Handmade Christmas - Hot Thing
My sister and I grew up using these rice filled packs constantly during the cold New England winters (because my Dad kept the thermostat so low to save money). In fact, we still use these rice filled packs for aches and pains and to just stay warm (because now I keep our thermostat low to save money too). We affectionately refer to them as "hot things." After many years of use, my hot thing needed to be replaced and I could not find one for sale anywhere. So I decided to make my own, and it was super easy. Now I make hot things for gifts; perfect for your girlfriend, neighbor, co-worker, or family member. Even men love these hot things. I make them with soft flannel fabric filled with scented rice, so it smells wonderful every time you heat it. This is a great handmade gift to make and give this Christmas. Come on, I'll show you how!
16 by 12 piece of flannel or cotton fabric (will make one 8 x 12 hot thing)
4 cups of long grain rice
scented or essential oil
This step is completely optional, but I find it adds a nice touch. Put four cups of long grain rice (do NOT use minute rice!) in a big ziplock bag and add several drops of your favorite scented or essential oil. I love the scented oils from The Body Shop, and used a pumpkin nectarine scent for these hot things. Bath & Body Works also sells scented oils or you can find essential oils at most health food stores. Close the bag and shake it around to distribute the scent.
Iron your fabric. I am big on ironing when sewing. It really makes it much easier to sew straight and gives your project a more finished look.
Fold your fabric in half and cut a 8 x 12 piece of the folded fabric (giving you a 16 x 12 piece unfolded). Use a rotary mat and cutter to ensure the straightest cut.
Pin right sides together, leaving a 2-3 inch spot at the end open to turn the fabric right side out after it is sewn together.
Sew all the way around (except for your 2-3 inch marked opening), and clip your corners. Turn right side out and iron flat again if needed.
Use a funnel to pour your scented rice into the opening. This is a good step to involve your little ones. They will enjoy being a part of the gift making process. I love how Sir Topham Hatt and his little blue auto made it into this picture.
Pin your opening shut and top stitch along the top, making sure to close the opening (you can also blind stitch the opening shut and then top stitch afterwards). Top stitch the opposite end to create a more even finished look. I leave the sides plain but if you are so inclined you can top stitch those as well.
You can present these hot things just like this or decorate it with a coordinating ribbon and a handmade tag (this one is made using a scalloped punch on natural paper, and then punched with a bird punch, and tied on to the ribbon with a piece of twine). And there you have it. A beautiful handmade gift to give this Christmas. Or any time of year.
Pop into the microwave for 2-3 minutes and it is ready to use!
All the awesome pictures in this post were taken by Travis.