How To Make Hand Warmers – Rice Bag Warming Pouches

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You can definitely tell that the autumn is nearly done and winter is setting in. The weather seems to have suddenly taken a cold turn. And so this tutorial today will help to keep the cold out when you are out and about. Here is my tutorial on how to make hand warmers – rice bag warming pouches that you heat up in the microwave.


How To Make Hand Warmers – Rice Bag Warming Pouches

How To Make Hand Warmers - heated rice bags are perfect for keeping hands warm in winter. Make them as gifts, they are cheap and easy to make! Easy sewing tutorial and simple DIY project perfect for beginner and novice sewists. Full pictorial tutorial on how to make these small heatable bags for keeping your hands toasty. Great idea for a present, and a possible idea of a sewing project to sell.


These cute little rice packs that you warm up in the microwave are handy little things to have. They keep your hands toasty when the weather starts to freeze.

You don’t need a lot of fabric to make them, and so they are a brilliant way of using up all your old fabric scraps. Make them in all sorts of colours and gift them to friends and family as a stocking filler. Needing only some rice and a couple of pieces of fabric, they are a cheap and cheerful make.

And they are so easy that a beginner could make them! You can even sew these by hand if you like.

So read on and see how you can make your own set.

You Will Need


Materials needed for hand warmers

  • Some cotton fabric – I chose this cute snowman fabric. It is important to use cotton, as other synthetic fibres may melt or ignite in the microwave. For a pair of hand warmers you need less than 1/4 metre of fabric.
  • Some rice (150g per pair)
  • Matching cotton thread
  • Scissors, a needle and some pins
  • Some coordinating embroidery thread (optional)
  • A sewing machine (optional)

How To Make Hand Warmers 


For a pair of warmers – cut 4 squares of fabric 5.5inches by 5.5inches (13cm x 13cm)

How To Make Hand Warmers 1

Place one pair of pieces right sides together. Sew by hand (using a backstitch) or on a sewing machine a 1cm seam allowance. Leave a gap of around 2 inches (5cm) on one side, taking care to backstitch at either side of the gap.

How To Make Hand Warmers 2

Trim the seam allowances and trim the corners close to the stitching, so that you get neat corner points.

Turn the pouch the right way out through the gap , push out the corners with a pencil and give the pouch a good pressing. Make sure that the seam allowance at the gap area is well pressed.

Measure out 2 and 3/4 ounces (75g) of rice, and use a funnel to fill the pouch. 

How To Make Hand Warmers 3

Then take it back to the sewing machine and sew a second layer of topstitching around the edge. This will seal the pouch opening, and finish off the look of the hand warmer. Tilt the rice away from the needle as you stitch.

Or, alternatively hand sew around the whole of the finished pouch with embroidery thread using a blanket stitch.

blanket stitched edges


Repeat with the second pair of pieces. And you have a finished pair of hand warmer pouches! Make them in all colours for all your relatives and friends this winter.

How To Make Hand Warmers - heated rice bags are perfect for keeping hands warm in winter. Make them as gifts, they are cheap and easy to make!


Safety And Heated Rice Packs


Please do use these heated hand warmers safely, as they can cause burns if heated too far. And if heated for too long, or covered over and left unattended they can cause a fire.

  • Only heat for 30-40 seconds maximum. Actually my 900w microwave only needed to heat them for 30 seconds before they became really warm.
  • Check that they are not too hot before using. And definitely check the temperature before giving to a child.
  • Do not put in a bed and cover over them. By covering, this can actually cause the insides to heat up even further, and the dry bedclothes can be set alight by the heat. Similarly, never leave a hot pack unattended in a jacket pocket if it is still hot, for the same reason.

If used correctly, they can be a brilliant thing to have on you in the cold winter months, when sledding, watching your local team play football, or doing the gardening. But they do need to be used properly.


Do you think that you will be making these hand warmers this year? I would love to see your creations or hear about your thoughts. Comment below, or find me over on my social media channels.

And please do pin this post for later.

How To Make Hand Warmers - heated rice bags are perfect for keeping hands warm in winter. Make them as gifts, they are cheap and easy to make!


4 Replies to “How To Make Hand Warmers – Rice Bag Warming Pouches”

  1. Celeste says:

    This is a brilliant idea. I look forward to making some for my family and friends. I was just wondering how long the rice stays hot/warm once outside. Thanks!

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I used them last year, and mine stayed warm for about 20 minutes to half an hour! Thank you for reading!


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