Recycled Hand Warmer




I've made this sort of hand warmer for myself out of large socks, but I got the idea for this one watching my daughter wait for the school bus this past winter. She looked very cute all bundled up, but her hands get chilled and often she wears a pair of gloves and a pair of mittens. I wanted to make her a pocket sized warmer and use some out grown socks at the same time.

Step 1: Ingredients

We used out grown toddler socks, a marker, some broken bottom of the rice container grains (I've heard of using ceramic pie weights but I was worried it would get too hot), if you can sew you might want a needle and thread, too.

Step 2: Fill the Sock

Start by filling one sock until you have a good little sausage shape. It helps to leave a little empty room, so you can fold a small flap, to hold the rice in for the next step.

Step 3: Insertion

Take your full and folded sock and insert it into the empty sock.

Step 4: Finish

If you can sew, put a few stitches around the edge of what was the empty sock to secure it to the full sock. If your socks are stretchy and full enough they hold together under normal use. Don't juggle them or play hackey sack with it unless you sew it up first.

Decorate as you like keeping in mind it needs to be microwave safe. No metal findings or easily combustible paint. We used sharpie and highlighter.

Step 5: Trial and Error

I found my microwave took 30 seconds (take it out squeeze and flip it around to distribute heat) and another 30 seconds to warm the thing to a safe temperature (i.e. not too hot). I wrote it on the thing so we wouldn't forget.

There you have it, thanks for looking.



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    23 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I suspect the sock was clean and a bit stained. Bravo for the reuse of old socks I want to make use of worn items and reduce my spending. Thanx for the GREAT idea. I am pretty sure any microbes of concern will be dealt with by the microwaves as they do kill bacteria from what I understand. I cannot say which but a check into scientific websites may answer that. It is important to me to avoid anecdotal findings. Does anyone know if there is a moderator for the "be nice" policy? I think a question would have fallen into the parameters of this policy better than the comment as it could be interpreted as an attack instead of the intention of help it likely was.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have one that i made out of one of my socks, filled it about 1/4 +- with rice and have used it on my shoulder, knee, and used it to warm a cold bed :D


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    This does really work. How well is a group of factors like: how big a sock and how much filling, a large sock and a lot of filling would need to be heated, jiggled and heated again for longer amounts of time. if you want to stick to recycled socks it would depend on how much stretch is left in the elastic to determine the need for sewing. baby socks get out grown way before they stretched out at my house so they were a natural for this project.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I really like that you don't HAVE to sew to make this work. Nice! :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Could you add the wattage of your microwave and an approximate weight of rice? There's a bit of potential for your results to not be replicated in the same way without this information. L

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    My oven doesn't have this information printed on it. This is why I went with the 30 second tests. The rice weight is determined by sock size and I don't have an ounce scale. I'm just cautious and found 2 rounds of 30 sec+shaking worked out. Using different materials like rock salt or ceramic pie weights will vary the time, of course a higher or lower wattage oven will too.