Friday, 22 June 2012

Zakka Hand Warmer Pocket Fresheners

Hand warmers?  In summer?  Really?  Well yes actually - especially when they double for pocket fresheners in the summer and revert back to hand warmers in the winter.  How you ask is this possible?  Is the Patchsmith really that magical?  Well the answer is yes she is........

If you are following along with the Zakka Style sew along then you will know that Zakka relates to useful household products in Japan.  This week's project is a very sweet pair of hand warmers created and designed by Holly Keller.  The embroidered hand warmers are encasing muslin pouches full of rice which can be warmed in the microwave and then popped into your coat pocket when going out into the cold and wet, keeping you nice and toastie. 

Can you see where this is going?   Yes, it is simple ...  to make these wonderful little items useful all year round you will need to create an additional two muslin pouches and fill them full of dried lavender.  Then, when you store your winter coat or jacket, just pop the lavender filled hand warmers into the pocket of your clothing to keep your item fresh and ready for winter wear.
I have to admit, embroidery is not my strongest talent but I wanted to keep in the spirit of the Zakka project so I hand appliqued gingham hands onto soft red cotton fabric instead.  As I was doing so, it occurred to me what a wonderful gift this would make for a grandparent if you traced around the hand print of a little grandchild.  That way, grandma or grandpa can hold the hand of their little one even when they are miles and miles away. 

For those of you who do not have access to little ones I have created a PDF of a coaster template I designed which also includes a heart, start and moon.  Just click here or on the page on the right.  Feel free to use it as often as you like.
This project was very, very easy and only took one hour from start to finish.  The hardest part was filling the muslin pouches with dried lavender (I used a teaspoon!).  I also made the overlap at the back of the hand warmers bigger so that they didn't gape.
I was going to attach a loop prior to sewing up the hand warmer, so that they could hang on the coat hook beside the coats.  Unfortunately, I forgot to do so (doh!).  Never mind, I could always attach a button to the back and make a loop. 

The way the British weather is going at present, I may need to heat up the rice pouches very soon.


  1. I love these little handprints! Your idea for grandparents presents is charming...and wouldn't the little hands be sweet on a mug rug for Grandma? {Sorry...but I am stuck on mug rugs!!!}

  2. I love putting the hands on cute!

  3. aren't you clever! The lavender, the pdf, the little hands. Very nice.

  4. I never thought about lavender but that is brilliant and i never knew it could be heated. I made my overlapping bits larger too!