Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sewn Handwarmers for Winter | DIY

I sewed these handmade handwarmers a little while ago, and I thought I'd share the project with you! They're super quick and easy to make, and they're really useful for everyday use. Just microwave them to heat, and they'll stay warm for over half an hour... perfect for cold days, cramps or sore muscles, and even last-minute gifts!

To make a set of two handwarmers and/or a longer warmer, all you'll need is:
  • Cotton or fleece fabric of your choice
  • Rice of any kind
  • A sewing machine (makes sturdier, more professional-looking warmers) or needle and thread
  • Paper or thin cardboard
  • Fabric scissors
  • A funnel

First, we'll make some handwarmers. These little pillows of should rice fit perfectly in the palms of your hands to heat them up on cold days. Draw out the size that you want on a piece of paper or thin cardboard, and cut it out about a centimetre away from the line on each side (for seam allowance). Using a template will insure that both handwarmers will be almost the same shape and size.

Put this template over a folded piece of your fabric, and roughly cut out the shape of the pattern of the folded fabric. You should end up with either two identical pieces of fabric, or one long piece that can be folded in half to make 2 identical layers. Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew around most of the fabric, leaving a gap to insert a funnel for stuffing.

I personally left a whole side open, because I liked the look of having one side with visible stitches. It's all up to your personal preference!

Place a funnel into the gap that you left open, and slowly pour in rice, filling the fabric bag a little over 2/3 of the way full. The warmer should be able to lay flat without being overstuffed, but still full enough that it is like a loose pillow.

Once you've filled your handwarmer to the desired amount, fold the open edges of fabric in on each other to create a clean, folded edge at the top of your pillow. This will prevent fraying, and will just give a pleasant, finished look to the handwarmer.

To finish the handwarmer off, stitch up the last side using a needle and thread or sewing machine. I like to use a sewing machine because it gives a clean and sturdy stitch, but it's definitely awkward to shove a stuffed pillow under the needle. Remember to either sew off of the edge of the fabric, or tie many strong knots at the end of your sewing!

The long warmer is made in almost the same way, although a template really isn't necessary at this size. After cutting out the fabric, sew around three of the four sides and insert a funnel into the open side.

This pillow should be filled with rice anywhere from 1/3 of the way up to 2/3 of the way up when held upright like in the photo above. Again, it's up to personal preference, and also how much rice you have on hand... this project can use up a lot! When the warmer is full to the amount that you want, fold the open edges in on each other, and sew it up—easy as that!

To use these warmers, simply pop them in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, and they'll be hot when they come out (watch out, because they'll actually be super duper hot!) Enjoy your new, cute hand warmers... they're little lifesavers when it comes to cold days, cramps and sore muscles/joints!

Side note... unrelated to handwarmers! 
You may have noticed that I haven't blogged for a month now—I was really busy with studying and exams, and as soon as that all cleared up, I got hit with a massive blogger's block (if you don't know what that is, it's basically when a blogger can't think of anything to write about, and doesn't have much motivation to write about the few things they think of). I'm back now though, and I have a few ideas for upcoming posts! Stay tuned for my next blog post! :)

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