Homemade Hand Warmers

by Merissa on February 7, 2014

in Frugal Living Tips, Make Your Own

Homemade Hand Warmers - Little House Living

Homemade Hand Warmers

It's been just a little cold here on our homestead this winter. Back in my hometown I was used to cold spells and snow but they only lasted a few days and then we had some fairly nice weather for a while. Now I can't remember the last time it was above 20 degrees for more than a day. I guess everything just takes some getting used to!

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I feel like I've totally changed our wardrobes since we got here. I've found that a good fleece pants keeps my legs warm during the day and I can usually be found wearing about 3 shirts. Plus warm socks and slippers of course! I've bought each member of our family some canvas bibs and coats.

Something else I did was make some of these Homemade hand Warmers. They are SO simple and can be made in just 5 minutes. If you do any kind of sewing you probably already have what you need for them. These are perfect to stick in your pockets when you head outside on these cold winter days. Depending on the outside temp we've found that they stay warm for about 15 minutes on average. Perfect for a little warm up when you are outside doing chores!

Homemade Hand Warmers

What You Need:

  • 100% Cotton Flannel
  • Thread/Needle/Sewing Machine
  • Scissors and Measuring Tape
  • Uncooked Rice

Homemade Hand Warmers

Measure and cut your flannel. You will need  two 4 inch by 4 inch squares. As I stated above, make sure you are only using 100% cotton flannel and that they are no metallic threads running through the flannel.

Homemade Hand Warmers

Here's my 2 squares.

Homemade Hand Warmers

Turn both squares so that the wrong side of the fabric faces outward and sew a simple straight stitch around the edges. You can do a zipzag if you really want. You can easily hand sew these together also if you do not have a sewing machine.

Homemade Hand Warmers

Make sure to leave about an inch wide opening on the 4th side of the squares instead of sewing it all the way shut. Anything smaller than an inch will make it difficult for the next step. Turn the pouch right side out and pop out the corners so it looks just like a little bean bag.

Homemade Hand Warmers

Fill the bag up about 3/4 of the way full with uncooked rice. It is about 1/8 cup of rice if you make the 4 inch square bags.

Homemade Hand Warmers

Fold the edges of the bag into the bag and sew it closed. Make sure to reinforce the ends so you don't have any rice spilling out into your pockets!

Homemade Hand Warmers

That's it, so easy! To warm up the bag before you head out into the cold, simply place it in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds and stick it into your pocket. These will stay warmer longer if they are next to your body.

This is a great simple project, even if you haven't sewn much before. These little homemade Hand Warmers sure are nice to have around though! To clean these, spot clean as needed.

Make sure to check out all the other great DIY Projects we have here on Little House Living.

Do you enjoy easy sewing projects? Do you use hand warmers in the winter to keep your fingers toasty?

merissabio

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deanna February 7, 2014 at 7:37 am

That is a great idea. It’s really cold in Indiana now too. At 9 am it just got up to zero. Brrr! My daughter made one of those to put in my grandbaby’s crib at night. They are also nice for achy muscles and joints. I hadn’t thought about hand warmers. Thanks!

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2 Shannon Ryan February 7, 2014 at 8:13 am

I made these several years ago. A little tip: I added a handful of ceramic pie weights to the bag. They will keep it warm longer. Just something that I thought I would share. I enjoy your page immensely!!!

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3 Merissa February 7, 2014 at 8:48 am

Thanks for sharing!

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4 Jeanne February 7, 2014 at 8:23 am

I love your website. Lots of great ideas. Just a suggestion for the handwarmers would be to use a funnel to fill them with the rice. It would take less time and no mess.

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5 Merissa February 7, 2014 at 8:48 am

Yes that’s a good idea :) I have no idea where my funnel is right now or I would have used it!

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6 Sarah J February 7, 2014 at 8:26 am

Is there a way to warm these up besides a microwave?

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7 Merissa February 7, 2014 at 8:46 am

You could probably place them on a baking dish and warm up in the toaster oven/oven for a few seconds…just watch them very very carefully.

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8 Sherry February 7, 2014 at 8:33 am

About how long do they stay warm?

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9 Merissa February 7, 2014 at 8:46 am

About 15 minutes.

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10 Tameka February 7, 2014 at 8:51 am

Wouldn’t the rice get nasty or moldy after awhile?

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11 Merissa February 7, 2014 at 8:52 am

Not unless you get it wet and it doesn’t get properly dried out.

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12 Roland February 7, 2014 at 9:35 am

hello,my x wife used to make them with corn instead of rice 7 would pop them in a micowave to heat them

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13 elise February 7, 2014 at 9:52 am

Flax seed stays warm longer than rice as it has more oil!

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14 Aurelie Higgins February 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm

New use for these. I put one in each of my jeasns pockets and in each side of my bra! Took the chill out of my core when I went out to shovel our two feet of snow. By the time they wore off I had warmed up from the activity. Thanks for the idea.

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15 Teresa February 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm

This is a great idea!!! Thank you
I am going to make some of these.

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16 Jessica February 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Microwave? Really? So disappointed.

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17 Kristine February 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Anything you can put in to keep them warm longer? If you have to microwave them every 15 minutes it’s not really worth it.

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18 Kate February 7, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Hadn’t thought to make them this small! I’ve made big ones and they’re amazing for achy shoulders or back, or any time you might want a heating pad. If you drip some essential oil on them, they smell wonderful when they’re microwaved. Kept in the freezer, they can be popped on sprains or bruises without messing with drippy ziplock baggies of ice. I’ve also made them with barley and wheat berries, and they give off a nice toasty smell.

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19 Karin Carson February 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm

I make something similar , but I use unmatched socks fill three quarters with rice tie a knit in the open end and voila instant hot bag, 1-2 min I microwave stays hit for a long time and will conform to your body can also put in freezer for cold pack.

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20 Tee February 7, 2014 at 7:05 pm

I make oblong bags a little larger than you make, fill them with steamed field corn and place them in my bed at night. Microwaving them for 2 or 3 minutes will warm your toes for hours.

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21 Merissa February 7, 2014 at 8:36 pm

I love this idea, I always have cold feet!

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22 sue February 7, 2014 at 8:19 pm

I have had my rice bag for 20 years. I do not have a problem with mold. I keep it in a zip lock during the summer and use it in the winter to warm my bed or to warm me up under my blankets as I snuggle on the couch. Last year I made more for my family and for friends. As long as you don’t overheat it your rice bag will smell of cooked rice and keep you toasty warm. If you do overheat it your rice bag will have a burnt smell but still keep you warm.

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23 Dina Farmer February 7, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Ohhh I’m going to make this and send some to my hubby!!!

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24 Tracy February 8, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Hi just found your blog about to start reading see you again

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25 Kath February 9, 2014 at 8:49 am

I am going to make these. Thank you for sharing, I love ur DIY ideas .
I need 2 ask which type of rice would i use ? tia.

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26 Merissa February 9, 2014 at 9:09 am

Any kind of uncooked rice will work.

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27 Joann February 9, 2014 at 9:16 am

these are also great to keep in the freezer for lil ones bumps and bruises also can use dry beans for the freezer

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28 Dellene February 9, 2014 at 9:50 am

Think I need these to wrap my body in when trying to start bus in cold mornings.

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29 Deb February 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm

If you make a “cover” or slip for them to slide into they will stay warm longer. Using corn instead also makes for a longer lasting warm but rice is more handy. Oh, no pun intended there.

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30 Charlie February 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Merissa, Broken Heart, those that have angry, spiteful hearts will attack in order to feel somehow better than they do. I brings them joy. Sick yes. Please keep your focus and continue on. Those folks need help. A kind word and loving heart will dispel those that try to ruin what is good. Am sorry you are having to deal with this. Am glad you shared. May you wake each morning with a smile on your face, and fall asleep each night with a heart full of joy.
Charlie

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31 jamara February 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I have several sizes of these. Made some just to slide in my grandkids boots to get them warm before they have to put them on…I hang mine by clothes pins on a clothes hanger above the wood heater…this way they are always warm and ready

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32 Light Barrett February 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I just want to add my support, Melissa. You are here adding wonderful words and sweet, helpful tips too keep our footprints small and add appreciation of our world… You are accomplishing much for many… Please do not allow negative, or mean comments to sink in. People sometimes take their frustration out on others. I find even the comment about the microwave usage a negative. Why do people expect you to know ALL things? After adding to our lives with all your might is an amazing. You are filled with caring and magical ideas. Don’t let ignorant remarks slow you down. You are repected and loved for all you offer us. Hold to that as any ignorance may sow up on your remarks… You are terrific!
Light

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33 Light Barrett February 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Sorry about my spell checker changing your name, Merrissa!

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34 Holly February 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Another idea to create these without sewing. Take an infant or toddler sock and fill with the rice and just knot the top. So easy.

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35 Tammy February 10, 2014 at 11:55 am

That is a very creative idea, especially for people like me whose children take their socks of at random times and places and you can only find one of them. I hate mismatched socks, but love creative ideas for using the ones leftover. :-)

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36 noreen February 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Hey ! Sounds great, your pretty awesome♥ I have recently run across your page:)was interested in checking out what you are all about!! :)

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37 Karen February 10, 2014 at 10:26 am

I’ve been following you for a while now and I must tell you that I love your ideas. Keep up the good work, you bring sunshine to so many of us.

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38 Kathy February 10, 2014 at 3:47 pm

To make the warmers washable, make main packet out of muslin or scrap fabric. Then make a second cover with a fold over flap that can be removed and washed. I do them this way all the time.

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39 Molly February 11, 2014 at 7:25 pm

I recently made my first project with my sewing machine, and I didn’t break it or anything. Seems like it’s been colder this winter, so I’m definitely giving the hand warmers idea some serious thought! Thanks for posting this, Merissa. :)

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40 Emily February 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm

First of all, Marissa, I just came across your site recently and I love it. It’s obvious you put a lot of work and a lot of yourself into this site. Thank you!

In our house, we fill clean white tube socks with rice and heat them in the microwave. My husband bought me a pair of slippers with rice built into them (they are really hard to walk in!), and they came with instructions to heat in the microwave with a small bowl of water. We started doing that with our rice socks, too. They stay warm form for 20-30 minutes, I’d say. We put them in between our sheets before we go to bed. That is NICE in this cold weather.
(I got the sock idea from the midwife who lead my childbirth class. Credit where it’s due!)

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41 mary March 2, 2014 at 10:26 am

I love your page…and would like to pass on something that was instilled in me as a child…..if you can’t say something nice…don’t say anything at all….please keep up the wonderful tips

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