DIY Valentine Hand-Warmers!
What’s better to give than the gift of warm hands after all and of course there’s always the wonderful idea of walking around with a cozy warm heart in your pocket. The messages to go along with these funny little hearts are endless.
Here’s how to make the hand-warmers:
First you’ll need to gather your supplies:
1. 100% cotton or 100% wool fabric. This is very important because your hand-warmers will need to be able to be microwaved and anything with synthetic fibers will melt, smoke or burn in the microwave. You don’t really want to be giving away charred hearts on valentines! (Well, unless you’re giving them to your ex but that’s a different post.)
2. Feed corn (not popcorn), rice or any kind of hard, dried bean like a split pea or lentil.
3. Thread or yarn (again make sure it’s 100% cotton or 100% wool)
4. All the regular sewing supplies: scissors, pins, a pointy-ended crewel (a heavy needle with a head big enough to thread yarn) if you’re going to be doing a blanket stitch or a sewing machine if you are not.
5. A funnel
If you want to make the blanket-stitched felt hearts like the ones above you’ll need to cut your hearts out of your 100% wool felt. Wool felt is a little harder to find but some fabric stores carry it and many have it available online. Just make sure that it’s all wool and not a rayon blend (for the safety reasons listed above) .
The rest is easy. Simply cut out your hearts and stitch them up with a blanket stitch. If you aren’t familiar with how to do a blanket stitch I recommend doing a search on YouTube for some easy tutorials. (That’s what I did.)
Then fill it with feed corn or beans with a spoon (not rice for this version because the small grains will escape through your stitches) and stitch it the rest away. Easy peasy!
If you’re making hand-warmers with other fabrics that fray on the ends, you’ll want to sew them with a sewing machine. I’m not the most experienced seamstress on the planet but here are the basic steps I followed:
1. Choose your fabrics: again make sure it’s 100% wool or cotton (for the safety reason listed above). This can include suiting-material, flannel or even some pretty home-decorating materials. When you’re shopping at fabric stores the fabric blends will be printed on the end of the cardboard spool.
2. Cut your hearts, keeping in mind that your actual heart will be a seam-allowance-width smaller than your shape. (I did this wrong a few times and ended up with pointy wide hearts.)
3. Making sure your fabric is wrong-side-out, stitch around the edge but leave a small 1-1.5 inch opening to put your filling in later.
4. Snip your corners. Just be careful not to accidentally snip your threads. (Kids will have a tendency to want to use these as bean-bags so you’ll want to make them durable.)
5. Turn inside-out, press if you’re the ironing type, and fill with rice using your handy dandy funnel. (Or spoon in your other filling of choice.)
6. Stitch the opening closed and you’re done!
For use: just stick them in the microwave for 30 seconds (less or a bit more depending on your microwave) and they’re ready to hand out! Mmmmmmmmm….. warm and toasty! Perfect for your little Valentine!
If you want to hand them out as Valentines you could wrap with a simple printed Valentine message and include the microwaving instructions like so (for safety, remind your recipient not leave the warmers unattended when microwaving for the 30 seconds).