By Jessica Wilson
The mister likes to joke that I can turn anything into a needlebook, or at least I talk about turning pretty much everything into a needlebook. Not that we all need that many needlebooks but I think they’re handy to have multiples of (I tend to misplace them). I have Macgyvered oodles of objects, including matchbooks and gum packages, into the nifty things. This time I bring you a pseudo-caffeinated version perfect for corralling pretty happy pins in one place. All you need is a cardboard coffee sleeve and a few extras, and your good to go!
Cardboard coffee sleeve
Felt a 5″ square is enough
Tacky Glue or other fabric glue
Pen or pencil
Happy paper and/or fabric (optional)
Download the Template PDF.
(Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. See directions on downloading PDFs.)
This tutorial is for a pin book of sorts. I will give you the details for turning it into a needlebook at the end of this project.
Step 1: Gather your materials. Gently open up your coffee sleeve by pulling apart the flap in the back where it is glued together.
Step 2: Drizzle a happy amount of fabric glue to the center of the sleeve. Use your finger or a brush to evenly coat.
Step 3: Place your piece of felt on top of the glue, making sure to align with the side creases. This will make it easier to close the side flaps. Flip the sleeve over and trim the excess felt with scissors.
Step 4: Reapply a small amount of glue to the flap you pulled to open the sleeve. Dribble a little more along the corrugated cardboard sides as well. Close the flaps and anchor in place with clothespins. Set aside to dry.
Step 5: Once dry, you are set to decorate your pouch in the manner of your choosing. Paint, decopauge or add fabric — it’s your choice. If you want to get extra fancy, stick with me and I’ll talk you through it.
Step 6: Grab a piece of scrap paper and trace the shape of the sleeve onto it. Draw a happy figure inside the pattern, making sure to touch all edges. This is kind of like making paper dolls. You need to make sure your design takes up ample space along the left and right sides of the shape. This is where the folds are. If you cut all the way through without leaving a connection, your inside felt bits will get all floopy-floppy.
I decided on a hedgehog, as it kind of already has the same shape and is fairly easy to draw. Plus they are super cute! Notice that the nose and back meet the side edges.
Step 7: Cut out your pattern and trace it onto your prepared sleeve. Cut out the shape carefully — this can get tricky. Be prepared to not have your final shape match up to your tracing. You’ll fix that when you paint or cover it.
Step 8: Dab a quick coat of white paint over your sleeve, allow to dry, then paint the back as well.
Step 9: Paint in the details of your design, allow to dry, and embellish as you will.
Step 10: Add your pins by sliding them into the sandwiched felt. That’s it. This project is specifically for holding your happy sewing pins. You don’t need to cut out a fancy shape if you don’t wish to. Have a collection of pins shaped like flowers and butterflies? Paint your sleeve to look like a garden or a vase — have fun with it!
Variation: To turn this into a needlebook, follows Steps 1–3 but instead of simply covering the middle section with felt, cover the entire back. Trim the excess felt. Flip the sleeve over, and decorate it as you will. Once dry, add a velcro button closure to the flap in the back. Fill with your pins and needles, close, and get to crafting!
About the Author:
Jessica Wilson is most happily known as ‘jek in the box’ and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.