Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Pinterest Fun!

I'm just squeaking in here on the last day of July with my monthly Pinterest-inspired creation. Several weeks ago my stitch group held our annual Birthday Party. On this special stitch day, we all bring a dish for our luncheon and we celebrate our group members' birthdays all on one day. I like to bring a little handmade item for each of the ladies in our group.

This month I tried my hand at making needle minders. There are quite a few different kinds on Pinterest, so I chose: 1) fabric covered button needle minders. This video is by Stitching Mae and can be found HERE. 2) DIY magnets using glass flat marbles and Mod Podge. The tutorial is by Crafts By Courtney. 3) Alcohol ink magnets also done on flat glass marbles by Sarah Jane's Craft Blog.

Some of these were intended to be refrigerator magnets, but they can also be used as needle minders with the addition of an extra magnet. I'm going to start with the ones I like best, which were Stitching Mae's fabric covered button needle minders.
These were extremely easy to make and turned out the cutest and most practical. Because the button forms you use are made of metal, the needle sticks firmly to the minder.
I used a Sew-Ology brand button kit that I bought at Hobby Lobby. Pictured above is the form (the white thing), the pusher (blue thing), and a pack of additional metal buttons. Please follow the easy-to-follow instructions on the video, which I've linked above. I used regular round black magnets for these, but have since learned that these can leave a mark on your fabric. In the comments section of the video, someone suggests using clear nail polish on the parts of the magnets that will touch the fabric. I haven't tried that, so can't vouch for it, but might be worth a try with a test run on some scrap fabric.

Next I tried to make the flat glass marble and scrapbook paper needle minders using the tutorial from Crafts By Courtney. I bought a bag of clear glass flat marbles from the dollar store and used stuff I had in the craft room to make them.
These were fun to make. The glass has a magnifying effect on the material you Mod Podge to the back, so the effect was really pretty. The marbles I bought weren't perfectly round, so I couldn't use any kind of puncher. Rather, I had to trace onto the paper using the marble and do some careful trimming. I started off using the regular round black magnets on these and quickly found that while the needles stuck to them, they didn't stick very well and would fall off easily because of the thickness of the glass. So I substituted some rare earth magnets and solved the needle-sticking issue. But that brought on a whole new issue: those little rare earth magnets are strong! If you have any kind of hand weakness or pain, these are pretty difficult to pry apart to use on fabric. In addition, prying too hard will rip the magnet right off the scrapbook paper.
Rare earth magnets all stuck together. 
One more that I made. I got to use glitter!
I think that these glass ones would be better used as fridge magnets as originally suggested in the tutorial.

The last one I attempted was again using the clear flat marbles. This time, though, I used alcohol ink to make a "pretty" design.
Confession time: this was my first time using alcohol inks. I think they turned out just ok. I need a lot more practice with the inks! These never made it to actual needle minders, but I will glue a magnet on the back and use them for refrigerator magnets.

Speaking of glue, for the glass ones I used E-6000. It's a good, strong glue and it's used by crafters for many things. However, the stink that this stuff gives off is awful. And yes, I did use it in a well-ventilated area - my garage with the doors open. Even after using the glue and removing the stuff I glued, it took a few days for the stench to disappear from the garage. (I also noticed that the needle minders retained some of the smell even when I gave them as gifts!) So I got out the tube of trusty 527 Craft Cement and used it on the fabric needle minders. It worked perfectly and with very little "glue smell".

So the winner here is clearly the fabric-covered button needle minders. So fun and easy to do, and a great way to use small fabric remnants. By the way, I usually cross stitch in hand (no hoop or Q-Snaps), so I don't use needle minders on my fabric. I still use them though. I just put one on the table and deposit my needle on it when not in use.

I don't think I'll be using these glass marbles for needle minders anymore, but I did find some little thinner glass squares that are used for jewelry, and I'll see what I can do with those. That's the fun of crafting. Figuring out what works and what doesn't can actually be fun!


  1. These are so cute, what a great idea.

  2. Thanks for reporting on your little crafting experiment! Looks like a fun thing to do. :)

  3. Enjoyed seeing the assorted needle minders you created! Thank you for the tips you share as you go about the process.