How to Make Hand-Warming Gloves

comments (30) November 2nd, 2012     

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Sister_Diane Diane Gilleland, contributor
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Hidden inside these gloves are tiny warming packs. Boy, do they feel nice!
These gloves work like the warming rice or flax pillows youve likely seen. A few seconds in the microwave, and youre all set.
Here, you can see the hidden rice pack, made of cozy felt.
Hidden inside these gloves are tiny warming packs. Boy, do they feel nice!

Hidden inside these gloves are tiny warming packs. Boy, do they feel nice!

Photo: Katin Imes
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Having been snowed in for a week recently, I've become obsessed with staying warm. So I developed this little crafty hack for my gloves. It's an odd sort of project because it's meant to be mostly hidden, but I love how my hands feel on those cold walks to the bus!

What you'll need:

  • One pair of knit gloves (bought, thrifted, or handmade)
  • Two pins
  • Scrap of felt, wool, or acrylic
  • Scissors
  • Hand-sewing needle and thread
  • Ruler
  • Fabric-marking pen
  • Rice (or other filler-see below)
  • 1/4-inch funnel
  • Microwave

A note on materials: This is a true scrap project, since the finished product can't be seen. Feel free to use any color felt you like. I would recommend that your thread match the color of your gloves. And you can do this to any knitted glove you like, or, if you live somewhere cold enough for glove liners, you can use those.

  Turn the glove inside out, and orient them palms facing up.

Begin by turning your gloves inside out. Place them side by side in this configuration, with the thumbs facing out. This shows you where the palms of these gloves will be.

  Mark the palm side of each glove with a pin.

Mark this side of each glove with a pin. Set the gloves aside.

  Cut four felt rectangles.

Next, cut four rectangles of felt, each measuring 2-1/2 inches x 3 inches. (This is a good size for my hand. See in the photo how much of my palm it covers? If you need to, you can make these rectangles smaller or larger to fit your hands.)

  Sew two rectangles together along three sides.

Sew two rectangles together along three sides. Leave one of the 2-1/2-inch sides open. I'm using hand-stitching for this project, since it's so small. If you prefer, you can always join the pieces by machine-stitching close to the edges. I'm using a tiny whipstitch here, which you can learn from Futuregirl's tutorial.

  Use a ruler to divide the rectangle into thirds.

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Comments (30)

Troublelady writes: about the Costco product, my husband says they last too long so he won't use them, but these are renewable for heat so maybe he will. I am going to try them. I make bigger ones out of wash rags or hand towels folded in half for my neck and other places. So what a neat idea for the smaller ones.
Posted: 11:23 am on January 18th
nemosfrvr writes: These seem so weird instead of doing all the work why don't you just put hand warmers form Costco in them? it makes more sense!
Posted: 1:59 pm on February 25th
Jen1964 writes: What other grains work this way? Love it... esp the gal who wears them on her feet!
Posted: 8:13 am on January 27th
recoverdata writes: Gloves looking very beautiful and thanks for sharing with us great idea. I will try art this to my home.
Simply great.

Posted: 2:42 am on August 13th
sophiecai writes: Soooooo clever......gonna make a big rice bag for my stomach...
Posted: 9:37 am on February 17th
yousewsmart writes: What a great idea! Larger rice packs can be attached to your socks so that the packs rest on the tops of your feet. I wear mine around the house and also to bed because I just can't get to sleep when my feet are cold. Too bad there's no room for rice packs inside my shoes.
Posted: 1:46 pm on December 17th
MamiMadeIt writes: What a good idea! Love it! You are so clever!
Posted: 9:25 am on December 17th
samsstuff writes: Great idea! Thanks for posting.
Posted: 11:08 pm on December 16th
jacke writes: great idea!
i've been thinking about this in general - does it matter if the rice is organic? if it isn't are we releasing something chemical when we heat it up? i have one for the back of my neck and my lower back, it sure makes going to sleep a lot easier on a cold night
Posted: 8:33 pm on December 16th
mommyoftwo247 writes: I've also made a version of these about 6" square and keep them in the freezer. My kids use them as ice packs for any injury that might need them. I made a cover for them so the actual bag with the rice in it doesn't need to get laundered. You can check them out at :)
Posted: 7:13 pm on December 16th
mommyoftwo247 writes: If you decide to make a bunch of these for gifts, go to your local tack shop (where you buy stuff for horses) and get your flaxseed there. It is *WAY* cheaper to buy than buying it at your health food store!
Posted: 7:10 pm on December 16th
Sister_Diane writes: Popoagie, thank you for all the great tips!
Posted: 10:15 am on January 28th
popoagie writes: To keep the gloves easy to launder, make a thin knit pocket that is longer than the pillow with the opening at the finger end of the palm that the pillow will stay in. Cut up an old T-shirts or underwear for the pocket material.

If you don't have to have fingers free, as with driving, you can also use this idea with mittens, which are generally warmer than gloves. And, since the ends of fingers get cold first, you can put make the pillow long enough to go all the way to your finger tips, or perhaps only put it in the fingertips if you want more flexibility. Otherwise, put a seam where your fingers meet your palm to allow for bending. If you really want to be warm in bitter cold, put a pillow in the thumb portion as well. I learned this when I went snowmobiling through Yellowstone part one January. I didn't have pillows or microwaves, but I had those disposable warmth packs for my mittens and boots, and they made all the difference, except my thumbs were cold when I wasn't riding on a snow machine with thumb warmers.

I would think this would be good to use to send kids off to school if they walk in the winter. They could potentially sit on the pillows/gloves at the end of the day to warm them at least to body temperature before putting them on to leave.

Please note that the rice pillow will get wet unless you have waterproof gloves or mittens if you use it for snowball fights, snowperson-making or things that make you sweat, such as shoveling snow or cross country skiing in milder winter weather. Many snow mittens are waterproof and are roomy enough to accommodate such a heated rice pillow.
Posted: 8:39 pm on January 25th
JennlovesSteve writes: This is such a great idea!
I am going to make them for everyone!
Posted: 4:10 pm on January 24th
bosco_ette writes: I will send it to kids in Eau Claire Wisconsin where it got to be -25 degrees with the windchill factor
Posted: 1:38 pm on January 21st
vapeck writes: Fantastic! I whipped up a pair but didn't sew them in, in order to transfer them between pairs of gloves. They get slipped into my mittens to warm my fingertips when shoveling, into the backs of my fingerless gloves when I'm typing, and into the palms of the same gloves when I'm reading. Very useful and finger-saving.
Posted: 8:07 pm on January 15th
artlikebread writes: You wouldn't think I would have much use for these in Mexico, yet in the mornings I meet a group of little popsicles in my classroom. It can be down to almost freezing and we don't have heat indoors! (Of course, it warms to about 80 by the afternoon...)

*clapping* Another triumphant tutorial, Sister D!
Posted: 9:25 pm on January 9th
Deana writes: Love it! Awesome hands are always cold.
Posted: 1:53 pm on January 7th
Sister_Diane writes: Jen1964, In my experience, the heat will last about 15 to 20 minutes, and then your hands will stay warm much longer.
Posted: 9:21 am on January 6th
Jen1964 writes: Neat!
How long do they stay warm? We've bought little handwarmers, that don't have to be cooked, but they set off the store alarms! Must be what they're made of. Anyway, your pouch would be enough to hold them, before you add the rice.
For the people with Reynaud's Syndrome, nothing beats keeping those hands warm. Thanks.
Posted: 9:51 am on January 5th
Sister_Diane writes: dnjmama - love your mods!
Posted: 11:48 am on January 4th
wumples writes: I made a pouch about 8x5 and filled it with rice. Microwave it for about one minute, and it makes a great heating pad for cramps and the like. Love the glove take - a great idea!
Posted: 1:05 am on January 4th
dnjmama writes: Great idea--made 2 sets with a couple changes & used them tonight while star gazing in 25 degree weather. They did stay warm for 20 minutes or so.
(1) Made them oval, so they fit into the cup of the palm better.
(2) Used flannel and did not attach to gloves. Flannel had enough nap to hold their place in the gloves when I inserted them (while wearing the gloves). FYI, our gloves had a fleece lining. If the pads had shifted around, I would made another set adding a dot of velcro "teeth" to the flannel before starting to stich in order to insure the pad would cling to the glove.
(3) Made entirely on machine. Used a zigzag on outside edge. When stuffing, I made the channels quite full/fat, but stoped filling about 3/4 inch from top--that gave me enough sewing space to fit the machine foot. when sewn shut, rice could shift into empty space at top, thus "thinning" the pad, so it wasn't TOO fat.
Posted: 10:37 pm on January 3rd
Sister_Diane writes: LizzieK8 - love the idea of velcro for cleaning!

KC4 - great idea to add aromatherapy!
Posted: 6:40 pm on January 3rd
LizzieK8 writes: Great idea, but how do you clean them?

How about inserts the snap or velcro in?
Posted: 11:50 am on January 3rd
KC4 writes: Could you add lavender to the rice for some aromatherapy?
Posted: 11:29 am on January 3rd
gracie_girl writes: A nice idea for an inexpensive Christmas present.
Posted: 10:56 am on January 3rd
woodlycreations writes: What a great idea!
Posted: 11:24 pm on January 2nd
LindaPermann writes: great idea!
Posted: 9:28 pm on January 2nd
Lolos writes: Thank you so much for sharing this clever idea... I love it.. :-))))))
Posted: 1:33 pm on January 2nd
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