Even though winter may be almost over (well, we hope), this is a fun pair of projects that can be made quickly and that are useful year round. The hand warmers can double as “bean bags” for games and even for juggling when it’s not cold. The neck wrap is good in the winter to warm your toes or sooth your muscles after shoveling the driveway or also good for after doing yard work in the summer.
These cherry pit hand warmers and neck wraps are pretty much the same as their rice cousins only they use cherry pits inside instead of rice.
I was introduced to using cherry pits by my good friend Kristin of a little crispy. You can get the cleaned cherry pits here. You need about a 1/3 cup for each hand warmer or 2 lbs for a neck wrap. You get get a large bag and share some with friends or make some nice gifts with the rest.
I really like the cherry pit versions. The neck wraps sound like rain sticks when the pits move inside and they hold the heat well. I’ve been told you can wash the finished products but I haven’t tried yet. I’ll have to let you know how it works out.
To make the hand warmers:
Cut two pieces of fabric 5″ square. Place right sides together and sew around three of the sides with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Trim the corners.
Turn it right side out using a chopstick to poke the corners out.
Fold the raw edges of the top down (inside the pouch), about 3/8″ in.
Measure 1/3 cup of the cherry pits. You can also use the same amount of rice if you’d rather.
Pour the cherry pits into the pouch.
Pin the opening closed.
Stitch the bag shut as close to the edge as possible. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end to lock the stitches.
You can make lots of these quickly. To heat them, place in the microwave with a mug of water (it’s never a good idea to heat dry things in the microwave without moisture) and heat in small increments to the temperature you desire.
To make the neck wrap:
Cut a piece of fabric 18″ wide x 25″ long. I used flannel for this one to make it extra soft. And who wouldn’t like the cute sock monkeys? (I had to make two of these — one for each kiddo — because they liked the monkeys so much.)
Fold the fabric in half so it’s 9″ x 25″, right sides together. Sew the bottom and one side closed with a 3/8″ seam allowance, leaving the top open. Turn it right side out.
Place approximately 2 lbs of the cherry pits (or rice if you want to use that) inside. Fold the raw edges of the opening in about 1/2″ and stitch shut as you did for the hand warmers. Heat in the same manner as the hand warmers and enjoy.