Hand Warmers

These rice-stuffed hearts will add warmth and cheer to any cold winter day.  Just heat them in the microwave, put them in your pockets, and enjoy!  When summer comes, tuck them away in your freezer.  They will be waiting to soothe headaches or boo-boos.

You will need:

1.  Flannel - enough for eight five inch squares

2.  Pinking shears

3.  Embroidery thread and needle

4.  A cup of white rice

5.  The heart handwarmer pattern

6.  Thimble (optional but helpful)

7.  Funnel (optional but helpful)

A heart shaped hand warmer
Pinning on the pattern 1.   Pin the pattern to the flannel and cut out eight hearts.  You can cut out two or three at a time if you layer the fabric.
A stack of four heart pieces stacked and pinned in place 2.  You will use four hearts for each handwarmer.    Think of it as a pillow with a double layer of fabric on the front and the back.  Stack four hearts together and pin them in place.
Seperating embroidery thread 3.  Thread a needle with embroidery thread.  If you haven't used embroidery thread before, it comes in a skein with six strands twined together.  Cut off as much as you want and separate into two pieces with three strands in each piece.
Stitching around the heart 4.  Start stitching 1/4 of an inch in from the edge of the heart.  To keep the knot from showing, take your first stitch through only the top two layers, starting from the inside.  Confused?  Look at the picture in step  6.  Stitch with small even stitches around.  Stop stitching when there is about one more inch to stitch.
Pour rice into the hand warmer. 5.  Insert the funnel into the opening and pour in a half cup of white rice.
Tying a knot so it doesn't show 6.  Remove the funnel and stitch the last inch closed.  To keep your final knot from showing, stitch through two layers of fabric and then knot off in the middle.  Repeat with the remaining heart cut outs to make two hand warmers.
A heart shaped hand warmer

To use the hand warmers:  Put them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.  Then put them in your pockets.  They will stay warm for quite some time. 

You can also use them as a cold bag.  Put them in the freezer and use them to soothe headaches or other aches and pains.

For as long as people have been cold, they have used heat-holding items to help them stay warm.  Heated bricks, rocks, and potatoes have all been used to warm chilly fingers and toes.  Pans filled with coals were used to warm icy sheets in drafty bedrooms.  Technolgy has improved on this with thinsulate clothing, electric blankets, and central heating. 

Crafts

"Whittle" plain soap into a festive holiday bar. Soap is soft enough to shape easily and this is a good project for kids because you don't need a sharp knife to cut the soap.

This stunning ornament looks intricate and delicate, but in fact, you can make it in less than an hour.

You can crochet this lovely little heart quickly and easily. It is a charming, romantic ornament.