These hand warmers make the perfect cool weather gift

Oct 11, 2014 at 10:54 a.m. ET

It's getting cold out there, so warm up your hands with these DIY hand warmers. Or, give them as thoughtful gifts.

You will need 4 pieces of 4x4-inch squares of fabric. Get creative with your fabric sources. I used leftover fabric from other projects, old flannel pajama pants, a sweatshirt sleeve and the legs of some corduroy pants my kids outgrew. This is a great opportunity to reuse old clothes that are too beat up for donation.

Supplies:

Supplies

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • Pins
  • White rice, inexpensive brand (You’ll need about 1/2 cup for each hand warmer.)
  • Sewing machine
  • Funnel

If you do not have a sewing machine, it’s possible to hand sew. Just make sure the stitches are spaced tight (so the rice does not slip through).

Step 1:

Cut 4 pieces of fabric that measures 4x4 inches. After you cut out your fabric, lay 2 of the pieces on top of each other with the “wrong” sides (the sides without the pattern) facing each other. The "good" sides of the fabric will be facing out on both sides.

Step 1

Step 2:

Stitch a 1/4-inch seam around the outside of the squares, leaving a 1/2-inch opening. If you do not have a funnel, leave a bigger opening. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the opening (this re-enforces the hole).

Step 2

Step 3:

Fill the stitched fabric square with rice (this is where it is very handy to have a funnel) to about 2/3 full. Use one of the pins to hold the rice in, and sew the hole closed. Repeat with the other fabric square.

Step 3

Step 4:

Trim the edges of the fabric with the pinking shears. This will help keep the edges from fraying.

Step 4

All done! To use, place the hand warmers in the microwave on high for about 20 seconds. It should be plenty warm. If you want it to be warmer, heat it at 20-second intervals. The rice can get very hot, so make sure you do not heat if for too long. The rice will retain the heat for a while.

Hand them to your kids before they head out for a romp in the yard. They will love shoving the hand warmers in their jacket pockets. Plus, they can double as beanbags if they run out of things to play with.

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