Tutorial | Hot and Cold Pack

Annnnd now I have Katy Perry’s ‘Hot and Cold’ song stuck in my head. But, that’s fairly appropriate since that’s the theme of spring here in Colorado and the theme of this project!

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

It was a gorgeous 70 degree day on Sunday, so my folks and I went out for a bike ride. We are pretty into road biking – spandex, clips, bike gloves, helmets… the whole shebang. But since I hadn’t rode in like 5 months, I completely spaced bring a water bottle. We stopped at Target half way through the ride and I picked one up. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the squeeze top kind but I figured a twist cap wouldn’t be a big deal.

Well, we were biking along and I though I had the skills to take off and put the cap back on my water without stopping. I mean, I see people biking all the time without hands, so I figured I should be able to do it for a total of 3 seconds to maneuver the cap. Turns out I can’t. My wheel immediately turned all the way to the right and I ended up in a crumpled pile on the ground with my bike tangled with my limbs. Besides some gross scrapes and bruises, I’m not too worse for wear. But I have definitely been sore this week. So, to help soothe my stiff joints, I whipped up this easy hot and cold pack.

Want to make one too? Let’s get started!


  • Fabric
  • Uncooked Rice (the regular kind, not the ‘minute’ kind)
  • Essential Oil (optional)
  • General Sewing Supplies


One: Cut out two pieces of fabric the same size for the body of the pack. I cut mine 20 inches by 8 inches so it would cover both shoulders at the same time.

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Two: Cut out two pieces of fabric for the handles of the pack. I cut mine 14 inches by 2 inches.

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Three: Fold the edges of the handle in to the middle and press.

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Four: Fold the handle in half again and top stitch along the edge. Repeat for the second handle.

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Five: Pin the handles on the end of one piece of fabric, right side up, and baste stitch.

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Six: Place the two pieces of fabric for the pack body together, right sides together and stitch. Leave a 3 inch hole in one end.

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Seven: Turn the pack right side out and press.

Eight: Top stitch around the pack still leaving the 3 inch hole open. Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of the top stitch.

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Nine: With some tailors chalk, mark on the back of the pack 5 straight lines to divide the pack into 6 sections.

Ten: Mix the rice and essential oil together.

Eleven: Using a funnel or a piece of paper rolled up, pour a little bit of rice into the pack, just before the first marked line.

Twelve: Sew along the first marked line, backstitching at the beginning and end, but don’t sew to the edge. Leave about an inch on either side so that the rice can move between the sections if necessary.

Thirteen: Repeat steps 11 and 12 until all the sections are filled with rice.

Fourteen: Stitch the 3 inch hole closed.

And that’s it! Just toss it in the microwave for about 2 minutes to heat it up or put it in the freezer to make it a cold pack. Make sure to always keep an eye on the pack while it’s in the microwave for safety!

Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com Hot and Cold Pack Sewing Tutorial at Sewbon.com

And, for good measure, here’s a pic of Andy and me biking in the mountains. 😉

Sewbon Biking

As I sit here with my hot pack on my shoulder, I’d love to know… what’s your clumsiest moment?

  • http://www.thehomeyowl.blogspot.com/ Stacia

    I adore the fabrics you used! My mom and I have made several hot and cold packs similar to this. We love them. They’re good for so many aches and pains! I hope your scrapes and bruises heal quickly!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      I love that double gauze nani iro fabric – so soft! Thanks for the well wishes! I should be good as new in a couple more days. :) I just need to be more careful next time! ha!

  • http://needleforthoughts.blogspot.com/ Fooniks

    This is a great tutorial. I really should do something like this for myself as I am incredibly clumsy. I can’t walk on even ground without stumbling over my own feet 😀 And as I have migraine episodes quite often, this would help me out a lot :)

    Thank you for the tutorial :)

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      I’m so glad you liked the tutorial! I would love to see yours if you make one! :)

      • http://needleforthoughts.blogspot.com/ Fooniks

        I started to wonder if it also works with using buckwheat instead of rice. I’ve heard that it’s more healthy and they use it inside pillows as well. any thoughts?

        • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

          Ooh, interesting idea! I’m not really sure as I’ve never used buckwheat, but as long as it doesn’t cook when heated or mold, I would think it would work…

  • Teresa

    I went into my kitchen in the dark ( of course you know where everything is ) there was a plastic lid on the floor, next thing I know I’m on the floor with my left leg in front of me and my right leg went out then under my butt, I’m 67 to old to be doing splits on the kitchen floor, could have used the hot cold pack. What are your thoughts about Velcro for the closure, in case something goes wrong with the rice ?

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Yikes! That sounds painful! Hmmm… I think velcro could work if it went the entire length of the opening and there wasn’t any gaps at the edges that rice could fall out through. If you use that, I’d love to know how it works for you!

  • Sarah Helene

    CLEVER & PRACTICAL TUTORIAL– Hot and Cold Pack! Lovely muted floral pattern fabric for one side & cotton chambray for the other side, filled with uncooked rice & oil. Directions are EASY to follow in 14 steps with sharp photos, too. THANKS for sharing. FAB idea for gift giving, so I plan to sew a few for friends. Sarah in Minneapolis

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Aw, thanks so much for the kind words, Sarah! I’m so glad you like the project!

  • http://lovelyandenough.com Kelsey Boes

    I’ve been following you on Instagram, and it was so fun to search for a hot pack just like this one on Pinterest, and see a link to your site pop up! I am about to make this pack this evening. I need it haha. Although, I might trade your cute little handles for ties, so I can secure it around my lower back. Thanks for the lovely tutorial!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      I just saw your site and your quilts are AMAZING! So gorgeous!

      Also, I’m glad you liked the tutorial! Changing the handles to ties is genius!

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