DIY Pocket Hand Warmers

The full tutorial for making these hand warmers is below, but if don’t want to make a pair yourself, I’ll make one for you! You can find these hand warmers in my Etsy shop here! UPDATE: These hand warmers are now on sale for up to 15% off through 4/30/15! See details below.

The weather here is starting to get COLD! So I decided to make some pocket hand warmers for my husband. These little guys were easy to make, and they work great!

DIY Pocket Hand Warmers

Actually, I made two pairs because it was so quick and easy, so I have a pair too! You just pop these guys in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds and they stay nice and warm for about 20 minutes (with the whole kernel corn they stay warm for twice as long)!

I got the idea to make these from a photo I saw on Pinterest of someone holding two heart-shaped hand warmers made out of ivory fleece. The picture led to an Etsy shop, but there was no tutorial. So I created my own!

Microwaveable Hand Warmers

Here’s what you need:

  • flannel or fleece
  • whole kernel corn (not cracked corn, not popcorn; you can find whole kernel corn at feed stores)

NOTE: Don’t use felt! A lot of craft store felt is polyester, and it will melt in your microwave! Don’t do it!

Cut out two heart shapes from your fabric. With the right sides of the fabric facing out, stitch around the edges, leaving about a 1/2 inch open. It doesn’t really matter where you leave the opening; mine is on the right side near the point of the heart.

DIY Pocket Hand Warmers

Then pour in the corn kernels through the opening. You want the little heart to be full, but not completely stuffed.

DIY Pocket Hand Warmers

I used a funnel cuz my aim is no good. :-) I made the first pair with plain white rice, but it turns out that the whole kernel corn works much better and holds the heat a lot longer!

Once the heart is full, stitch the opening closed and you’re finished!

Alternatively, you can stitch a pair inside out so that the raw edges are hidden. The idea is the same, but if you want to hide the raw edges, make sure to put your hearts right side facing in before you start stitching. Still leave a 1/2 inch opening and turn it inside out through the opening. Then fill it and stitch it closed and you’re done!

DIY Pocket Hand Warmers

I like the hidden edges, and JM likes the raw edges, so now we each have a pair of hand warmers! And they’re perfect for our walk to the El in the mornings. Microwave them on high for 30-45 seconds and then stick them in your pockets. They’ll keep your hands and your pockets warm for 20-30 minutes!

NOTE: Don’t microwave them for longer than 45 seconds. JM totally burnt a hole through one of his hand warmers because he put it in for a full minute. They are tiny and 45 seconds will get them almost too hot to touch, so you definitely don’t need to go any longer!

DIY Pocket Hand Warmers

These guys make the perfect gift for anyone facing a cold winter. You have tons of choices about the shape, size, and which fabric you use, and you can totally customize them. You could also make a bigger version and use it as a hot pad for sore muscles, or to heat up the foot of your bed before you go to sleep (that’s not just me, right?). So versatile!

What’s your weather like? Would you use a pair of hand warmers? I kinda want to figure out how to attach them to a scarf or pair of earmuffs to keep my face warm!

UPDATE: These hand warmers are now on sale!!! Use code 10OFF2PAIRS to get 10% off any purchase of two or more pairs, or use code 15OFF3PAIRS to get 15% off any purchase of three or more pairs! Coupon valid through 4/30/15.

If you want to purchase a pair of these little guys, you can do so here in my Etsy shop!



I link up at these awesome parties!

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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about real projects that real people can actually do! You don't have to be a pro in order to craft or do DIY projects; Practically Functional is full of projects for everyday life that anyone can do, regardless of skill or experience! Whether you're looking for fun crafts, DIY projects both big and small, gardening advice, cleaning tips, or quick and easy recipes, you'll find them here! Follow the step by step instructions in every tutorial, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Make sure you subscribe to free weekly emails so you don't miss a single tutorial!

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  1. says

    These are too cute! I’m totally pinning these and making some for my parents in NY and sister in PA. Even though I live in FL now, I still have cold hands a lot, so maybe I can even use some. Found you at the Sweet Sharing Monday linky party. Cheers!

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by Lauren! I’m a bit bummed that my parents and my in-laws all live in CA (and it’s definitely not cold there ever!), but I can make some for our Midwestern friends and family, so it will still work out :-) I’d love to see photos if you end up making some!

  2. says

    We could use these…the weather has turned quite cold the last couple of days. Such a great idea…my Mom would LOVE these!! Just found your blog via Say Not Sweet Anne and became your most recent follower (: Can’t wait to come back for more posts…Hope you have a lovely week!!

    Michele xoxo
    The Homesteading Cottage

  3. says

    OMG!! SO cute!!! Love this idea!! I need some for the cold weather that’s coming :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!

  4. says

    OH, nothing says warm & cozy quite like plaid! Love the lil’ heart shaped warmers…and I’m sure your husband did too! Thanks for sharing it with the world! :)

  5. Heidi says

    Hi! Just saw your hand warmers pictured on TatertotsandJello. I live in San Diego and will NEVER need hand warmers, but it is a FANTASTIC idea for my kids to make for their cousins in Alaska and Grandparents in New York! Thanks for the great idea!

  6. says

    Hey! I’m co-hosting a Sunday WTFab bloghop :) I saw you around! Great post! You posted your profile on bloghop so please remember to follow all of the co-hosts of this week!

    Great blog! Following you now!

    Kisses from Poland :*

  7. says

    I make these too! I love that we think alike. These are terrific, your fabric and heart shape are perfect too. Thank you for joining in the fun at the Thursday Favorite Things hop. Happy Monday wishes xo P.S. sorry I’m so late visiting :-)

  8. Jeannie says

    These will make fun stocking stuffers…and thanks for the felt warning! Looking forward to following your posts.

  9. says

    What a great tutorial; thanks! :) Thanks for sharing last week on Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! You are a featured favorite this week! We can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to this week! Have a great weekend!
    Mackenzie :)

  10. Michal says

    On a visit to Kansas in the early ‘90’s, my Mother found what was labeled a “corn bag” in a Ft. Scott craft market. It was made of 100% cotton with a small bird appliqued on the side. About 6 x 12 “ in dimensions. Filled with whole field corn. The instructions where to put it in the microwave for about 3 minutes and to use it to soothe sore muscles or between the sheets to warm your feet.

    Since then she has made hundreds of them as gifts and for sale at craft shows. My sister uses hers to warm her car seat in the winter while warming her car (we live in Minnesota).

    Here are some things that my Mom learned along the way.
    1. 100 % cotton denim weight fabric works the best. Fleece and polyester fabrics not.
    2. The first couple of times you use it, it will smell like corn. But that goes away in time.
    3. Animals and small children like them as well, but always with supervision to prevent burns.
    4. Make sure that everyone has one of their own. You won’t want to share it.

    Stay warm!

    • says

      Haha, awesome! My husband bought me some corn bags while we were still in college because my hands are always cold, and that was my first exposure to them. And definitely, polyester fabrics are no good (we tested a polyester felt and it melted in the microwave!)

  11. Jess Trabulsie says

    Hi! Where do you get whole kernel corn?! I have looked and looked online but can only find it in 10 ton bags!

    • says

      Haha! Yeah it usually comes in giant bags because it’s used as feed or deer attractant. I found mine at a local feed shop here in Chicago, and they had it in small 5 lb bags or in the giant bags. Anywhere that sells bird food or chicken food should have it, and I know some sporting good/hunting stores have it as well. I got lucky with my local store having small bags though, because when I looked around online I mostly saw the big bags too.

    • Christina says

      I got my corn at Ace Hardware, they have bins you can buy by the pound. Jessi did you use a template for your heart shape?

      • says

        Ah, good idea about the hardware store! I haven’t seen it in the hardware stores near me, but that’s a great way to buy the corn if you can find it.

        I didn’t use a template for the shape, I just free-handed a heart on a piece of paper, and once I got it looking the way I wanted I cut one out from a piece of fabric. So now I use that fabric as a template, but the original shape is just something I drew. If you want to make your own, make sure that the heart is short and wide, and that the bumps at the top are pretty flat. That way the corn will fill the shape uniformly and it won’t be too hard to sew the curves.

  12. Yelena says

    Hi. Quick question. I made them and put them in the microwave for 45 sec. After 30 I started hearing popping sound. Is my corn turning into popcorn?! Hahaha I don’t think so but want to check with you

    • says

      Haha, good question! It is not turning into popcorn, unless you used popcorn kernels as a filling. Even with the whole kernel corn that I use, it is perfectly normal to hear some popping and cracking sounds. That is just the kernels splitting and drying out and it’s totally normal. The noises will stop after you use them a bit more, but don’t worry if you hear them even after a few months!

  13. says

    These are so cute! I need to make some for myself because it is COLD here!! I also need to find a way to keep my toes warm in my shoes…

    You’re definitely not alone in warming your tootsies before bed. I use my big neck “bean bag” for my toes.

  14. Crystelle Boutique says

    Hi Jessi!
    I have been so excited about this post since I first saw it in November. Well, it was about time I did something with your handy tutorial. I made a bunch of these heart-shaped hand-warmers for my girlfriends for Christmas. I wrote about them on my blog.
    This is the link:
    I did link back to you to give you the credit.

    Thank you so much for sharing this fun idea. I hope my girlfriends like them.. :)

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  15. Kimberly says

    Dont be so sure that your California family wouldn’t like these. I’m in California and I found your blog while looking for some handwarmers to make for me and my dad. If you send them a few it might just make their day. :)

  16. says

    Love the harts. Nice when you come home after a long walk.
    I use old woolen sweaters to make warmers. (after felting them in the laundry machine)

  17. Agy of Green Issues says

    Oh wow, this is a great idea. Some of my friends go to the cold countries for studies or the holiday and this is a perfect gift for them – better than buying the throw-away warmers! Thanks.

  18. Coco says

    So weird! I was just googling my own DIY heart-shaped handwarmer/corn bag tutorial to see if it popped up at all, and yours was right underneath mine! Here I was thinking I was being so clever, “inventing” tiny heart-shaped corn bags, and here you were, and you’d done it months before me.

    Great minds think alike, I guess! Great to see someone else’s designs and ideas. I’ll be following! :)

  19. CAPERNIUS says

    I’m new to sewing, &would like some advice on what would be the most durable material to use…
    I was thinking 100% cotton or maybe a !00% cotton canvas…but because I’m new to this, maybe I’m wrong…
    Any help you or anyone else can give me is most appreciated.

    • says

      I used 100% cotton flannel and they have held up for over a year so far! And they still look like they’re in great shape, so I imagine they’ll last a while longer still. Just make sure you use a natural fabric like cotton and not something synthetic or it will melt in the microwave!

  20. Emily says

    Hi! These are so cute, I’m dying to make them! I just had a quick question. For the hidden edges, how did you close the small opening? Using a sewing machine or some type of stitch? Thanks!


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