There's nothing like a foot warmer. On a cold night - and Idaho nights in the mountains can be cold! - it's incredibly comforting to snuggle your chilly toes into a deliciously warm spot down under the blankets when you crawl into bed. I used to enviously read in old novels the description of hot water bottles that were used as a matter of course when the weather turned frosty, and suffered with cold feet myself until I was researching hot water bottles and discovered the novel idea of foot warmers! I hate to wear socks in bed, and without the sloppiness of hot water bottles, a foot warmer like this one can be reused again and again, laundered and refreshed when needed, and keeps heat for more than an hour, without electricity. Plus you can make one in fifteen minutes - how handy is that?
8 1/2 x 25 in. piece of all natural fabric
cotton sewing thread
cotton string (crochet thread works great)
wide mouth funnel
rice, corn, or oatmeal for filling
You want an all natural fiber because you don't want to put anything synthetic in the microwave. Believe me, you don't want to try it. So stick to 100% cotton fabric, like the retro printed quilting cotton I used, or something similarly completely natural like linen. You can cut it a different size if you want it shorter or fatter or longer for use in a wide bed.
So, start with your rectangle of fabric - press it first.
Sew a narrow hem on each short side.
This is how it will look with the short ends hemmed:
Now French seam the long side together. To do this, hold it wrong side together (counterintuitive I know!) and run a 2/8 in. seam.
Turn it wrong side out and run a 3/8 in. seam to encase the raw edge.
Now you have a tube that looks like this:
Turn it right side out:
The simplest part - use your cotton string (I use crochet thread to make sure it's 100% cotton) to bind one end a few inches from the end.
Using your funnel, fill the tube with your choice of filling. I like the texture of oatmeal, but you can use shelled corn or rice. Each one has their fans. Any of them will have some scent after heating, so I like to mix in some dried lavender blooms with my filling. So when I take it out of the microwave it smells something like lavender porridge!
Tie off the other end and you're done! When you want to use it, microwave it 30 seconds at a time until you get it to your preferred temperature. Any time you want to launder it, or refresh your filling, just untie one end and dump out the filling. Super simple!
And believe me, a warmer is so cozy to tuck against your back if you're not feeling well, or at your feet on a cold night. They are better to sleep with than electric heating pads because the heat gradually fades. But I find them long lasting enough.
That's all for this month's tutorial. Thanks for stopping by!
~Kristen - Verity Vintage Studio
Look for my new tutorials posted sometime during the first full week of every month. Hairstyles, crafts, repurposing, project journals, do-it-yourself vintage or alterations, etc.