Monday, December 3, 2012

Stocking Stuffers: Hand Warmers

Handmade stocking stuffers are my favorite, because it's easy to make enough for everyone. I know it's not always true that small things take less time to make, but a lot of times it is true and I think you will find that for all the projects this week. Everything is either a big batch that gets divided up to make lots of small gifts or small projects that are easy to make by the bunch. Today we're making microwaveable and reusable hand warmers. 


Made of fleece, these little guys sew up quick, with no need for finishing edges or turning. Here's a couple I made for my boys. Can you tell we live in Bronco country? You can make them any shape you want, but fairly simple shapes work best. Mine are all about four inches long. Cut out two layers of fleece and sew around the edge, leaving open a small space to slip in a funnel and fill with rice. Fill them pretty full, but not bulging, then stitch closed. 


Fleece doesn't fray, so you don't have to use pinking sheers, but they do add a little texture to a simple shape. For the footballs, be sure to sew the lacing on to the top layer before you sew them together. You probably knew that, but I often forget to do steps in order, is that just me?


For the mittens I sewed a snowflake to the top layer of each one before sewing them together. Instead of cutting out snowflakes by hand (which I would never have had the patience to do), I just used a felt snowflake garland I found and cut apart the flakes. I have used these flakes to decorate several winter projects.


Once I they were finished I tied each pair together with some jute and a tag with warming instructions.


I put 30 seconds on the tag, but microwaves vary, I find most to be more powerful than ours, but on ours I would probably do 45-60 seconds. I suggest testing out a pair once you are finished to see what a good heating time is for your set. Always test the heat before giving to a child. These are small so they don't hold heat forever, about 15- 20 minutes. Long enough to walk around the block or maybe sing some carols around the neighborhood, or watch a parade for a bit.


Fleece comes in every color, so the shape and color options are about endless. I love how fast these come together, making it possible to sew up a set for every stocking hung with care, in no time. Thanks for reading, I'll see you soon with more handmade stocking stuffers!

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