Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Perfect Handmade Gift!

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As the holidays are approaching, I'm sure we're all thinking about what we are going to give to the important people in our lives as gifts. I, personally, always find it difficult finding the perfect little gift to give to those people who are not quite family but still special to me. This easy handmade gift is the answer!

I'm a huge believer in handmade gifts. I think they really show people that you care to take the time to make them something special. There's a reason we gave our parents drawings and clay sculptures when we were kids. Those gifts meant something we put part of ourselves into it. They mean so much more.

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I made these heart-shaped hand warmers two Christmases ago for my friends and a few of my instructors. They are super simple to make, don't take too long, and are budget friendly. Plus, they help you get rid of all the craft scraps laying around your house. All you need is two scraps of fabric (6-inch by 6-inch squares are plenty), a needle and thread, and some rice. I like to add little embellishments to mine as well.

Here's what you do:

* First, decide how big you want your hand warmer to be, and trim down the fabric if you need. Then, with the two pieces back to back, cut out your heart. The cute part about these is the lack of uniformity, so don't be nervous!
* Next, double thread your needle and knot the end. Pick a matching thread, and enjoy the fact that it shows through. If you want to get really creative, try using ribbon or twine to sew your two pieces together. With the two pieces still back to back (pattern sides facing out), stitch all the way around the heart, leaving a small opening somewhere so that you can still fill it. Again, don't be scared! TIP: I found that I can just leave the needle dangling while I fill the heart so that I don't have to worry about so many knots and loose threads at the end.
* The next step is to fill your heart with rice. This is the part that heats up and serves as a mini heating pad. I would recommend using a funnel for this part. Fill it so that it's full, but the grains still have room to move.
* Finish sewing up the gap. Tie off the thread and trim the ends.
* If you wish, add an embellishment! I'm a fan of using ribbons to make bows and attaching buttons, but get creative!
* To use it, put it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm the rice. Then it can be used as a hand warmer or a mini heating pad.

Dec 14, 2011

There you have it! The easiest handmade gift that shows you took enough time to show that person how much they mean to you. Of course, if you really don't feel like taking that time, they are available on my Etsy shop!

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