Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Snowmen Hand Warmers Tutorial & Printable

Please note that some types of fleece do not seem well suited to this project.  Consider using an all natural fiber and starting with just 15-30 seconds in the mico, gradually trying longer times in 15 second intervals.  There do seem to be lots of items commercially available where fleece is microwaved and my fleece has worked well, but I can't seem to find out a definitive answer on what kinds of fleece can be microwaved and for how long.

Are you looking for a little handmade goodness to share this holiday season? Something that is fast and easy, and doesn't use much in the way of supplies?


All you need is some white fleece and a few scraps of felt in black and orange.  You can also use buttons unless these are going to a young child.  Oh, and you need some rice.  You could use some essential oil too, peppermint would be nice!

Step 1:  Trace a jar lid on the wrong side of white micro-fleece with a marker. You'll need 4 circles of fleece if you want a pair of handwarmers.  Cut them out about 1/4" bigger  than the circle you drew.


 Step 2:  Cut out 6 small circles of felt for eyes and mouth (or use buttons).  Cut a small skinny triangle from orange felt for the carrot nose.  I like to use Sew Line glue stick to adhere them to the right side of the fleece, but pins work too.  Remember if you are making a pair, you'll need to make a face on two of your four circles.


Step 3:  Sew the facial features in place with same colored thread.  I just lift up my presser foot and move to the next piece, not cutting the thread until I'm all finished.


Step 4: Place a blank circle right side down on top of each face, pin and sew over the circle you drew leaving a 1-2" opening at the end.  Be sure to reverse stitch at the start and finish to secure your seams.


Step 5:   Cut slits along the seam allowance every inch or so.


Step 6:  Turn out and fill with rice.  I like to cut a corner from an envelope to use as a funnel.  Your rice should make the snowman full, but not bursting.  Add a few drops of essential oil if you want.


Step 7:  The trickiest part, sewing the opening closed.  I like to push all the rice to the opposite side, and hold it in place with a pin.  Then use some more pins to tuck the open end in and sew it closed.  The nice thing with fleece is that your stitches won't be very noticeable.  Just make sure you have all the layers in your seam and that you reverse at the start and stop.  You don't want a spilling rice bag for your recipient!


Okay, and now a little label or tag to print out so they have instructions: just heat for a minute or two in the microwave.  You want it to be nice and warm, but not burning hot.


Click here for the image.

6 comments:

  1. These snowmen are adorable! But what about putting synthetic fleece in the microwave? I recently saw another tutorial for rice handwarmers (just squares, not as cute as yours), and the instructions stressed using 100% cotton fabric -- flannel in this case -- and thread, so it wouldn't melt when heated.

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  2. oh, good question - I've only microwaved mine once, and so far, so good. I just figured if it could go in the dryer it was probably okay, but i guess the micro is a bit hotter. I'll try to do some research. Thanks for bringing it up!

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  3. So I made some with fleece and the rice burned!! Like my microwave smelled like burnt popcorn and the rice burned a hole through the fleece. What the heck in the world? They are just SO SO cute!! I REALLY want the fleece to work!!

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  4. Oh, no - I am so sorry! Mine worked fine, but maybe there are different types of fleece, or the cooking time was too long? I did some research and found lots of products using fleece that were meant to be microwaved and nothing saying your couldn't do it, but I guess it might depend on the composition of the fleece. I would suggest getting cotton fleece or microwaving a really short time or on less than 100% power.

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