Adorable rice owls, Valentine’s pocket warmers, sweet baby gifts, and general crafty craftiness at my house this weekend.

Rice-filled owl heating pads

Two old friends had babies recently, and I wanted to send the families handmade owl heating pads to welcome their new arrivals. (Making handmade baby gifts was one of my 2012 goals that stuck.) They’re adorable, unique, and great for warming up the crib and the car seat when it’s chilly out.

Rice-filled owl heating pads: an adorable, easy, and frugal DIY handmade craft!

When I was at the fabric store bolstering my stash of fun prints, the pinks and reds for Valentine’s crafting caught my eye. I thought briefly about making Valentine’s rice owls for my kids, but that would be too time-consuming. (These owls are definitely worth making, but they still take an hour each.)

But sweet and simple hearts would be easy, cute, and fun.

Valentine's Day heating pads and pocket warmers

When I pulled out my supplies to get to work, Sarah’s crafty radar immediately went up. She wanted to help, and volunteered the use of her sewing machine. (Our good sewing machine is actually Sarah’s: my mom gave it to her for her birthday, because my mom believes in quality equipment. I should tell you about my mom’s philosophy sometime.)

Rice-filled owl heating pads

My daughter loves these adorable little owl warmers, and she sleeps with hers every night, but we’ve never talked about how I made them. She asked me:

“Mom, did you come up with that idea yourself?”

“No, honey. I saw it on Pinterest a long time ago.”

She sighed. “I don’t look for my ideas on the internet, Mom. I come up with all my ideas myself. People should spend less time on the internet and come up with more of their own ideas.”

(Hmm. She might be on to something. And yes, this is the kid who wants her own Etsy shop.)

heart warmers large

“Did you come up with the idea for the hearts yourself?”

“Yes, babe, I did.”

“That’s good. I’m proud of you, Mom.”

(Sigh. Did I tell you she’s eight?)

“Mom, I have an idea for a new craft right now. Wanna see?”

pocket warmers

And then she asked if she could use all my felt and the grown-up scissors. I said yes–because if a kid is bursting to try an idea, you’ve gotta let them. (I also might have been heavily influenced by my current read.)

Sarah whipped up these little felt hand warmers in ten minutes flat. She calls them “pocket warmers,” which I love. She wants to make a pig and a cheeseburger, a lamb and a tomato, but we were limited by our felt supply. She’ll make more after we replenish our felt stores at JoAnn!

When we were done with our crafting, this is what we had:

Rice-filled owl heating pads. Cute, frugal, easy, and adorable DIY! Great for gifting or just staying cozy during this freezing winter.

Rice-filled owl heating pads

Get the pattern here. I also did a tutorial over on Life as Mom.

We bundled up the owl heating pads with diapers for baby and chocolate for mama before we sent them off to the new babies.

For a sweet baby gift combine something homemade with useful staples every family needs. (Because every postpartum mom needs chocolate, right?) This baby gift combines a handmade rice-filled owl-shaped heating pad with diapers and chocolate.

Heart-shaped hand-warmers for Valentine’s Day

These are so simple.

  • Draft a pattern (or freestyle it–these don’t have to be perfect) and cut two hearts. (Mine are 5 inches across)
  • Place right sides together and sew shut, leaving a 2-inch gap.
  • Turn inside out and fill about half-full with rice.
  • Hand-stitch opening shut.

Valentine's Day heating pads and hand warmers -- a quick and easy DIY.

Winter pocket warmers

  • Sarah says cut any shapes you want out of felt. Hers are 2-3 inches across. You need matching pairs.
  • Decorate the felt using scraps or ribbons, if desired.
  • Sew together with right sides facing out, leaving an opening to fill with rice.
  • Fill with rice and sew them up.
  • Sarah says you can sew these by hand, but it will take a little longer.

Valentine's Day pocket warmers (tiny heating pads) are a cute, fun, practical gift that even kids can make. (Or make some for yourself because it's COLD outside!) Just pop them in the microwave for twenty seconds and slip them in your pocket.

These little pocket warmers are now in a basket by the back door, ready to pop into the microwave (ours take about 20 seconds each) and then into pockets on our way out into the cold.

Are you into any craftiness lately? And I’m dying to hear what you think about Sarah’s thoughts on Pinterest!


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  1. Jennifer says:

    Oh my goodness, those pocket warmers are fantastic – I would totally buy them from Sarah’s future Etsy shop (especially during this Midwestern winter!). And the diapers+owl warmers+ chocolate suggestion = best baby gift ever – I would have LOVED to receive a gift like that after having any of my babies.

  2. Katherine says:

    I think your daughter is onto something with the whole Pinterest train of thought:) That would also dovetail nicely into a discussion about people’s gifts and talents and how some people need a little creative spark from others, to get their own ideas going. Just like that- you have a whole lesson on personality types and how we are all suited to help each other out.

    Love the pocket warmers! Might make these with my kids today.

  3. “Pocket warmers” – what a great idea and clever name! My kids would adore those. Sounds like you’ve got a very impressive girl there. I’m sure her Etsy site would do quite well.

  4. Marianne says:

    I think I missed what book it is you’re currently reading that might have influenced you in giving your prized felt up! I’d love to know! =)

    • Anne says:

      Whoops! It’s The Medici Effect. One of his points is that we come up with great ideas by executing on tons of ideas, good and bad, and not just following through on the handful of good ones.

  5. Erin says:

    Those are so cute! I’m with Sarah and her philosophy of Pinterest. I came up with a really fun idea at a baby shower and the guests I didn’t know just assumed it was from Pinterest. One even said to me, “That’s so cute. What would we do without Pinterest.” I walked away before I replied, “The same thing you see here.”

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