Upcycled Sweater Heart Hand Warmers Tutorial

Sometimes I get these overly ambitious ideas and that is as far as they go. Just big ideas.Sometimes, a year or so later, I actually act on them. And, more often than not, it was a lot easier than I anticipated.

This particular big idea: I wanted to make hand warmers from sweater scraps. I made some sweater pillows (some are still not finished, so I will blog about them eventually) and I have a pile of sleeves laying around. Originally, I was going to make hand warmers for my kids' classmates for Valentine's Day, but I really don't have that much ambition. I realized that they are best in pairs, so I would have to make 80+ hearts. No, thank you! Instead, I gave them out as little thank you gifts for some friends and family.

DIY hand warmers made from old sweater scraps

Step-by-step tutorial shows how to make hand warmers from old sweaters.

Hand warmer thank you gifts.

They are soft and lavender scented and pretty. Just microwave them for about 30 seconds and tuck them in your pocket. They make a really pretty little favor or thank you gift. I just tied mine with baker's twine and made little tags to go with  them.

How to make hand warmers from old sweaters

I took some pictures to show you how to make them, and I even did it two different ways to make it even more beginner-friendly!

Start with your fabric- I used scraps from a sweater sleeve.

sweater scraps used to make handwarmers

Make a template- mine are about 3" across. I used an old receipt from the grocery store. Place the sweater scraps right side out and pin the template to them. You want to leave some extra fabric all around the template so that there is wiggle room if/when it shifts.

Use an old receipt to make a sewing template

Start on the straight side of one heart just before it starts to curve. Backstitch, then sew all around the template, leaving a small opening on the straight side. I used a receipt because if I caught the edge of the paper it didn't matter- it tears away easily.

Sewing hand warmers from old sweaters

Take our your pins and remove the template.

Sew hand warmers from old sweaters

Fill the hand warmer with rice. (A funnel is really helpful!) I mixed mine with some lavender essential oil.

How to make hand warmers with rice and old sweaters...

Sew the opening closed. It is a straight line, so it is pretty easy!

Sewing old sweaters to make hand warmers

How to make rice filled hand warmers

Use pinking shears to trim all the way around the heart.

How to make hand warmers from old sweaters without small pieces to sew

Easy, right?

Beautiful, soft handwarmers made from sweaters

But there is another way to do it that I found to be even easier...

Draw a template on a piece of tissue paper.

tissue paper template for sewing

Pin the template to your sweater pieces- I just folded the bottom of the sleeve in half, keeping the right sides out.

Use tissue paper as a sewing template for small pieces

Now, here is the even easier step... sew right on top of the tissue paper, following the lines you drew on the template. Again, start on the straight side right before the heart starts to curve and leave an opening at the end, stopping a half inch or so after the point at the bottom of the heart.

How to sew through tissue paper onto sweaters

See? The tissue paper just tears right off!

How to use tissue paper as an easy sewing template

Now, the only downside that I found was that the pencil from the template made my threads darker. So, if this bothers you, don't say that I didn't warn you. I put it in bold AND italics. Maybe a Frixion pen would work and iron out? If you try it, let me know! I can't find mine.

How to make a pair of pocket hand warmers from old sweaters

I love these soft hand warmers made from old sweater sleeves!

If you want to pin it for later... Upcycled Sweater Hand Warmers Tutorial

 

 

LOVE sign

I painted a sign last fall, but I didn't like it. Not everything that I make is beautiful and blog-worthy. Some things are kind of a flop, but I am usually stubborn enough to keep on trying. (There is your crafting tip for the day: Be stubborn sometimes.) So, because I felt like it, I painted over the whole thing in red and made a giant LOVE sign for Valentine's Day. It was actually really easy- simple, white block letters and lots of sanding to distress. I didn't worry about perfect lettering because the entire thing was meant to be rustic. All of those layers of paint underneath from the sign I didn't like show through from sanding and just add to the character.

rustic valentines day porch love sign

rustic painted letter L on red and white sign

I am not really big into Valentine's Day decorations, but the bright pop of red really stands out and adds a little something cheerful to all of the drear of winter. And the sign I didn't like has been turned into something that I LOVE. (cheesy pun intended)

Turn and old board into a hand painted LOVE sign for your porch.Valentines Day LOVE porch sign

You can see more Valentine's Day decorating here:

Or maybe you would like to try this yummy recipe:

Crochet Snowflakes

I procrastinate. Especially with my craft projects.

If it doesn't have a deadline, who knows when it will be finished? I started crocheting snowflakes a really long time ago. It was at least 10 years, but some of them could be older.

Vintage inspired crochet snowflakes

I don't know what is wrong with me, but all of these unfinished projects make me feel like a failure. That is not at all what crafting is supposed to be like. I don't need any guilt or stress added to my life over something so silly.

Someone challenged me to think of a focus for my life for the year 2017. I have never really tried that sort of thing, but I think my goal for this year is best summed up by this: I want to get my act together! I got a planner (LOVE IT!!!) and I want to be more organized. I want to keep my home managably clean and clutter free. I want to finish projects I have started. I want to do all of this so that I can bless my family and bring more peace to my home. (Now, there wasn't a lot of peace in my Momma-flip-out-moment over intentionally-made messes yesterday, but that is another story).

So, these may just look like little crocheted snowflakes, but they mean more than that to me. I mean, I like them, but it is more about the tiny sense of accomplishment.

Beautiful and simple crochet snowflakes

Crochet snowflakes- so easy to make!

I don't have patterns for these. Most of them came from a very old book that my mom gave me that was made on a typewriter. A few I might have found online back in the days of dial-up internet. I guess everything about these is old in some way. It is fitting. They look sort of vintage.

tiny crochet snowflake

crochet snowflake

I love this star shaped crochet snowflake!

All I had to do to finish them was to block them. I put wax paper on a box and pinned them fast. Then, I watered down glue and painted it on them. (My daughters helped, too.) We took them off when they were dry the next day. It definitely wasn't hard or worth procrastinating for a decade.

how to block crochet snowflakes

Crochet snowflakes- so easy to make!

I am heading somewhere with all of these little projects from our craft day and you won't want to miss the final result!!!  If you missed the last few posts, you can click on the pictures below to see more...

DIY twine balls made with jute, balloons, and glue!pine cone box centerpiece

Rustic Winter Pine Cone Centerpiece

After all of the Christmas decorations are put away the house can seem a little cold and empty. I wanted to create some neutral, rustic, winter decor to fill the gap a bit. I have a few Valentine's Day decorations, but if I put pink all over the place I would start a pretty big fight in this house since we have strong opinions on both sides about that color. Instead, I went with more natural elements (free stuff I gathered outside) for sort of a rustic, winter look.

 pine cone box centerpiece

pine cone box centerpiece

The first thing I made was this pine cone centerpiece. My husband had built me a box that will hold mason jars for a centerpiece. I had yet to fill it with anything and I was inspired by a centerpiece on Pinterest that has a bad link. I stained my box with a weathered gray stain and topped it with dark walnut antiquing wax.

 winter pine cone centerpiece

winter pine cone centerpiece

 rustic pine cone centerpiece

rustic pine cone centerpiece

I found two pillar candles in a cupboard. They aren't even the same color, but I don't care.

 natural winter centerpiece

natural winter centerpiece

Next, my daughter and I went for a walk and collected pine cones. They were wet from being outside, so we baked them in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or two on a foil lined cookie sheet. This makes them open up and draws out the sap and bugs. I spray painted them with a little ivory just to dust them and give them a frosty coating.

 how to bake pine cones

how to bake pine cones

 How to open pine cones

How to open pine cones

Finally, we arranged everything in the box with some white berry picks. Those were on clearance after Christmas and the only thing I had to actually buy for this project.  I really think arranging everything in the box was the hardest part. I also dabbed a bit more white paint on the edges of the pine cones for more contrast.  Some of the pine cones went missing before I took these pictures, too. ;)

 DIY frosted pine cones

DIY frosted pine cones

 rustic winter centerpiece box

rustic winter centerpiece box

I like my little box and it will be fun to change it out with the seasons. It isn't perfect, but the girls got to help and we made do with what we could find.

I have a few more rustic, winter decorating projects that I will blog about later this week!