Cheap and effective, these little rice bags are brilliant alternatives to hot water bottles and sacks of frozen peas. They’d be great thrown in with a sports bag/voucher, or with some nice soaps and hot chocolate for a snoozy, treaty sort of thing.

You need:

  • A kilo of rice (Sainsbury’s Basics is around 40p)
  • Enough fabric to contain it, in a shape of your choosing.

For this, I wanted a long, thin bag to stretch across the small of my back. So, I cut a piece of cloth twice the length I wanted, folded it in half with right-sides together and sewed up the sides. After I’d turned it so the right sides were facing out, I poured the rice in and stitched up the top.  Total time to make, start to finish? Around five minutes if that, and for only 40p plus fabric scraps, this looks like it cost a lot more.

Supplies. This rice came from Aldi for around 40p. Sainsbury’s Basic is a similar price.

Sew up the long edges of the bag with right sides facing.

Turn it so that the right sides face outwards…

Fill with rice.

Sew up the top.

Done! I guess you could use this as a draught-excluder-come-doorstop.

For heating, start by placing in the microwave for one minute and see how that feels. If it’s still not hot enough, go up by ten seconds. I’ve found that these bags are usually best when heated for around one minute thirty seconds, but I really would recommend testing yourself to ensure you/the recipient doesn’t get burned. As ever, I accept no responsibility for crafts which go horribly wrong and hurt you – physically or emotionally…

To freeze the sports bag, do just that. Toss it in the freezer, leave a few hours and then apply to anything you’d normally douse in peas.

Points to consider:

  • If you wanted to make this a little more decorative, you could attach trim to the fabric before sewing it into a bag.
  • For a freezer bag for sport, you might want to try a square shape. Not only will this fit better in the freezer but it’ll also cover more body parts.
  • If you were feeling really creative you could decorate the freezer version like a bag of frozen peas.