Introduction: DIY Personalized Hand Warmers

Picture of DIY Personalized Hand Warmers

We live in Toronto Canada where it gets pretty cold. Some nights we're at -40C! Brrr! We have snow pants, mitts, warm jackets, toques, scarves, and boots. However, sometimes you just need a little bit of extra warmth for your hands. We try not to let the cold keep us from going out and enjoying the winter weather.
The best part about these hand warmers? They are easy to make, fun to use, and won't break your budget.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Picture of Gather Your Materials
To make these hand warmers, you need:

  1. Scrap fabric for the hand warmers
  2. Scrap fabric for the personalized initial
  3. Sewing supplies: Thread, sewing machine (or needle and thread), Scissors, Pinking Shears (optional)
  4. Funnel (optional)
  5. Rice
The fabric should be 100% cotton as these will go into the microwave. I chose to use flannel for added warmth. This project is so small that you could probably get away with buying 1/8th of a metre from the store if you don't have any scrap fabric.


Step 2: Cut Your Fabric and Sew on the Applique

Picture of Cut Your Fabric and Sew on the Applique
While it's not necessary to personalize a hand warmer, if you're giving them out as gifts and using the same fabric, it's nice to know whose is whose!

  1. Cut 2 pieces of fabric that are 3" x 6". In a contrasting fabric, cut out your desired initials
  2. Fold the 3" x 6" pieces with the wrong sides facing inwards. Press.
  3. Centre your initial on one side of the fold and sew using a straight stitch. I used a jersey fabric that doesn't fray. If you choose a fraying fabric, zig zag the initial onto the fabric.

Step 3: Put It Together

Picture of Put It Together
  1. Sew around the perimeter of your square but leave a 1" opening. Reinforce your stitch at the opening. You're almost done!

Step 4: Fill It Up

Picture of Fill It Up
  1. Fill the square with rice using the opening. Use the funnel to make it easier or if you don't have a funnel, use a rolled up piece of paper. I used a little less than 3 tbsp of rice.
  2. Pin the opening and sew it shut. Back stitch over the opening to ensure it's extra strong.

Step 5: Final Touches

Picture of Final Touches
  1. Here's where pinking shears can be used to make a decorative trim around the hand warmer. You could also do a zig zag stitch around the whole square if you don't have pinking shears.
  2. Ta da! You're done!

Step 6: Make Some More

Picture of Make Some More

I couldn't resist making some more. I made some without initials and some with initials. I like having the initials, especially if you're going to make a lot of them.

My kids are using them as bean bags when they are inside the house. Outside the house, we use these to warm up our pockets. Microwave on a microwave safe plate for 20-30s. Handle with care as these will be hot!

Enjoy!

Comments

nancyjaneyoung (author)2017-10-30

Excellent DIY! I am no longer living in Toronto but it is coldddddd in Nova Scotia, too! Allow a question, please? For the life of me I cannot make serious looking initials unless I get out graph paper and ruler. How did you make yours???

Kailyn_col (author)2016-12-15

What else could you do if you don't have needle and thread or sewing machine

rayamerica (author)Kailyn_col2016-12-18

staples? normally hot glue, but since you will be heating these up that probably won't work.

keeley.wadsworth (author)2014-10-27

also... does it have to be 100% cotton?

I think it's nicer if it's 100% cotton but you can certainly use whatever you want. Wool is nice too!

addiele (author)MyHandmadeHome2015-12-23

If you use 100% wool do you need to spray it with water before you put it in the microwave?

addiele (author)MyHandmadeHome2015-12-23

If you use 100% wool do you need to spray it with water before you put it in the microwave?

Thank you! =) i found some favric i want to use, but its a cotton mix! Worried it might burn over time?!

I have only ever used cotton. If your mix is higher on the poly side then I would not recommend it. Years ago I had purchased a bean bag from a craft show. The vendor recommended that I spritz the bag before microwaving. I'm guessing it's because she didn't use 100% cotton...

Ah!! Makes sense! =) ill give my dabric a go amd hope my house doesnt burst into flames =)

You could also try using fabric from an old t-shirt!

keeley.wadsworth (author)2014-10-26

How long do they stay warm for?

Oh gosh... I'm trying to remember. I used to put them in my mitts and then take them out after about 15 min. I'm sure it'll be cold here in a couple of weeks and I'll make note of the time.

Sounds about perfect timing to me, thank ypu for replying! =)

Anthony Dr (author)2014-01-11

I'm in Toronto, too! What a great idea, seeing as how we have 3 months of cold weather still ahead of us. Probably the cutest handwarmers here. Thanks! ;^)

Andrew Garfield (author)2014-01-09

really rice idea and its easy to make too good work

Thanks Andrew!

Afterglow (author)2014-01-09

awwww these are so cute! what type of rice did you use for this? I've heard that basmati rice smells nice but it doesn't seem to hold heat for too long.

MyHandmadeHome (author)Afterglow2014-01-09

Thanks Afterglow! I used a fragrant jasmine rice. For some of them, I sprinkled some essential oil onto the rice, dried it out, and then put it in the hand warmers. Alternatively, you could also put some dried lavender for a relaxing scent. As for the heat, I find that these give just enough warmth (you don't want your hands to be sweaty!!) :o)

I tried something new today. I warmed up a set of hand warmers and popped them in my boots. I took them out right before it was time to leave. When I came back, my feet were still nice and toasty!

droberts12 (author)2014-01-09

Love it!

Thank you! :o)

About This Instructable

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Bio: My name is Jen and I am stay at home mom to 2 very cute little boys. I love sewing so much that I sew ... More »
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