In this 90+ degree heat, I’ve decided to make a craft that will be totally useless for another few months. Or totally useless for… life. Haters gon’ hate.
This “heart warmer” has been on my “to-make” list since I saw it 2 winters ago. It’s a reusable hand warmer in the shape of a heart (filled with rice– stick it in the microwave to heat). However, I like owls and thought it would be (almost) equally easy to make it in an owl shape rather than a heart. But then I Googled “owl hand warmer” and of course, multiple hits came up, like this and this. Damn, it’s hard to be creative slash unique in the crafting world. Ah well. Here’s my take anyway.
SOOOO this project ended up taking 29032x longer than I originally anticipated. It’s actually quite easy, and all the sewing went by quickly (both by hand and machine)— until I had to deal with the cotton floral fabric (the rest is obvi felt). Something about the small pieces of thin cotton was just unmanageable to me and I was so.frustrated. Also my sewing machine jammed about 23x which was so.frustrating. And I wasted time trying out embroidery thread for the border and ended up removing it all (because it was ugly) which was also.. wait for it.. so.frustrating. Ack.
I think now that I’ve made it once though, I can do it again 10x faster (assuming I won’t have the same set of issues), but if you ask me… I’m kinda over hand warmers and owls at this point. But if youuuu want to try, here are the basic steps:
1) Draw a basic pattern for what you want your owls to look like. I chose a square-ish shape and an oval-ish shape, and ended up going with the former– about 2.5″x3.5″.
2) Draw and cut out a template onto card stock for the body and eyes. (Note that in the picture above-right, I have a stencil for the wings as well– I ended up not using that). I free-handed the pupils and the beak and thus did not need stencils for those.
3) Trace all stencils onto your felt (I used a black pen) and cut out– you’ll need two pieces for the body (front/back), and two eyes. Also, cut out two pupils and a beak. Using pinking shears, cut two wings in quarter-circle-ish pieces from fabric. You can use felt for this part too, but I think the fabric looks a lot better.
4) Either hand-sew or use a sewing machine to sew on eyes and beak. I used a machine for the white eyeballs and hand-sewed the pupils and beak.
(…..seriously all of this was super fast and easy up to this point)
5) Pin the two wings onto the front of the body. Sew just the innermost part of the wings (the CURVED parts) to the body. Then, tuck the outer edges of the fabric behind/underneath the felt, sandwiching the edges of the fabric between the two pieces of the body.
6) Sew (I used a machine) along the border of the entire owl, leaving a 1/2″ space for you to fill with rice. I left my hole at the very bottom.
7) Fill owl with uncooked rice (did I really have to specify “uncooked”?… yes, just in case), then hand-sew the hole closed.
To use, microwave for 20 seconds then… Hold in your hands. Put in your pocket. Caress against your face. Yay!
I really felt like steps 5 and 6 were the hardest parts– keeping the fabric where it was supposed to be while sewing along the border of the owl with the felt pieces nicely lined up. I may have had more issues because the edges of my felt were holey and stretched out from hand-sewing embroidery thread for my first time around the owl.
Ah well. Frustrations aside, I think it turned out pretty cute.
But next time, I’m sticking with the original heart shape………. too bad there won’t be a next time. 😉