Homemade Valentine Gifts From The Heart

valentine gifts

Valentine’s day is one of my most favorite holidays! I enjoy it more than Christmas. One day I contemplated why that is so, and I came to a conclusion. All the other holidays seem to have so many expectations and stress around them. Then in February there isn’t much going on, you are doing all you can to get through the cold dreary winter, and bright cheery valentine gifts just seem to brighten it up a bit. Gives you a little hope.

When Valentine’s day rolls around I know spring is just around the corner. But the real reason I think is that when I was a little girl, this was the only time I ever got a note from my mother. She would buy us all (six kids) a little Valentine treat and place it on our pillows. So when we went to bed on Valentine’s day, there would be a small box of chocolates, or some fun treat and most importantly a heartfelt note from our mother. This meant the world to me! I have done the same for my children, but they get notes from me all year long. 🙂

I do love my mother!!!  Homemade Valentine gifts from the heart mean the world to me and I am sure they will to those you love as well.

Valentine Gift Ideas

Here are a few ideas of some fun things you can make up for Valentine gifts using upcycled materials and fabric you have kicking around the house. There are a few printable items as well that you can download and print.

If you don’t sew or have a lot of time to make something, a heartfelt note, handmade card, a yummy homemade treat or meal is fabulous. The gift of YOUR TIME can be just as meaningful, or even more.

Just let your gift be from the heart. If you are giving from obligation or expecting something in return, the recipient can feel it energetically. Who wants to feel like an obligation or burden? Something to think about. So when you give, make sure it IS from the HEART.

There are still a few weeks left to gather up your ideas, your felted wool sweaters, or your paper and glue and let your creative juices flow!

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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How To Measure Hands For Mittens

valentine gifts

This was one of the first patterns I designed using upcycled wool sweaters. I tweaked and adjusted this pattern until these mittens fit perfectly. Unlike some of the other mitten patterns I tried to make that were way too bulky for my liking. This pattern has been a great little pattern, simple, to the point and easy to make. However, after many years, I felt the pattern instructions and the pattern itself needed to be cleaned up a bit, so I have made a few updates. Not only did I update the look of the pattern I added a sizing chart with instructions on how to measure hands for mittens.

I get a lot of inquiries regarding what size would fit a certain age and how to know what size to make. Age has no relevance because hand measurements vary so much with age. Hopefully this sizing chart will be helpful in choosing the size you need and make you feel more confident that the mittens you sew up will actually fit.

How to measure your hands

Measure the width and the length of your hands using a measuring tape. If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can wrap a string around your hand and then measure the string using a ruler.

How To Measure Hands For Mittens

Width Measurement:

Wrap a tailor’s measuring tape around your dominant hand just below the knuckles, excluding your thumb, and make a fist. This measurement is your “hand width” mitten size.

How To Measure Hands For Mittens

Length Measurement:

Measure from the bottom edge of palm to the tip of your middle finger to determine your “finger length” size.

*When between sizes, go up a size.

How To Measure Hands For Mittens

As a general guide:

Toddler sizes range from 3.5 – 5.5 inches in width.

Kids sizes range from 6 – 7.5 inches.

This pattern includes SEVEN different sizes, and can be located here in my Etsy shop or here in my Craftsy shop.

I also have an infant and child pattern for those wee little hands.

How To Measure Hands For Mittens
How To Measure Hands For Mittens

If you would like to purchase the pattern, go to either shop for a quick INSTANT DOWNLOAD.

Subscribe to my blog to make sure you get future pattern updates and other upcoming tips and tricks.

Happy Winter Sewing!

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

DIY Foot Warmer Tutorial

gift ideas foot warmer

Take the chill out of your bed and keep your feet toasty warm with these easy-to-make therapy bags. This DIY foot warmer tutorial will guide you through an easy, peasy winter sewing project.

My husband and I have been using these for years. I guess we have become wimps in our old age, because now we can’t go to bed without a heated corn bag in our bed. My husband will heat one or two up and throw them under the covers a few minutes before we go to bed, then when we jump in, ohhhhhh nice and toasty. If you have cold feet, these are the bomb! Wrap your feet around one and you are good to go.

These little bags are great for placing anywhere on your body that needs some soothing. You can also place the bags in the freezer to use as a cold pack.

Foot Warmer Materials & Items Needed 

  • 21 1/2 inches x 11 inches fabric (I prefer flannel, but any woven cotton or knit piece will work)
  • feed corn (don’t use popcorn), rice, buckwheat, or flax seeds

You can fill your bags with feed corn, rice, buckwheat, wheat, or flaxseed. I have tried all of them and feed corn seems to hold the heat the longest. Be prepared for whatever you used to smell when it’s heated- feed corn like popcorn, rice-like cooked wheat, rice, and buckwheat… smells a little grainy. The flax has the least amount of smell but doesn’t stay heated near as long.

I usually make a liner and a slipcover for my other therapy bags, but I don’t for the footbags because it is just too bulky.


1. Cut out a strip of fabric 22 inches x 11 inches.

If you are using 45-inch wide fabric, you can get two bags out of an 11-inch strip of fabric. You might as well make two while you are sewing.

2. Fold in half with Right Sides Together (RST). Sew down the sides, leaving the top edge open.

DIY Foot Warmer Tutorial

3. Turn inside out and fold the top edge down 1/2 inch. Press.


4. Fill the bag with 5 – 6 cups feed corn, or other filler of choice.

5. Line up the top edges, and pin in place.


6. Sew along the top edge using a straight or zigzag stitch.

To heat the foot warmer: microwave for 2 minutes and flip over and heat for another 2 minutes. *note that all microwaves heat differently. To be on the safe side, perhaps you could start with 90 seconds on each side. If it isn’t hot enough, heat a little longer.

This footwarmer makes a really nice gift. You can download the tags here.

Make a matching eye pillow for a nice therapy bag gift set.

You can get the other pattern to make the other bags here. Eye pillow, hand warmers, neck bag, big soothing sack all work well both hot or cold.

Give your tootsies some warm loven.

Hand warmer tutorial here.

Keep cozy warm and have fun sewing!




Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More