Creative articles about sewing

DIY Inspiration: sewing colorful hand warmers

Christmas seems to arrive so suddenly every year. Shortly before the big day, it is nice to have a solid project idea – one for which you probably have all you need at home and so won’t have to go out and buy them. 

I like giving away pretty little gifts, like these multicolored hand warmers for jacket pockets, which you can design in your own colorful and unique style. They can be sewn very quickly and gift recipients always enjoy something handmade. Because it is so easy to sew hand warmers, today’s window of the BERNINA Blog Advent Calendar 2022 is intended to provide inspiration rather than comprehensive instructions.

DIY Inspiration: sewing colorful hand warmers

There is actually no need for sewing instructions for this gift idea. However, I am providing some information and facts for guidance.

Sewing colorful hand warmers – you will need:

  • 4 fabric circles / squares / rectangles made of cotton fabric, I cut out circles with a diameter of approx. 14 cm and squares with an edge length of 14 cm, for children, I would reduce the dimensions by 1-2 cm
  • Piping tape
  • Labels and bits and pieces to suit your preference
  • For the filling: cherry seeds, rice, linseed…

Why do you need 4 pieces of fabric? Well, ideally, you will want to give the hand warmers as a pair; the goal is to warm both hands. 

Let’s get started!

As the required pieces of fabric are very small, this project is ideal for using up scraps. I embellished my rectangular fabric with a screen print. Since the hand warmers need to be heated, plotting did not seem to be suitable for the purpose.

You can now sew on the label and attach other embellishments. I decorated the round hand warmers with piping. To do this, cut in the piping tape to just before the seam, so that it can be positioned nicely around the curve, and pin it in place.

I prefer to conceal the transition of the piping with bias tape in a matching color. To do this, place a piece of bias tape of approximately 3 cm in length over the join of the piping and sew it on.

I am sewing with the BERNINA 740. The piping can be sewn on easily using the Zipper Foot #4 and with the needle position on the far left.

Image of Zipper Foot #4.

Zipper Foot #4

Accurately sewing in zippers of all sizes ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

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Image of BERNINA 740.


With its stitch width of 9 mm, the new BERNINA 740 is especially suitable for sewing beautiful decorative stitches. With its built-in top feed, it can handle even the finest fabrics with ease.

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Then sew two pieces of fabric together, right side to right side, leaving a turning opening. I am sewing the round hand warmers together so that the seam onto which I sewed the piping is facing toward me, and I again sew directly onto this seam.

The seam allowance of the round hand warmers can then be cut back a little with pinking shears, or carefully cut just before the seam so that they can be shaped nicely when turning. I beveled the corners of the two squares for this purpose.

You can then turn the hand warmers. Shape them neatly and iron over once. The pocket warmers can now be filled. For mine, I used approx. 80 g cherry seeds and 100 g rice. To make filling easier, you can roll a funnel out of paper.

Handwärmer fülle mit Papiertrichter

When you have filled the fabric bags, the turning opening can be closed by hand using a mattress stitch or with the sewing machine. And that’s it. As you can see, sewing hand warmers is really easy!

Handwärmer selber nähen, mit Bandeinfassung und Label

If you have extra time, you can make a pretty sleeve to hold them, which you can design however you like.

Selbstgenähte Handwärmer mit Banderole

Heating the hand warmers

Heat the hand warmers in the microwave with a cup of water, at max. 600 watts, approx. 20-30 sec. In the oven, heat up the hand warmers in the middle of the oven at 100°C for approx. 10 minutes or place them on the radiator overnight. Knead and test the temperature; the heating time can be extended if necessary. 


The hand warmers are not washable! Unless you would like to use them as cooking bags for the rice. Do not leave unattended while heating, this is not a child’s toy! No liability is accepted for improper handling!

Have fun sewing and giving the gift of warmth!
Yours truly, Nadia | so.unds.o    

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