Tuesday, December 20, 2011

pocket warmers!

Here's another gift I'm working on...pocket warmers! They are little pillows that you warm in the microwave and then pop in your coat pocket.

I did a little bit of research and decided to fill them with buckwheat seeds (not hulls). Here's an excellent source www.buckwheathull.com (They even shipped my order overnight to make sure I had it in time. I had purchased hulls from another source before I found out that they are not a good filler for an item to be microwaved. ) A cheaper alternative would be to fill them with deer corn (which is easy to find this time a year...Walmart has 40 lb bags for under $5) but they give off a slight popcorn smell when warmed in the microwave. Buckwheat has a mild odor...I scented mine with a few drops of geranium oil. Whatever you do, don't add dry herbs or lavendar. I did that with my first ones and they (and the whole house) smelled burnt right away.

I made the pocket warmers from sleeves of felted wool sweaters. Whatever you use, be sure to use a natural fiber material. Anything with a polyester content (including some felt) will melt and possibly ignite.

I cut a heart shape from another sweater and sewed it on.

I sewed the bottom of the cuff and then filled it with about 1/4 cup of buckwheat. Then I sewed it shut.
Please be very sure to label your gift with instructions to heat in microwave for just 1 minute. Just to be sure, I tested each pair in the microwave for 2 minutes. It's good to do that for two reasons...to be sure of the safety (maybe you don't know the content of the sweater you felted) and to kill any insect eggs that might be in the buckwheat seeds. The pocket warmers should be warm but not hot to the touch.

If it's too late for you to make these for Christmas this year, wouldn't they make great Valentine gifts?

Here are some sites of interest that I found while researching:

http://www.microwavecornbags.com/index.php?main_page=page_2 (Really great safety stuff!)


http://www.marthastewart.com/268735/homemade-heating-pad  (especially the comments!)

http://sassypriscilla.typepad.com/sassy_priscillas_craft/2007/12/martha-stewart.html (yikes! Martha had a pocket warmer project a few years ago using stone pie weights...they got so hot that the pocket warmers ignited! The project and all references to it were removed from the site.


glittermom said...

That whole Martha pie weight thing just serves to make me even more positive that many of those projects NEVER get tested first..

K @ Aurora Blythe said...

Love this sweet idea! Thank you for your care to detail. Very helpful!

Tina said...

Lovely! As always you...... INSPIRE! :) hugs!

Diane Mars said...

Darling idea! If I lived in a place colder then California I would give it a try! Happy Holidays

pinkpearlearrings said...

I do this with flax seeds. It works very well and you can buy them at whole foods in the bulk food area.

Leslie @ Simply Frugal Homemaking said...

So I am not going to lie, I totally just look at pictures most of the time and I thought "Holy heck, she is using chocolate chips to make those?!". It's early. Lol! I made these for the first time last month and sold them at craft shows. We really enjoy them around here. I have never used buckwheat though (or chocolate chips!)!

Tracy Altieri said...

Love this idea!

Jane said...

I guess I am not the only one who thought those were chocolate chips at first! LOL. Great idea. I think I will make these next year to give with a "Make a Snowman" kit.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally doing this tomorrow and shipping off the results to friends in WY, CO and Montana. Perfect! :)