Monday, December 14, 2009

Homemade Christmas III

Give the gift of warmth this Christmas! Surprise your friends and family with easy-to-make rice bag foot warmers as they come in from the cold. Directions are courtesy of Lisa (Schwabauer) Poblenz ’02, who said, “I received one of these years ago from my aunt. It was so great that I made several of my own as gifts. These are a staple in our house in the winter and for aches and pains all year long.” Keep reading to find out how to warm up your loved ones’ lives this Christmas.

Rice Bag Foot Warmers


Materials

• ½ yard of muslin or other 100% cotton fabric for the rice bag itself (this will be mostly unseen)
• ½ yard of 100% cotton fabric for the outer covering of the rice bag (it will be like a small pillowcase)
• 2–3 cups of uncooked rice to fill the bag with
• Thread in the colors of your two fabric pieces
• Sewing machine (recommended) or needle and thread
• Fabric scissors
• Rotary cutter, clear ruler, and cutting mat (all optional)
• Iron and ironing board
• Straight pins

Directions

• Wash and dry all of your fabric without using a fabric softener sheet. Iron all fabric.
• Cut the fabric. You will need an 11" x 15" piece of the muslin/rice bag fabric and a 14" x 16" piece of the fabric for the “pillowcase” of the rice bag.
• Begin to sew the inner cover. Fold the inner fabric (muslin or whatever you are using) in half, making a 7 ½" x 11" rectangle with right sides together. Pin. Sew the bottom and side of the bag with a ¼" seam, removing pins as you come to them. Turn the bag right-side-out.
• Fill the bag with rice until it is about ½ full when you hold it by the top.
• Sew the top seam of the rice bag. Fold ¼" of the fabric at the top to the inside all the way around the opening and iron with the steam off. Pin. Sew a ⅛" seam to close the opening. Don’t worry that this seam shows.
• Create a hem at the opening of the outer cover. On one of the 16" sides of your outer cover fabric, fold ½" of fabric to the wrong side and iron. Then, fold the fabric again ½", enclosing the raw edge and iron. Pin. Sew the seam you’ve created with a ¼" seam taking the pins out as you go.
• Finish the outer cover. Fold the fabric in half, making an 8" x 13" rectangle with right sides together. Pin the bottom and side together and then sew with a ¼" seam taking pins out as you go. Leave the top (where you made your hem) open. Turn inside out and iron.
• Slip the rice bag into its cover and it’s done!

When you or the recipient of your gift wants to use your rice bag, microwave it for two minutes on high power, making sure it never gets wet. Then use it to warm your feet, soothe your aches, or keep you cozy when you’re watching all those Christmas movies.

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