Editor’s note: This article first appeared February 1, 2016 in NOU Magazine. In light of the magazine’s phenomenal growth, and because this craft is a “keeper,” we decided to share it again! The article appears below as it was originally written with just a few updates. Since this first article, NOU contributor Jennifer Murray has contributed several articles to the magazine. We are grateful for her craftiness!
I’m not sure what the weather is like in your area now, but this time last year – 2016- in Nashville, TN, we were experiencing a Snowmageddon!! We got more snow in one day than we had since the early 2000’s. Exciting, beautiful, but leaves you stuck at home. I ventured out a two times and was very nervous on each trip. My northern friends, please don’t be too harsh. We’re not used to this much, we don’t know how to act. No one has snow chains, or shovels, even snow boots or, don’t laugh, sometimes not even a heavy coat!
With not much options of leaving my house, I decided to work on a crafty project. A friend asked me if I would start writing a regular article about crafts, decorating or antiquing for NOU magazine. How exciting is that?! My only experience has been casual writing on my blog, Facebook page and Instagram – (and a little bit of scientific research journal articles from my old world). So this will be my trial run for NOU. Thanks for your comments!
What did I do on my snow day? Besides build a snowman and take lots of pics? I decided to make a pocket hand-warmer. After seeing several cute ones on Pinterest, I wanted to give it a try. They were so similar to some lavender sachets I’ve made, and I loved them! But this hand-warmer was all hand stitched, no machine required – so super easy and just a few supplies needed!
Here’s what you’ll need – fabric scraps, needle & thread, straight pins, scissors, heart template (optional), rice or beans. For the two different fabric scraps, the sizes depend on how big you want your hand warmer to be. I chose cozy fabrics I had on had – red felt and a white flannel. The red scrap was about 5 inches by 10 inches (folded in half so it’s a 5 by 5) and the white was about 3 inches squared. I used coordinating thread colors, white and red, but you can really use whatever you want. I created a template out of card stock for the hearts, you could also use cardboard from a cereal box. The hand-warmer will be filled with rice, but you could also use beans. I added some lavender buds for a nice scent because I had some left over from a sachet project. You could also use essential oils, added to the rice or beans for a nice smell. For the rice, I bought the long grain kind.
I folded the red fabric in half so it was a 5 by 5 square and traced the heart using the template and a piece of chalk. I pinned it together and started cutting – so you’ll wind up with two hearts. I folded the white piece of fabric in half and free hand cut a smaller heart to be the decorative topper. Before you sew the red pieces together, sew the white heart inset piece on top of one of the red hearts. I pinned everything in place, it made sewing easier for me.
Now it’s time to begin sewing the two red felt hearts together. I used a simple basting stitch (straight stitch) on both designs, but if you want to fancy it up, go for it! I’m not really a perfectionist, so the stitch lengths are all over the place! 🙂 Don’t sew the heart all the way closed, leave about an inch opening so you can add the rice. I mixed rice with some lavender buds, and this is where you would add any essential oil if you’d like. I used a piece of paper rolled into a cone shape and added about a 1/2 cup of rice – add more or less, it’s up to you. If you fill it too full, you can always squeeze a little out. After you add your rice, then finish the stitching, tying off the thread in a knot.
That’s it!! How simple is that?! It took about 20 minutes, and it’s something easy, that you can do while watching tv. All you have to do is throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds and pop it in your pocket ~ ready to go! And it smells good!
Thanks for reading my article! Stay warm!