Tie-dyed Rice Socks

The rice sock is a very popular item in our house, especially with the kids.  What is it??  It’s simply a sock with rice in it that’s used like a heating pad except that it’s more portable around the house.  I got my first two rice socks from the birth center where my kids were born.  The nurses used to heat one up and bring it to you to ease back pain during labor.  (They don’t do that anymore due to “liability” or some nonsense.)  Anyway, those are the two primary rice socks we own, along with one other one I made from an old sock.  Since my oldest child is now 15 years old, you can imagine how dingy the rice socks look by now.

I figured it was time to make some brand new rice socks — enough that each kid gets two of their own (so they will stop fighting over them), and make them unique colors so they know whose is whose at a glance.  Making rice socks is SUPER easy, and if you want to skip the whole tie-dye thing, go for it.  Also, no sewing is necessary!

What you’ll need for each rice sock:  A plain white tube sock (washed and dried) and 3 cups of uncooked long grain rice.

What to do:  Using a wide funnel, pour the rice into the sock.  Tie a knot in the open end of the sock to prevent the rice from falling out.  That’s it!!  EASY!!

(If you’re an overachiever and want to stitch the sock closed, go right ahead.  I’ll let you.  You could also add a drop or two of essential oil to the rice if you’re feeling super-ambitious.)

I don’t plan to list tie-dye instructions here because they may vary depending on what dye or kit you buy.  If you want to skip the tie-dye but still need to make each one different, consider tying a ribbon into the knot.  You could also use fabric markers and let the kids put their names on them.  If you do this, check the marker instructions to see if you should wash the socks after applying the marker.  You wouldn’t want the ink to transfer onto clothing (or the couch or whatever) after you heat the sock.

How to use the rice sock:  Microwave for about 1 minute.  Adults who want it *hot* can microwave it for up to 2 minutes.  For very small children, less than 1 minute.  Use the warm rice sock to snuggle with, for a tummy ache, ear ache, cramps, neck ache, back ache, etc.

Have you made or used rice socks?  Have you tried other fillings besides rice?  I’ve heard cherry pits or flax seeds work well.  I have experimented with dry beans, and small white beans like navy beans work well.  I highly discourage anyone from using split peas.  Pewww!


Please use common sense when using the rice sock.  Do not overheat it.  As with a heating pad, do not use it on someone who is unable to move it away if it feels too hot.  Also, please do not swing the rice socks around like nunchuks or else someone’s face (or a television or whatever) may get broken.  There, you’ve been warned.  Don’t be stupid.  If you do, it’s not my fault.