I have been playing with magnets, self-cover button kits and cute fussy cuts to make needle minders. They take no time to make. The most time-consuming step has been hunting for good magnets.
I seemed to be spending all my time on the hunt for just the right magnets, but after weeks of sticking my nose in craft stores, hardware stores and children’s art supply stores without much luck, I finally hit gold: magnets that actually stick. I found two Arbee brand magnets in a craft store (not photographed here as I have already given them away) and then, excited about how well they worked, I ordered a dozen more directly online from Arbee.
The idea of the needle minders is simple; they are just fabric-covered buttons. One magnet inside magnetises the button so needles will stay in place. Once the button is assembled, a loose magnet is used on the back to keep the needle minder where you want it. No glue!
After removing the wire part from each button case and wrapping it in fabric, I stuffed a weak magnet and a bit of hobby fill inside to stop it rattling. Initially, I used the weak magnets on the outside too, but now I have some strong ones on order, I repurposed the weak magnets into inside magnets. The weak magnets have enough grip to hold needles but not enough to secure the needle minder in place on your work, a work bag or clothing. The strong magnets are also slimmer and look neater.
I also stuck a few magnets to the bottom of Japanese bowls to make magnetic pin bowls. These were the strongest magnets I could find at the time, but now I wish I had waited and used the Arbee magnets instead. I tested before gluing, but they really do not have enough grip. I will have to look for more pretty bowls when my strong magnets are delivered. My advice is to find the strongest magnets you can if making your own pin bowls – not the ones I used! At least I got a laugh from the silly wording on the packaging.
It seems that unless a magnet has a warning advising caution around children, it will not have much oomph. (Seriously, be careful with magnets around small children.)
I have already given away one bowl and two needle minders, so they seem to make good little gifts.
Do you use magnets in your sewing? What have you made and is it easy for you to find suitable magnets?