How to Make Hand-Warming Glovescomments (31) November 2nd, 2012
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
- Hand-sewing needle and thread
- Fabric-marking pen
- Rice (or other filler-see below)
- 1/4-inch funnel
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.
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 this side of each glove with a pin. Set the gloves aside.
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. 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.
With the three sides sewn, use a fabric-marking pen and ruler to divide the rectangle into three sections. Here's my geeky trick for that: Place your ruler across the rectangle at an angle, moving it until you have a measurement that's easy to divide by three. Make a mark at each third, as shown.
Draw a line to mark each third. Then, hand-sew or machine-sew along these two lines. (For hand-sewing, I use a tiny running stitch.) Knot the thread securely at the end of each seam.
Time to fill this little pillow with something that will hold warmth. I'm using rice here, but you can also use flaxseeds or buckwheat groats. Check your local health-food store or the bulk section of a grocery store for these.
Starting at the end you left open, push a funnel into the first section of the pillow. (You may have to stretch the felt a little, and this is okay.) Gently place a pinch of rice into the funnel. Move the funnel up and down as needed to help the rice fill the section, and keep adding rice until you reach the top.
From here, I recommend hand-sewing. Sew the first section closed with a tiny whipstitch. Don't knot the thread yet, and leave it attached to the pillow.
Move on to the center section. Fill it with rice and sew it closed. Then, do the same with the last section.
Here's the completed pillow, ready to attach to the glove. Now, since these gloves are stretchy, we need to be careful how we sew the pillows to them. Too many stitches, and we'll just impede the stretch, which can cause them to rip.
So, start by sewing the top left corner of the pillow to the glove as shown. Make about five or six small stitches. Pass your needle through the knit of the glove but not all the way through. We don't want to see these stitches on the right side of the glove. Knot the thread securely after sewing.
Attach the top right corner of the pillow to the glove in the same way.
Attach the center bottom of the pillow to the glove in the same manner, with five or six tiny stitches.
Follow this process to make a second pillow and attach it to the other glove.
Turn the glove right side out. Now that pillow is hidden inside.
Place the gloves in your microwave and heat for a few seconds. Microwaves vary, so experiment with yours to see what amount of time and what power level work best. The gloves should feel warm but not hot to the touch. When you have your hands in them, the heat will be trapped against your palms and feel quite a bit warmer, so heat your gloves a little less than you think you need to.
The first time you heat the gloves, the rice may release a little moisture. This shouldn't happen in future warmings.
Wear these gloves so that warm pillows rest in your palms. In my experience, the heat will last about 15 to 20 minutes, and then your hands will stay warm much longer.
As you can see, all the trouble we took to divide the pillow into sections gives us a nice, flat profile that doesn't impede your dexterity or show too much through the gloves.
These gloves are dandy for walking around in the cold. I wouldn't recommend using them for activities like driving.
. . . Now I'm looking at my slippers. Maybe they need hidden rice packs, too.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery