Frugal Christmas – Homemade Hand Warmers

Christmas is magical.  I love getting in to the Christmas Spirit, and I have to admit that I am one of the sad people who will play a Christmas songs CD in my car almost right the way through December.

Well, it’s fast approaching, and although it’s still only November, I can officially say I’m almost completely done with the Christmas present shopping.  I only have to buy one more thing for my father, and then I have to buy my (1 year old) son his presents.  There’s still plenty of time.

A lot of people have lost the true meaning of Christmas.  Yes, gift giving has become the norm, but too many people are expecting lavish gifts that will break the bank, and will melt your credit card…  And that’s just one person out of the twenty or so you have to buy for.

I love homemade gifts.  Some items are really useful, some are really yummy, and some make you look at them and wonder what on earth you’re going to do with them…  Afterall, where I’m from, it’s still the thought that counts, and I’m easily pleased with anything I’m given.

A while ago, I found a webpage that teaches you how to make rice-bag hand warmers.  I can’t find the original post, but thankfully, there are plenty of pages that teach you this if you google it.

Here’s my take on the idea, and I will be making them for a few people on my gift list.

What you need…

Material (cotton, muslin or flannel – Any colour and design that you like!)

Matching thread

Sewing needles or a sewing machine

Long grain rice (I’ll be using white)

Dried herbs (rosemary / lavender / peppermint / etc.)


Essential oils (whatever you like!)

What to do…

1.  Cut your material into squares.  You’ll need two squares for each bag…  You need to cut them approximately 4″x4″.

2.  Turn the patterned sides towards each other (so it’s plain side out) and stitch all sides, but leave about an inch on the fourth side.

3.  Turn the bag the ‘right way out’.

4.  For oil scented rice, you need to mix approximately 1-teaspoon of essential oil to 1lb of rice.  I find the easiest way to cover all the rice here would be to put it all in a large food bag, seal it and shake, shake, shake!

5.  For herb scented rice, I use approximately 3-tablespoons of dried herbs to 1lb of rice.  Ensure you mix it all together!

6.  Use a small funnel, and pour your rice mixture into the bag until it’s about 3/4 full.

7.  Carefully turn the remaining open sides of the bag over, and sew them shut.  Check the perimeter of the bag to make sure there are no small holes where the rice would escape…

There you go!!  With a little practice, making these bags would take you about 5 minutes each.

To use…

Place the bag in the microwave, on medium high, for 2 minutes (adjust time accordingly for your microwave).  Your hand warmer should stay warm for approximately 30 minutes!

Any thoughts?

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