Monday, December 19, 2011

DIY Christmas Gifts #4: Heart Handwarmers

OK, so this is a great gift to make in bulk as stocking stuffers for family and friends. They're really quick and easy to make, and the material is usually on sale around this time of year. I found mine at Hobby Lobby (yay 40% off coupon!). Plus, a yard will give you enough for at least 10 people. Score!

You will need fleece, thread, needles and pins, scissors, rice, and a funnel.

Layer two pieces of fleece and cut into a square that is about 1 1/2 times the size of your palm.

Fold the two squares in half and cut a half heart out of the side with the fold. Remember when you were in elementary school and you made hearts in arts and crafts? Yeah, it's like that.

And when you've got your heart all done, make sure you pin the sides so it doesn't move around while you're sewing.

Three pins works just fine for this little heart.

And if you cut anything like me, you'll need to trim the edges to make them line up.

Now thread your needle, and tie about 3 knots in it (the fleece is more stretchy than most fabrics, so you have to tie more knots to keep it from pulling through). Start sewing the two pieces together with a whip stitch along the edge. A whip stitch, for you novice seamstresses (or seamsters, I suppose), is a really easy, basic stitch often used to close a hem. You insert the needle from one side of the fabric to the other at the edge, then bring the needle around to the exact same side and repeat the motion until you run out of thread or have to tie off. (And before you start thinking that I am an accomplished seamstress, I had to look this up to provide a tutorial because I didn't know the proper terms!)

Keep going until you have a small opening that you can use to turn the heart inside out.

Now turn the heart inside out and go get your rice. I used jasmine rice because I'm hoping that when it's heated up, it will smell nice.

Use a funnel to put enough rice to fill the heart, but leave enough room that the rice can move freely. It should feel more like a beanbag and less like a hackey sack.

Fold over the opening and use the whip stitch to close it off.

And there you go! A cute little heart handwarmer that will smell like jasmine (I hope) when it's warmed up.

Side note: make sure you don't overheat the rice, or it will stop warming up. My powerful microwave warms it up nicely at 1 minute 30 seconds.

Can't you just see putting this in a little stocking on your mantle? It's just so precious! I can't wait to give them to the fam!

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