared up later.

I can also add a drop or two of lavender essential oil to add a calming effect.

I used a really cute bug fabric called Beetle Boy which, unfortunately, is no longer available, a cute colorful stripe, and an orangey linen that was a skirt purchased at Goodwill because I liked the fabric. You can see how simple the piecing is – just cut and sew. You can use your sewing machine or I’ve made them by hand too.

The next step is some kind of very thin batting to keep the bag soft. I got a little carried away and used wool felt on both sides. It turned out to be too thick. I would recommend flannel. It is much thinner. (This step is optional but it does make the bag softer and gives it a bit more strength.)


I am usually not much of a pinner but for this project, with layers and fabric with nap, I highly recommend it. So pin layers together and stitch all the way around leaving an opening to turn bag inside out.


The next step is filling the bag with rice. I set the bag on end and scooped it in or you can use a funnel. I filled the bag up about halfway so that when it is flat it will mold to Malcolm’s face easily.


I could have just stitched the end closed but I decided to add one more bit of striped fabric over the end. You can do either. And that’s it! Simple and totally customizable.



The finished size is about 4 inches x 7 inches and it is already in the freezer for the next time we will need it.

While I was making Malcolm’s Hot/Cold Bag I decided that I could use a warm cozy bag for my neck while I work and watch TV so this is what i came up with for me. It is approximately in x in and is really comfy! I made it the same way but I used flannel on the inside and the pink on the outside is corduroy since I want this only for warm. Finished size of this one is about 4 inches x 16 inches. If you try one I would love to see a pic!