Looking for a last-minute handmade holiday gift? Give your loved ones warm hands and warm hearts with a cozy set of quilting-inspired half square triangle hand warmers! They’re quick, easy, and fabric scrap-friendly, so you won’t even need to hit the fabric store to get started.
Makes one pair of two hand warmers.
Please note that the links to supplies and tools that are provided below are affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you choose to make a purchase after clicking through.
* Half Square Triangle Template PDF, printed at actual size (full scale)
* Cotton fabric in contrasting colors, at least one 8"x8" pre-washed piece of each color
* Machine sewing thread, a color that will coordinate with your fabrics
* Rice, raw and uncooked (not instant, not parboiled)
Print the half square triangle template PDF at full scale (full size) and cut it out. Or, if you’d rather make your own template using graph paper, you can use the measurements provided in the illustration above.
DO NOT print this photo! (It’s just an example used to show the measurements of the triangle—it isn’t the correct size for the project.) You can print the template here.
Use the paper half square triangle template to cut out 8 fabric triangles.
Assembling the squares:
With right sides together, pin two triangles together so that all edges align. Next, using a ¼" seam allowance, sew them together along the longest edge (the hypotenuse) of the triangle.
Repeat this step three more times.
If you’re making several pairs of hand warmers and once, you can chain piece the triangles without cutting your thread in between sets to make the sewing go a little bit faster.
Press the center seams open. The joined triangles should now create a square (minus the seam allowances around the edges).
With right sides together, sew two of the squares together around the outside edges, leaving an inch open on the last edge.
Clip the points off of the corners.
Turn the joined squares right side out through the opening that you left in the seam in step 5. Then, using a chopstick, press all of the the corners out, creating sharp points on the right side of the fabric pouch.
Press the seams flat.
Using a funnel or a cone made out of a notecard, fill each pouch with 2½ to 3 TBS of rice. (Raw, uncooked rice, not parboiled or instant rice.)
Fold the edges of the opening under so they line up with the rest of the seam, then use your sewing machine (or tiny whipstitches) to sew the opening closed.
Note: Machine stitching isn’t the prettiest way to close this opening, but I wanted my hand warmers to be durable, so I opted for stronger—and faster—machine stitches instead of less-visible hand-sewing.
Heating up the hand warmers:
Before going outside, put the hand warmers in the microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds, then place them in pockets or gloves. Careful! Because microwaves vary, the hand warmers may be very hot—use caution when removing the from the microwave!
If you’re giving these hand warmers as gifts, don’t forget to include a little card with heating instructions.
How long will they stay warm?
You can expect these hand warmers to stay warm about 20 minutes, or even a bit longer, depending on the outside temperature/how insulated your pockets or gloves are. (This is based on heating them in a 950W microwave for 30 seconds, then running errands in outside temps of 20-25 degrees F.)
Happy holidays, crafty pals!