Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World taught us how to make her super-fun Tin Can Carrier. Today she’s back with easy Monster Hand Warmers! Wendi teaches sewing, quilting and embroidery with lots of free how-to videos at Shiny Happy World. She sells patterns in her Shiny Happy World shop where you can find everything from this Beast Bag library tote to Pirates vs. Ninjas Finger Puppets and her Squaresville Quilt pattern, plus so much more. Learn about Wendi and her work in her introduction and enjoy today’s tutorial. Let us know if you make a pair of Monster Hand Warmers!
‘Tis the season for chilly fingers. Unless you have these fire-breathing hand warmers, of course! These pocket-sized monsters are easy to whip up, use scraps of fabulously fun faux fur, and are filled with rice so you can pop them in the microwave for hand-warming goodness. Add a few drops of essential oil or a bit of herb or spice to the rice and you get scented breath from your fire-breathing beasts!
For each pocket monster you’ll need:
- Scrap of faux fur
- Scrap of solid woven cotton
- Small amount of paper-backed fusible adhesive
- Pattern template
- White fabric for eyes
- Black fabric for mouth (optional)
- Embroidery thread for eyes, mouths and nostrils
Trace around the pattern template (I like to glue mine to cereal box cardboard before I start) and cut out one oval from from the woven fabric and one from the faux fur. If you’ve never worked with faux fur before, watch this video before you cut to eliminate the flying furry bits.
Trace the face onto the non-furry fabric. Use paper-backed fusible adhesive to applique eyes, teeth and/or mouth onto the face. If you’ve never used paper-backed fusible adhesive, you can see how to use it in this video.
You’re going to heat these babies up, so be sure to stitch around them so the pieces don’t come unstuck when they get hot. I just straight stitched around all the edges.
Use embroidery thread to hand stitch the pupils of the eyes, the line mouths and the nostrils. I used 6 strands of DMC #3371– a very, very dark brown. Just take simple straight stitches for the pupils of the eyes and the small nostrils. Use lazy daisy stitches for the pink nostrils (this video shows how) and backstitch the mouths. Watch this video if you don’t know how to backstitch.
If you don’t want to fuss with hand embroidery, no problem. You can use satin stitch on your machine or even use a fabric marker. It’s all good.
Pin the face to the furry back, right sides together. Tuck all the fur to the inside of the layers so you get a nice furry halo around the edge of your monster. Watch that Intraux to Faux Fur video to see how and why.
Sew the two layers together around the edge. Leave a small opening on the side to turn it right side out. Keep that opening as small as possible; the faux fur is not fun to sew up by hand.
That opening won’t be fun to hand sew, but the fur is totally worth using because…
Holy Wow! Look at that fur explosion! Tell me that’s not fun and totally worth the swearing you’ll do in a few minutes!
Fill him up with 1/4 cup of uncooked rice and any scents you want to add. This guy got 1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves (a favorite scent of the little girl I’m giving him to).
Sew up the opening. I think ladder stitch is the easiest to do on faux fur; watch this video to see how. Stitch through the backing of the faux fur, not just the furry pile.
This guy has two drops of orange essential oil stirred into the rice, along with a few bits of broken cinnamon stick and some whole cloves. My favorite.
This guy looks angry so I gave him a less pleasant scent: a few peppercorns mixed in with the rice. Mustard seed is a good angry option too.
Recommended microwave times to heat them up will depend on the strength of your oven. I do mine for 15-30 seconds each.