The Art of Darkness

Quick Gift Idea: Scented Hot Pads

September 16th, 2015 by Cobwebs

Hot PadHere’s a fast, easy gift idea that has the added advantage of letting you use up leftover scraps of fabric: Hot pads and mug mats which give off a spicy autumnal scent when something hot is placed on top.

The fabric you use should be closely woven so bits of spice don’t fall out, and made of some material that won’t melt or discolor when exposed to heat (100% cotton is best).

For the spice mixture:

  • 1 C small cinnamon chips (if you can’t obtain these, put cinnamon sticks in a bag and whack them with a rolling pin or other heavy object to break them up)
  • 1 C anise seed
  • 1 C whole cloves
  • 1 C nutmeg pieces (these can be broken up the same way as the cinnamon, but nutmegs are pretty hard so you may need to use a hammer)
  • 1 C allspice berries
  • 1 C rosemary needles

For each mug mat you will need two squares of 5″x5″ fabric. Place right sides together and stitch sides with a 1/4″ seam, leaving an open space in the middle of one side for turning. Turn right-side out and press. Fill with spice mixture to about 1/2″ thick. Turn in the raw edges and top-stitch the opening. Package four mats together, tied with pretty ribbon, and tuck a cinnamon stick under the ribbon.

(For a fancier version of the mug mats, try The Road to Crazy’s reverse applique tutorial, which produced the cute little Frankenstein cupcake in the photo above.)

For a hot pad, you will need two squares of 8″x8″ fabric. Place right sides together and stitch three sides with a 1/2″ seam, then stitch the corners of the fourth side but leave the rest of the edge open. Turn right-side out and press. Turn in the raw edges on the fourth side 1/2″ and press. Stitch three parallel lines down the square, creating four tunnels of equal width. Fill the tunnels with the spice mixture to at least 1″ thick. Top-stitch the opening.

You can vary the spice mixture as desired, omitting some and adding others. Bits of dried citrus peel are nice, as are lavender flowers or strong-scented herbs. It’s easy to make up a large batch of the mixture and sew lots of hot pads as stocking stuffers or last-minute hostess gifts. If you plan to make the pads well in advance, store them in a plastic bag to keep their scent strong.

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