Some people, by the time Christmas is over, are ready for winter to be over too. Not me. I mean, we’ve only really had about 4 days of it by Christmas, technically speaking. (Yes, I know I’m speaking to Northern Hemisphere dwellers only.) I know, it’s cold, and people want the summer sun. But winter is my favorite time of year, so I’m still dreaming of whiteness as long as I can (even though we have quite green Christmases in my corner of California). It does get just cold enough here to wear sweaters and make all kinds of stews and soups and casseroles. Winter food is the best in my book. It still gets cold enough to snuggle up in blankets and hibernate a bit with a good book and a hot beverage. And it’s cold enough to thoroughly enjoy some hand-warmers.
I sewed quite a few hand-warmers for Christmas presents this year. This is just a few of them:
I made the kids “bed-warmers” that were just a larger version. The smallest hand-warmers are perfect for fitting in coat pockets to keep fingers toasty. And the medium size (upper left corner in the above picture) stay warmer longer and are great for bigger pockets. It’s a fast project and a good use for fabric scraps, with a really great pay-off at the end. Your fingers will thank you! The other good thing about this project (for me) was that I used up the rest of my 25 lb of rice bag I’d gotten bulk and thought would always be in my pantry. If you’re wondering what you’ll do with these when the lovely summer sun does come back, I read that you can freeze them and we’ve tried it and absolutely love them as ice packs. They are soft and not too cold, just perfect for sore bumps, bruises, and scrapes.
The free sewing tutorial is below, or click over to my store to get some even faster!
Some beautiful fabric and matching thread
Sewing machine or needle and hands
Twill tape or ribbon for handle (optional)
Hand-warmers- 2 1/4″ by 2 3/4″
Warmer hand-warmers- about 4″ by 5″
Warm packs/bed warmers- 4 1/4″ by 13″
- Cut 2 rectangles of your chosen fabric. My hand-warmer cut size was 3″ by 3 1/2″. The larger hand-warmers were 4 3/4″ by 5 3/4″. The bed warmers were 5″ by 14″. But you can make them whatever size you want.
- Place the right sides of fabric together and sew around both longer sides and one short side, leaving one short side open. I used 3/8″ seams.
- Turn the piece right sides out and poke out the corners with a ruler or something to make them sharp. On the short side that was already sewn, sew it again with a 1/4″ seam.
- Fill with rice… There’s a kind perfect amount to fill it. You want to be able to sew it up in the end but you want a good amount in there. I used a couple handfuls. So technical, I know.
- Fold in the open short edge, iron if needed to crease, and sew up with a 1/4″ seam to match the look of the other short end.
If you’re making a larger size, you may want to include a center seam or two for looks. You can also include a handle if you want. I sometimes use twill tape folded in two and sewn in on step 5.