The chap and I don’t eat rice that often, so we always have a load of the stuff taking up valuable cupboard space. I wanted to dispose of our out of date rice in a way that didn’t make me feel guilty about wasting it, so I decided to let it live on! By being the microwaveable insides of a handy hand warmer.
I also put a moustache on it, because if you could put a moustache on whatever you wanted, you would, wouldn’t you?
Here is the step-by-step guide to making our little moustache hand warmer.
Collect some materials together (I probably don’t need to suggest “nothing that will melt in the microwave” but then a certain well known fast food restaurant didn’t think they needed to warn people that their coffee was hot, and look where THAT got them) and cut into the shape that your hand warmer is going to be. You might feel a little more ambitious and go for a gingerbread man shape. Good luck to you:
Two identical pieces of fabric for the hand warmer itself
Felt to embellish
Scissors for cutting and whatnot
Paper stencil if you want a practice run before cutting into your fabric
Rice to fill (how much you need depends on how big this thing is when you make it, and how saggy or stuffed you want your hand warmer to be)
I may have mentioned before that I am no good at art. Since mentioning it to you I have not improved. I am not advanced enough with scissors to cut out anything much more extravagant than this relatively simple shape, which believe me, stretched my drawing skills. SO ANYWAY, I drew half a ‘tache and cut around it on folded felt. The fold is where the middle of the moustache is.
Et voila. Looking pretty good, if I do say so myself.
Next, sew your felt moustache onto one of your fabric pieces. It’s kinda fiddly and probably the hardest part of this whole process, but don’t wimp out and glue it on. For one thing, I don’t know what will happen to it in the microwave, but on a more personal level you are cheating yourself out of the satisfaction at having crafted something. Most importantly though, please don’t accidentally poison yourself by microwaving glue.
Once the ‘tache is secure on the fabric, lay it face down on the other piece. Sew these two pieces together on the sewing machine, or if you are really enjoying wielding a needle and thread, a simple backstitch ought to do it. Remember to leave a gap as I have done.
I always really struggle to turn these things inside out when it comes to filling them. In this case I left too small a gap, and in my struggle to turn it inside out I have frayed the edges of the fabric a little bit. It might alter the final shape of it later on.
Fill it with rice; not so much that it feels like a juggling ball, mind, because you might find sewing it up afterward to be a bit of a challenge. I used a sheet of paper to make a funnel, spilt it all over the floor (what a hassle THAT was) and then got my chap to hold the hand warmer and the funnel while I poured. Thanks, Chap!
Hand stitch the opening closed once you feel that you have enough rice. The edge that I have cropped out of this photo is the straight edge that I sewed instead of a lovely curve, because a) it was frayed from where I had forced it turning it inside out but mostly b) I really cannot sew seams along a curve.
And hey, there you go! Pop it in the microwave for thirty seconds and take it with you wherever you go.