This beginner level sewing project is quick, easy and low cost and would be great for craft sales or little gifts.
Cherry pits are wonderful to use in hand warmers or heat packs because they naturally retain heat and release it slowly. Their small, round shape helps them to comfortably conform to the shape of your body, and they have a very pleasant light cherry scent. They can be purchased in bulk, cleaned, dried and ready to use from many sources online. (I found mine at The Next Door Down on Etsy.)
To make hand warmers:
- Stack two charm squares (or scraps of fabric cut to 5″ square) right sides together and cut them in half, so that you have two pieces of fabric 2.5″ x 5″.
- Sew with a quarter inch seam allowance around the outside of the rectangles, leaving an opening along one long side. (Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches to lock them in place.)
- Turn right side out and press with a steamy iron.
- Lightly fill with cherry pits.
- Sew the opening closed very close to the edge of the fabric. If you find it’s hard to maneuver under the presser foot, remove a few cherry pits and try again. You’ll want the cherry pits to be able to move around a little when finished, so don’t over fill.
Mix and match all kinds of fabrics, or make matching sets and tie them up with a little ribbon. To use, pop them in a microwave for 20-30 seconds. (Don’t overdo it, scorched cherry pits don’t smell nice.)
The packs are small enough so that they can stay in coat pockets all day without being much in the way, so kids are likely to bring them back home to heat up again before the bus stop wait tomorrow. If your kids are fidgety like mine (and me!) they’ll probably enjoy the soothing feel of the warm cherry pits rolling around inside the warmers.
Make larger packs with the same method to use as a heating pad, or chill in the freezer to use as an ice pack.