How to Make Hand Warmers

Stay cozy in cold weather with homemade hand warmers you simply drop into your mittens or gloves.


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You Will Need

  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Flannel, wool, or felt fabric
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Rice
  • Ceramic pie weights
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Calcium oxide
  • Bucket
  • Water


  1. Wear gloves when adding chemicals, as they may cause serious burns.

  2. Step 1

    Cut fabric

    Cut a piece of flannel fabric 8 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches, and fold it in half with the short sides of the fabric together.

  3. Step 2

    Sew the sides

    Sew the 2 opposite open sides together with a needle and thread to form a pouch, and turn the pouch inside-out.

  4. Step 3

    Fill pouch

    Fill the pouch 3/4 full with uncooked rice before folding in the open edges 1/4 inch and using an overstitch to sew the top closed.

  5. Use brown rice rather than white rice to better hold heat.

  6. Step 4

    Heat in microwave

    Heat hand warmers in a microwave oven for 10 seconds before placing them inside your gloves to keep hands warm for up to 120 minutes.

  7. Avoid overheating hand warmers to prevent burns.

  8. Step 5

    Make an alternative

    Make a wool or felt pouch you fill with ceramic pie weights instead of rice as an alternative method, and increase microwave time to 2 minutes.

  9. Step 6

    Make a chemical hand warmer

    Make a chemical hand warmer by placing a sealable plastic bag inside a second one, and adding 1/2 ounce powdered calcium oxide to the inner bag along with 2 teaspoons water.

  10. Step 7

    Seal bags

    Seal both bags before massaging the contents until you feel warmth, but be prepared to drop the bags in a bucket of cold water if they become too hot. Now, tuck the warmer into gloves and make for the outdoors knowing you've beaten Old Man Winter at his own game.

  11. Frostbite accounted for 10 percent of all American casualties during World War II and the Korean conflict.