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.

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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.

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

MyHandmadeHome (author)  keeley.wadsworth5 months ago

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

Thank you! =) i found some favric i want to use, but its a cotton mix! Worried it might burn over time?!
MyHandmadeHome (author)  keeley.wadsworth5 months ago

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 =)
MyHandmadeHome (author)  keeley.wadsworth5 months ago

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

How long do they stay warm for?
MyHandmadeHome (author)  keeley.wadsworth5 months ago

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 Dr1 year ago

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! ;^)

really rice idea and its easy to make too good work
Thanks Andrew!
Afterglow1 year ago
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)  Afterglow1 year ago
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!
droberts121 year ago
Love it!
MyHandmadeHome (author)  droberts121 year ago
Thank you! :o)