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Needle Book Crafting Kit

Organization always seems to be the bane of the crafter. Naturally creative people aren’t always naturally organized. I made a little crafty case to clear away most of my clutter, but the one thing a box doesn’t organize very well is small pointy objects. Sure, it’ll keep them all in one place, but the only way to find them seems to sacrifice yourself as a human pincushion. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack, which is either really hard, or rather painful, even if you do merit success.

I stuffed poor crafty bunny in my embroidery box once while I was cleaning up and he came out looking like a hedgehog. He was not a pleased looking bunny. 

It seems I need to take pointy object organization one step further, so this week we’re going to make ourselves a spiffy little needle book crafting kit, and spare the bunny from a repeat performance of his hedgehog impersonation.


To make your crafty kit, you’ll need fabric for the outside, lining fabric, a few pieces of felt, a tiny bit of stuffing, and some ribbon. This kit is designed to hold a small pair of scissors, needles, and some pins, which you’ll also want to have on hand. A spiff-tastic embroidery design is also warranted. For such a case as this, we have lots of “crafty” designs that suit this particular project really well.   

What you include in your crafty kit really depends on what you need to organize. I’ll show you what I put in mine, but also mention few other accessories you can add to yours.


Hoop up your fabric with some stabilizer. This is the fabric that will be the outside of your craft kit. We’re going to embroider the design before we cut it out, so it’s easier to hoop.

Make sure you have enough fabric to cut out a rectangle roughly 10 inches by 6 inches when it’s done. Your design will be on the right edge of that rectangle, so that when we fold our finished needle book in half, the design will be on the cover.


Once your design is done stitching, remove it from your machine and snip away the extra stabilizer on the back. I chose the Craft or Die design, because really, what other option is there?


Now, we want to cut out our rectangle. Fold your fabric in half with the fold on the left side of the design, as shown. You can pin the fabric together so it doesn’t move about when we cut it.

From the folded edge, measure out a square 5 inches long by 5 1/2 inches high. This should fit most designs that accommodate a 5 by 7 hoop or smaller, but is large enough to fit a small pair of scissors inside. The crafty case is no good if pointy bits still stick out of it.

When you cut out around your design, leave a little more excess to the right of the design, because that’s where we’re going to lose 1/4 inch for our seam allowance. This way your design will still be centered when we’re done.


Open the fabric you just cut so it’s a big long flat rectangle.

Now, pin it on top of your lining fabric, and snip around it so you have two pieces of fabric exactly the same size.


It’s time to decide what you want in your craft kit! The one thing nearly every crafter needs, I think, is a scissors. It doesn’t matter if you’re embroidering or sewing, you’ll still need something to snip the threads. A small furry bunny with teeth doesn’t count. 

Take your inside fabric and lay it out flat.   Keep in mind this whole thing will fold in half like a book, so decide what side you want your scissors to be on, and lay them where you think they look best. I put mine on the right side.


Once you like where your scissors are, cut a strip of fabric about and 1 1/2 inches tall and long enough to go over the middle of your scissors (at least 3 inches wide). Fold the raw edges under and sew a seam down either side so you have a nice little finished strap.


Using your scissors as a guide, pin the strap in place, folding the raw edges under when you do. Test to see if you like where your scissors fit and how snug the strap should be. When you’re happy, remove the scissors and sew the two sides of the strap in place.


Next, we’ll want a place to put all our wayward needles and maybe even a few pins. 

Cut out a piece of felt that’s about 3 1/2 inches wide by 2 inches high. Center this at the top of the left side of your needle book, and pin it in place.

To help remind you of the spacing, it may help to fold the book over and press or iron the crease, so you can clearly see how the book is divided.   Once the placement is good, sew a 1/4 inch seam all the way around your felt rectangle.


I decided for my little craft kit a mini pincushion would be really useful. It can store more needles flat when closed, and let them stand upright for easy access when the kit is open. 

If you want to add one, take a piece of felt and cut out a simple shape that’s no larger than 2 inches by 2 inches. I thought a skull would be cute, and suit the whole “Craft or Die” thing. Other shapes that work well are hearts, circles, or anything simple without too many angles.

Cut your shape out of a piece of felt or other soft cloth. Because mine was a little skull, I decided he needed two button eyes, so I stitched them on as well.


Pin your little pincushion below your little rectangle of felt. When you pin it in place, don’t pull it totally flat. We’re going to stuff it, so it needs a little room to get plump. Pin it so a little bit of it is raised. 

Sew a seam around the edges, leaving a 1 inch gap somewhere for you to stick the stuffing in. I left his noggin’ open.


Take a little bit of stuffing and stuff your little pincushion through the opening. You don’t need much, just enough to get it a little bit plump. When it’s stuffed to satisfaction, finish the seam and sew the hole closed. Ta da! you now have a mini travel pincushion. 

I also added a few decorative stitches so my skull would have a few teeth. He needs his teeth, right?


Now, it’s time to stitch the whole thing together.  Before we do this, think about if you want to add any extra pockets or do-dads. You might want to stitch a pocket for thread, or a place for buttons, or whatever. Do it before we do this step.

If you like your little craft kit how it is, then take your embroidered piece and pin it to the lining, right sides together. The side with the embroidery should be on top of the side with the skull and needle holder. 


We’re going to stitch in some ribbon on either side of our needle book so we can tie it closed.  Take a piece of ribbon, about 12 inches long, and put it inside the fabric between the two layers. Leave one small piece of it sticking out on the right side, and pin it in place between the two layers.

When we sew and turn it, the ribbon will be on the outside, attached to the side. Make sure none of the extra ribbon on the inside will get sewn into any other edges. Keep it in the center, away from the seams.


Sew a 1/4 inch seam around the edges, leaving the side without the pinned ribbon open, so we can turn it right side out.


Once you’ve turned your book right side out, use a ruler or pencil to push out all the edges.  To finish the last open edge, fold the raw edges in 1/4 inch. Cut another piece of ribbon roughly the same length as the last one, and pin it in between the two layers. Make sure that when you fold the book in half, the two ribbons roughly line up together. You don’t want one drastically higher or lower than the other.


Sew a finishing seam 1/4 inch in around all of the edges, starting down the open edge with the ribbon. Continue all the way around to finish up the needle book. 

Once you’ve finished your seam, fold your book in half, tie a bow with your ribbon, and trim off any excess.


You now have your very own portable craft kit!  It’s small enough to be perfect for on-the-go crafting, fitting into bags or purses. The swank embroidery on the cover lets everyone know what a crafty person you are. Heck, you have to have this little kit with you. Apparently the other option is fatal.


Now you’ve got a great little kit to keep your easily lost, pointy objects all in one snug place. No more painful searches in your craft box, or discovering your needles via bare feet on the craft floor. You can customize it by adding extra holders for bobbins, or slots for embroidery thread, or pockets for embroidery designs.

These kits also make perfect gifts for crafty friends, and best of all, it’s all handmade! Now you can tote your obsessive embroidery addiction with you everywhere!

Look out world, because we’re crafty and now we’re perpetually armed with scissors.


 
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