With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’ve put together a quick and easy handmade project that’s perfect for crafters and sewers.
I’ve made a few needle books over the years, but I can’t say I’ve ever seen a needle keeper quite like this one. It’s perfect to hang beside your sewing area, leaving your desk space free for crafting.
I’ve incorporated my popular faux patchwork technique and hand stamped labels to give it a sweet shabby cottage feel.
The three layers of wool felt will hold all your needle requirements.
I chose my most commonly used needles; sharps, embroidery and ball points, but you could add any type of needles to yours.
3 strips of wool felt measuring – 11 cm x 33 cm (4 1/2” x 13”), 11 cm x 29 cm (4 1/2” x 11 1/2”), 11 cm x 25.5 cm (4 1/2” x 10”).
Scraps of fabric for faux patchwork – I used Tilda’s Happiness is Homemade Collection.
Iron on fusible webbing.
Unbleached calico for stamped labels and faux patchwork.
Small scraps of lace for embellishments and hangers.
Alphabet stamps – mine are from here.
Ink pad – mine is by Stayz On.
Crinkled seam binding ribbon bow.
Small wire hanger.
Note: Pre wash all fabrics before use and please read instructions before starting project.
Finished needle keeper measures 11 cm wide x 35 cm high.
1. I cut two pieces of lace measuring 5 cm (2”) in length, to use for the hangers. I simply folded them in half and attached to the top of the longest piece (11 cm x 33 cm) of wool felt using my sewing machine – see photo top right, above. I also attached a piece of decorative lace to the bottom of this piece of felt.
2. Rip a length of calico fabric 2 cm wide. I used my 1 cm high alphabet stamps and my red Stayz On ink pad to hand stamp labels for my needle keeper. I made one for ‘needles’ to be attached to my faux patchwork topper and three separate labels for each of my wool felt layers. I chose needle types that are relevant to what I make, but you may prefer quilting needles, doll needles, cross stitch etc.
3. Cut a piece of unbleached calico measuring 11 cm wide x 10 cm high. Using my faux patchwork technique shown here, make a patchwork top in coordinating fabrics using the fabric scraps and fusible webbing. My patchwork was made up of randomly cut squares and rectangles of varying sizes. No measuring… nothing perfect… just cut, iron and hope for the best. It’s that imperfect style that gives it a shabby cottage look.
I also added buttons, a tiny crochet doily and the frayed stamped ‘needles’ label. The label was adhered with a strip of fusible webbing and a warm iron (no steam). When completed, stitch patchwork to top of longest piece of wool felt using free motion stitching in a coordinating coloured thread.
4. Lay your two remaining pieces of felt on top of the first layer, just below the decorative faux patchwork piece. You will now have your longest piece of felt as the base, and the second longest piece will be sandwiched between the longest and shortest pieces. Pin in place. Before stitching, I chose to lay a piece of narrow lace across the top where the seam will be and then stitching through all layers to secure.
A pretty crinkled seam binding bow is the perfect shabby way to finish the top section of your needle keeper. Find out how I made my dyed and crinkled seam binding here.
5. Iron your stamped labels in place using fusible tape. Mine sit about half a centimeter above the lowest edge on all three felt strips.
All that’s left to do is add your needles. Here’s a handy hint for getting your needles spaced nicely on your felt strip, add a piece of clear cello tape vertically on your felt and insert your needles either side of the tape. When your needles are all in place, remove the clear cello tape.See… nice and neat!
This needle keeper will hold approximately 60 sewing needles.
Project level: Easy
Time requirement: 1 – 2 hours.
I get asked all the time where I buy the supplies I use in my projects. I’m a BIG supporter of buying handmade and for that reason I do most of my shopping on Etsy.
I live in a country town, so buying local is usually not an option. I buy nearly everything online and I shop in the US a lot. If I can get the same item in Australia I will do so, but I don’t have a problem paying for overseas postage if the things I want are in the US. Crafting supplies are usually really small and not all that expensive to get shipped.
The list below contains affiliate links, which means I receive a very small percentage if you make a purchase using this link.
Here’s a shopping list for the items I’ve used in the Needle Keeper project.
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