Winter Warmers-Hand and Lap Heating Bags

One lap rice bag and two hand held rice bags.

These little hand and lap heating bags are a wonderful way to keep warm in winter.

Here are some other ways to use hand and lap heating bags:

  • For little aches and pains.
  • To take with you when you go out. We warm ours up before going out and place them on our laps in the cold car. The hand bags can go into a coat pocket to keep hands warm.
  • Give as gifts.
  • When sitting for long periods of time, for example, when watching TV it’s nice to keep hands warm.
  • When coming in from the cold outdoors.

Here are the directions to make a hand or lap heating bag for yourself or an older family member or friend.

Materials and Supplies Needed:

  • Fabric (I like to use duck bill canvas or another heavier material that wears well)
  • Thread to match material
  • Rice (uncooked-I buy the bigger bags of long grain rice)
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Funnel or small cup to pour the rice into bags


  1. Layout fabric and measure your desired bag size. For my lap bag I measured approximately 11″ X 13″. For my hand bags I measured 5 X 5 inches. But feel free to measure yours any desired size to fit your needs. My mother had me make her a long and skinny bag to lay on her neck and shoulders which can sometimes feel achy.
  2. Cut two of desired size (front and back) from fabric.
  3. With right sides together and using about a 3/8″ seam sew three of the sides together.
  4. Turn bag right side out and push out the corners. Press seams open.
  5. Top stitch the three sewn sides leaving the open edge free for filling.
  6. Fill the bag approximately 1/2 to 2/3 full of rice. You must leave extra space for sewing the remaining side closed. If you have filled it too much you can always pour some out.
  7. Tuck in seam on open side, about 1/2″ and top stitch closed. Top stitch a second time if desired to reinforce the seam.
  8. Place handbags in the microwave for 15-30 seconds or less. The amount of time will depend on how big your bag is and how much rice you have in it.  You can place lap bags in a bit longer, approximately 1-3 minutes. Test your bag in the microwave starting with the least amount of time so bags do not get too hot.  If left too long in the microwave they can become extremely hot and even burn. (This has happened to me.) So it’s a good idea to watch and test yours out. Watch when using with an older loved one so it is not too hot for them. These bags are meant for warmth and comfort.

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