Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World showed us how to make Monster Hand Warmers and the super-fun Tin Can Carrier. Today she shares a tutorial for the Monstrously Warm Rice Bag, which can be adapted to help to chase the sniffles away. (Instructions for adaptations on Wendi’s site.) Learn more about Wendi in her introduction and have fun making the rice bags! We also have an easy and popular Rice Heat Therapy Bag tutorial from Kristin for you to check out…

Winter means chilly toes and cold sheets! Scare those chills away with this Monstrously Warm Rice Bag. Here’s how to make it.


  • 1 rice bag insert (Download the free pattern at Shiny Happy World.)
  • 1 – 10 1/2″ square of faux fur (or other fabric)
  • 1 – 8 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangle of fabric for the top of the face
  • 2 – 4 3/4″ x 10 1/2″ rectangles of fabric for the bottom of the face
  • 1 – 10 1/2″ piece of jumbo white rickrack
  • Scraps of white fabric for the eyes
  • 2 – 3/8″ black buttons for the nostrils (for kids under 3 substitute embroidery)
  • 2 – 5/8″ black buttons for the pupils (for kids under 3 substitute black felt circles)

Make the eyes:
Draw a 3-inch diameter circle on one of your white fabric scraps. I traced around a soup can for mine.

Layer that with another scrap of white fabric. Sew all the way around the circle, right on your line. Trim away the excess fabric, leaving a little bit less than 1/4 inch seam allowance. It doesn’t need to be exact.

Pull the two layers of the circle apart and cut a small slit through one layer of the fabric. Turn the circle right side out through this slit. Work a chopstick all around the edges to smooth out the curve and press.

You can see the slit in this photo. It’s OK for it to be unfinished as it’ll be the underside of the eye. If you want to see a video showing this technique, watch this.

Repeat for the second eye, or make a cyclops!

Make the bottom half of the face:
You’ll need to add the rickrack teeth to the bottom of the face. Draw a line 1/8″ from the long edge of one of the smaller rectangles, on the right side of the fabric.

Lay the rickrack on the right side of the fabric so the valleys line up with the line you drew. Stitch the rickrack in place along the 1/8″ line.

Lay the second small rectangle over the first, right sides together, with the rickrack sandwiched between the layers. Stitch them together using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Flip the two rectangles right sides out and smooth them down where the rickrack comes out of the seam. Press. You can watch a video demonstrating the technique here.

Make the top half of the face:
Position the eyes two inches down from the top edge of the long side of the last rectangle.

Sew each eye in place. Use a simple straight stitch as close to the edge of the eye as you can get it.

Sew the two larger buttons in place as pupils.

Sew the two smaller buttons in place as nostrils.

Hem the bottom with a narrow (1/4″) hem.

Here you can see everything ready to assemble. The top of the face has the eyes stitched down, the pupils and nostrils stitched in place, and the bottom finished with a narrow hem. The bottom of the face has rickrack “teeth” finishing the top edge.

Put it all together:
The fur on the back of the head should be smooth as you run your hand down from the top of the head to the bottom.

Lay the fur rectangle furry side up. Lay the bottom of the face so the raw edges are lined up with the bottom of the rectangle. Pin in place.

The bottom of the face is it the top of the photo here; I like to pin toward myself. See how all the fur is tucked inside the pinned edges? That’s what you want. Watch this video to see how and why, or simply follow these instructions:

Lay the top of the face face down over the rest of the fur, with the raw edge at the top of the face lined up with the raw edge at the top of the fur. The narrow hem should be overlapping the rickrack edge. Pin in place.

Again, see how all the fur around the edges is smoothed inside?

Using 1/4″ seam allowance, sew all the way around the head.

Using 1/2″ seam allowance, sew again up the two sides (not across the top and bottom). That will help reinforce the stress points at the sides of the “mouth.”

Turn the cover right side out, heat up your rice bag and slip it inside. Hand it to your little one to take it to bed with them. Ahhhhh…