Lifestyle Young Rider

DIY Hand Warmers

As winter drags on, heat up with these DIY hand warmers to keep you nice and toasty at the barn. Make at least two—one for each pocket!—and don’t forget to make up extra for your barn buddies for Valentine’s Day. These cute hand warmers make perfect gifts for your friends, trainer, and those ever-patient barn parents. They’re the perfect way to warm everyone’s hearts this winter.

DIY hand warmers in the shape of a heart


◆ Cotton fabric
◆ Cotton embroidery thread
◆ Needle
◆ Scissors
◆ Heart (or other shape) pattern
◆ Funnel
◆ Rice


Step 1: Choose a shape (we chose a heart for Valentine’s Day, but a horse would be super cute, too) and print it. Cut it out and place it over two pieces of cotton fabric.

A heart-shaped cutout

Step 2: Cut out your fabric. Make sure you have two pieces.
Step 3: Thread your needle by putting the thread through the eye of the needle. Tie a knot at the end of the thread and trim the end. You will need a lot of thread for this project (about three times around your shape if creating a heart). If you aren’t sure, add extra. Better to have too much than not enough!

A cutout heart cutout attached to thread

Step 4: Pull the needle through the top piece of fabric so the knot is on the inside and the needle comes out through the front.
Step 5: Put the needle through both pieces of fabric going from front to back. Pull the needle through the loop of the sting. Pull tight to close the loop but not tight enough to pinch the fabric. The edge should still be straight.

Sewing together a DIY hand warmer
Tip: Make your stitches pretty small so the rice won’t fall out. 

Step 6: Repeat step 5 until you have almost made it all the way around your shape.
Step 7: Using a funnel, fill your hand warmer with rice.

Using a funnel to fill a DIY hand warmer with ice

Step 8: Once you have sewn all the way around, go over your first stitch, making sure the hole is completely closed. Tie a knot and tuck it inside to hide it.
Step 9: Place your hand warmers in a microwave to heat them up for about 30 seconds. Be careful—they will be pretty hot.

Safety Tip:

Make sure all your materials are microwave safe! 100% cotton fabric and 100% cotton embroidery thread are usually microwave safe. Make sure to stay away from polyester (thread and fabric) and check all materials before placing your hand warmers in a microwave.

This article about DIY hand warmers appeared in the January/February 2023 issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!


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