This microwaveable neck wrap will instantly soothe with warm heat for quick relief, complete with the calming aroma of chamomile!
If you love the soothing relief of a hot bath or heating pad, then this DIY rice neck wrap is a must-have for your pain relief arsenal. It’s portable and can be used anywhere you have a microwave – like an office cubicle, hotel room or at home.
Heat is one of the most comforting forms of natural relief for achy joints, headaches, or menstrual cramps. The wrap measures about 22 inches when sewn, perfect for draping around your neck or lower back comfortably.
How It Works
It takes just two minutes to heat up this rice pad, which stays warm for about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes of use, move the rice around the pad to redistribute heat and re-apply.
When to use:
- Before bed to help relax
- When sick to ease aches
- When experiencing menstrual cramping
- After working out to soothe muscle pain
- On back for pain management
- Any other areas that may experience tension or joint pain (neck, knees, etc)
The calming scent of chamomile is mixed with rice before filling the wrap. Use dried chamomile flowers or chamomile tea to enjoy the subtle sweet scent.
Use these herbs to help ease specific ailments:
- Dried Lavender: promotes relaxation
- Dried Mint: invigorating and soothing
- Dried Eucalyptus: ease congestion
- Dried Lemongrass: uplifting
- Do not overheat the wrap to avoid burning skin. Heat in 30 second increments to test your microwave’s heat level.
- Use only microwave-safe materials like 100% cotton, and avoid plastic or synthetic materials.
- This wrap makes a wonderful handmade gift for friends and family.
- 100% cotton fabric (24x10 inches)
- 6-7 cups rice
- ½ cup dried chamomile
- Measure and cut material approximately 24” long and 10” wide. Fold the fabric in half (inside out) so that it is 24” long and 5” wide; this way you only have to sew 3 sides.
- Sew the long side first, approximately ¼” inseam. Next sew one of the short sides.
- Turn inside out so that the rough seams are hidden, forming a tube.
- Fill with rice and chamomile about ⅔ full. Don’t overfill, the rice needs room to conform to your neck.
- Fold the remaining side in to hide the rough edge. Sew closed: you can sew by hand or with a sewing machine.
- Microwave wrap in 30 second increments and test against wrist for desired heat level. Place onto affected area for 30 minutes.
Use a knee sock, fill, tie off the end in a knot. Done. 😉
Good idea Jenn! -HB Team
I love this. Thank you for your time writing the article. I’ve always used socks, but people look at me funny for having a sock wrapped around my neck 😆
Hey… if it works, it works. 😉
I love your instructions on neck wraps. Making some and wondered how to acquire the type of chamomile you put in the neck wrap. I cannot find only in tea. Thank you
Check out local apothecary or health food stores. Otherwise, you can purchase herbs online at shops like Mountain Rose.
FYI – I have found the rice wrap also makes for a great cool wrap by putting in freezer for those potential injuries that may happen. It did not get wet while thawing at all and laid very comfortably on ankle unlike some of the gel packs
How did you keep it dry in the freezer and thawing?
Thank you for providing simple instructions to make an herbal wrap! I plan to encourage family caregivers of persons with dementia to use herbal wraps for their loved ones. The warming and aromatherapy properties should provide comfort to the loved one, especially if they are upset or cold. And why not make one for myself?
What a lovely idea Susan! Thank you for sharing. =)
Can you use essential oils?
I suppose you could try it, but I’m not sure how the oils would do with the rice since they are wet. The rice may absorb the oils and I’m not sure how well you’d be able to use it that way. If you try it, let us know. I think using the herbs would be safer and wouldn’t make a big mess.
I use essential oils with rice in a cotton-made bag or tube for the neck and it works wonderfully. I use about 4 cups of rice (depends on how big the bag is) to 10 drops of each of two different types of oil that work well together and it smells for a long time. You could always inject the rice with a needle syringe with some oils through the cotton sac when it starts losing its smell. I leave mine in the microwave for about 3-4 mins. But always do it 30 secs at a time after the first minute and a half of the heating to check how warm it is.
Was wondering if you can use the Chamomile tea packets mixed in the rice instead of purchasing the dried Chamomile.
Yes, I think that would be just fine. You might remove the chamomile from the tea bag to mix it well with the rice, but other than that, that should work fine. Thank you!
Do you have a certain type of material so the dust of rice leaks out…?
You could rinse your rice first.
I’m going to put my rice and “seasonings” in a sealed bag, and put that inside of a cute bag that can be washed. I think i’ll use a couple small buttons or hooks to close the outside wrap. After awhile, it may need to be washed, or changed out for another print/style/fabric 🙂 Thank you for the instructions.
by sealed bag….i mean make one of these and sew it closed put it inside of another one. I certainly don’t mean a plastic bag, just in case someone reads this and thinks i’m crazy ;-0
Haha! Thanks for the clarification, Julie! Sounds like a great idea. 🙂
How long before rice is no good? How many times can it be heated? Can it be emptied and refilled easily?
Hi Mardi, the rice will last for while. I’m still using mine from six months ago with no troubles. It may be difficult to unstitch to refill, but not impossible. You could always experiment with making a new one with different essential oils. There are a lot of ways to customize this. Let us know what you think when you try it! ~HB Support.
Julie…..I make mine the same way with a fabric sealed bag for the rice and adding another bag for the cover. They last for years like that. I also fill a syinge (with a heavy duty needle) with lavender oil and poke into my first filled bag with the solution. Best solution for headaches!
I need to check the temperature of the neck warmer before use due to sensitive nature of the individuals that will be using it.
How can I quickly, easily check the temperature?
Is there a specific type of rice that is recommended?
Thanks in advance.
I used plain ol’ white rice. 😊
Can I use long grain brown rice ?
Can I use long grain brown rice ?