Holiday Crafts & Gifts: Winter Warmers

Every holiday, I try to make as many handmade gifts as possible and time allows.  It usully end up in a race against time. The best example of this — two years ago I knit a pair of mittens for my Mom while sitting behind her on a flight to Germany.

This year I’m in much better shape.

Armed with a new digital camera and a new-to-me sewing machine, I’m feeling like I can tackle so much more in the way of handmade giving!

My beautiful sewing machine!

My beautiful sewing machine!

So, if you’re similarly eqipped with a sewing machine and a few hours of time, I’m loving the very simple process of making winter warmers.  These lovely cotton bags are stitched up inside-out, filled with rice, basted shut and then heated in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes.  Tuck them in your bed while you brush your teeth and when you jump in, the bed’s nice and toasty and you have a warm cushion to tuck your toes under.

These warmers can be made in any size and out of any lightweight fabric.  I use rice to fill them, but I’ve heard that pie weights are a better, more expensive option.  The rice eventually cooks and gets a little rice-smelly.  Someday, when I am not working on a “beer budget” I can extend into these more “champagne tastes”. 🙂

I would also reccommend using a white rice.  For some reason, brown rice seems to smell more.  Don’t know why.

Here’s an example of the pouches, unfilled:

Winter Warmers - unfilled

Winter Warmers - unfilled

Each measures roughly 7″ x 5″, but like I said before, you can make them any size you like.  You can also sprinkle in some herbs like lavender, rose petals or chamomile for better scenting.

Are you making your gifts for the holiday?  What are some of your favorite projects?

I’ll have more projects to post, once they go out in the mail and won’t spoil any surprises for anyone! *wink wink*

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