How To Make a Rice Filled Neck Pillow

A rice neck pillow is considered to be a good orthopedic pillow because the grains allow the pillow to contour the same shape of your head and neck. Rice pillows provide warmth as well. These are perfect home-made birthday or holiday gifts. What’s best is you can customize their color and their patterns depending on the fabric you are going to use. These pillows can be used as hot packs as well. Put them in a microwave and let them heat for two minutes, remove and you can use the warmth for one hour.

Gather your materials together before starting to sew the pillows. Here is what you need:

  • A good fabric – Muslin is the best fabric to be used for these pillows. It is thick and the weave is tight so it doesn’t allow any grain of rice to slip through the fabric.
  • Rice – White rice is the best to use because it’s odorless.
  • Needle and thread – Get the color that matches your fabric color and pattern.
  • Sewing machine – To sew good and consistent stitches.
  • Pillow case

Now to start making your rice-filled neck pillow:

  • Cut your fabric. You will need two pieces of 12 inches by 16 inches size of muslin fabric. A double layer of fabric will ensure that no rice grain will go through the pillow in case the pillow gets torn accidentally.
  • Sew the fabric together. Sew the two pieces of fabric together on one side, one on top of the other with the good pattern as the outside facing. After sewing the whole length of one side, fold the fabric at the width. The size of the fabric, when sewn, should be at 6 inches width and 16 inches in length. Sew one of the sides at the width. Only one width side should be open to pour the rice into it.
  • Reverse the fabric. After three sides are secured with double stitches, reverse the fabric so that the good pattern will be on the outside of the pillow.
  • Pour in the rice. Use white rice so the pillow will be odorless. You wouldn’t want to have a stinky pillow. You may mix some fragrant japans rice with the white rice to add a sweet smell. Crush in some potpourri into the rice as well to add fragrance.
  • Seal the pillow together. Don’t fill the pillow with rice at the rim. Leave some space for stitching and for some air space. Seal the pillow by folding the edges of the fabric inward at the opening. Use sewing pins to hold the fabric together and with a sewing machine, sew the opening shut with double stitching.
  • Put it inside a pillowcase. Make your own pillowcase by following the same steps as making the pillow except that the opening should remain open and add 2 inches at each side of the size of the fabric. Don’t forget to stitch the edges of the opening so your fabric won’t get ripped.

Having a pillow case protects your rice pillows from getting dirty. Since they’re filled with rice, never have them washed. Washing will cause the rice to puff and stick together – even when they are dry. Make two pillow cases to use alternately.


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