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I needed a thoughtful gift for my daughter’s classmates birthday party. And because I don’t know the child very well and the parent told me not to worry about a gift, I had nothing to go on. Unfortunately, my 3.5 year old was not much help either. I decided that I needed a thoughtful, useful gift, that I could put together relatively quickly with the materials I had on hand.
I decided to make a Rice-Filled Owl Heating Pillow, using half a fat quarter, an old flannel pillow case, and some rice.
Because this was a quick project, I don’t have any good pictures of the process, just the final result. But it was a pretty easy project, even for a novice with the sewing machine like myself.
Procedure – How I made a Rice-Filled Owl Heating Pad Gift
- 8.5″ by 11″ piece of paper to create template – I used card stock so it was didn’t fold as I traced it
- Outer fabric – I used about half of a fat quarter I had at the house
- Inner lining – I used an old flannel pillow-case
- 2 two-inch fabric circles – I used the same old flannel pillow-case as my inner lining
- 2-3 cups of rice – to fill the pillow
The entire process took me about 20 minutes, including the time to set up the sewing machine. First I drew and cut out my owl pattern onto card stock. I then placed the template onto my fabric and cut out two owls from my outer fabric and two owl from my inner fabric. I also cut out circles for the eyes. These I positioned on one of the outer fabric pieces and then stitched around it with a dark thread. I used the same thread to sew a small circle into the center of the eyes as well as the outline of a beak.
Then I ironed all 4 owl fabric pieces and put them together into a sandwich, with my outer fabric’s right sides facing each other in the middle of the ‘sandwich’ and with the flannel inner lining making up the outside. I then using my sewing machine to sew around 3 and a half sides of the owl, leaving about a 2 inch gap at the bottom. Then I carefully inverted the owl, now ready to be filled.
Using a funnel, I added about 2 cups of uncooked, white rice to fill my owl. I used white rice because I had it available, but I’ve used lentils as well. Then I folded over the fabric and sewed shut the opening. Be careful not to fill the animal too full, otherwise it is difficult to sew shut.
An Extension & Customization Ideas
The simple nature of this project means it could done for any animal outline. I am already planning a cat heating pad for myself and a dinosaur for the next birthday.
Because you will probably have both rice and fabric left over, consider making 4″ by 4″ little rice “ice” packs to match.
Overall, this was a very successful little project that will hopefully get some good use. Now I have to make a few more, as the birthdays just seem to keep coming.
Have you or your child given or received any homemade gifts that thoughtful and useful?