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How to Make Hand Warmers

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


  • : Wear gloves when adding chemicals, as they may cause serious burns.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Use brown rice rather than white rice to better hold heat.
  • 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.
  • TIP: Avoid overheating hand warmers to prevent burns.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • FACT: Frostbite accounted for 10 percent of all American casualties during World War II and the Korean conflict.

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

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