How to Make a Candy-Tin Sewing Kit

comments (0) December 23rd, 2008     

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CalPatch cal patch, contributor
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Youll be prepared for any sewing emergency with this handy little sewing kit.
This is my personal sewing kit; a little messy but often used.
Gather your supplies before you begin.
Youll be prepared for any sewing emergency with this handy little sewing kit.

You'll be prepared for any sewing emergency with this handy little sewing kit.

Photo: Cal Patch

I love sewing kits. Even those chintzy ones you find in hotel rooms have always held a certain appeal. I think it's a feeling of security, like I'll always be prepared for any sewing emergency. I carry a kit in my bag wherever I go, and I've always thought that they're a perfect gift idea. The one that I use is just a candy tin with a piece of felt inside, but I've always wished I'd taken the time to put a padded pincushion in the lid to make it a little more useful. Now I've figured out the steps so you can make some, too!

This is my personal sewing kit; a little messy but often used.

You'll need:

  • A tin from mints or candy (such as Altoids)
  • Cardboard
  • Scrap of fabric
  • Handful of poly-fill or cotton
  • Felt
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Notions to stock the kit: pins, needles, thread, folding scissors

Gather your supplies before you begin.

Here's how I did it:

1. Trace the shape of the tin onto the cardboard. This will be the base of the pincushion. Cut it out, and check that it fits into the lid of the tin, allowing a tiny bit of room (about 1/16 inch) as it will be wrapped in fabric. Trim it down if necessary.

Trace the tin onto a piece of cardboard.

2. Use this cardboard as the pattern piece to cut out the felt that will line the bottom of the tin.

Using the cardboard piece, cut the same shape out of felt.

Also use it as a guide to cut the fabric cover for the pincushion; cut it about an inch bigger all around than the cardboard.

Cut the fabric for the pincushion cover about an inch bigger than the cardboard on all sides.

3. To make the pincushion, hot-glue the fabric cover, face up, to one of the long sides of the cardboard, overlapping about an inch as shown in the photo.

Overlap the fabric about an inch onto the cardboard, and glue.

Flip the piece over and wrap the two short sides and glue.

Flip the piece over so the fabric cover is face down...

...then fold the two short sides over the cardboard and glue them down.

Pull the fabric snugly over the rounded corners and secure with glue.

Pull on the corners and glue them securely.

Now you have a pocket in which you can stuff a small amount of poly-fill (not too much or you won't be able to close the tin).

Use the open side to put in some stuffing.

Fold over the remaining side, glue, and secure the last two corners.

Here's the completed pincushion from the back.

4. Glue the pincushion into the lid of the tin and the felt into the bottom.

Line the bottom of the tin with the felt, and place the pincushion in the lid. Glue both in place.

Now for the fun part...

5. Kit it out! Stock the kit with a small pair of scissors (I like the folding ones, and I've never had a problem with them at airport security), mini spools of thread (bobbins work perfectly), pins, needles (I like to prethread a few for instant access), and whatever else you or your recipient might like to have on hand: safety pins, buttons, embroidery floss, snaps, thimble, tape your inner Girl Scout!

Here's the kit with some basic sewing supplies added.

I sort of like the recycled candy tin look, but you could even paint or emboss the lid if you really want to make this a special gift. It makes an ideal gift for even your nonsewing friends and family, and they'll thank you the next time a button falls off or a seam comes undone!

You can leave the outside of the tin as is, or refinish it as you like.


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