Making Bed Warmers Out of Recycled Materials

One of the most practical of winter traditions, next to food preservation, is making things to keep your family warm. This project uses the cast off calves of blue jeans turned into cut-offs, an old towel destined for the rag bin, and some suspiciously old rice or dried beans from the back of the pantry. This would make a great gift for a significant other with freezing bed feet, and since you probably have two legs on your blue jeans you can make one for yourself at the same time. (~_^) Hurray, happy feet!

Here’s the short form of the instructions: Make a rice filled pillow out of denim, make a pillowcase out of an old towel. Microwave the pillow until it is hot hot, (flipping over and ‘stiring’ occationally, you don’t want to set anything on fire), stick it in the towel pillowcase, throw it into the foot of your bed and then go brush your teeth while the foot of your bed gets toasty. The towel pillowcase is only there as insulation to keep you from burning your toes, so if you want to fish your bedwarmer out before getting into bed you could even skip that part.  

I meant this to be a solstice present for my husband, but his feet are too cold, so I just gave it to him as soon as I finished it.  :-D  Make one yourself from the instructions below and let me know if you can manage to keep it for a holiday gift.

Cut Stuff Out

Find some ratty jeans to turn into cut offs or rags, and cut them off. Alternately, if you don’t have any ratty jeans in your house or rag bin, you can just use a piece of denim or canvas or doubled up cotton flannel. You don’t want to use any synthetic materials, because they might melt in the microwave when you heat up your bedwarmer.

Find a section of denim that doesn’t have any holes, and cut a 13″ or longer tube.

Fold over the towel and laying your jean tube along the fold cut out a larger towel piece for your pillow. You should have a generous inch on one short edge and the long edge, and then a 5″ or so border at the larger short end. This is for your pillowcase hem.

Sew Up: Rice Stuffed Denim Pillow

Turn your jean leg inside out and sew the short (ankle) end shut. I used the fake overlock stitch on my machine, or you can just sew two parallel straight seams. I really don’t want my bed full of hot, or cold, rice.

Sew the other end shut leaving a generous 4″ hole in the middle for filling and turning.

Turn the pillow right side out, and fill with rice or dried beans, or a little of everything. My husband likes jasmine rice, and we had some with a grain moth in it, which he declared not-food, so I used that, and some old lentils and pinto beans. It smells nice when you warm it up.

Sew the seam shut with another double seam or fake overlock stitch, or whatever you feel like.

Sew Up: Towel Pillowcase

The fuzzier side of your towel will be the inside of the pillow. Unfold your towel with the fuzzier side up. Fold down 2″ of the side you cut long for the hem, and stitch down.

Fold your towel in half with the smooth side inward, and stitch around the two edges that you didn’t hem.

Turn your towel pillow case right side out and drop your pillow in. That’s it!


Happy Feet!


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