DIY: Needle Book from a Shirt Cuff


This spring is just killing me.

Because we’re moving so soon, I’m kind of stuck in a holding pattern right now. I don’t really want to start any big new projects (craft projects, seedlings, and so on), because I know I’ll have to put them aside shortly and (although I always start out with good intentions) by the last week or two of packing, I devolve into throwing whatever is left into any box I can find, which is not great for anything with more than, oh, two pieces.

But still… ARGH SPRINGTIME. Overwhelming me with the urge to Grow Something! or Create Something! — and not being able to do so is making me incredibly frustrated.

needle book from a shirt cuffMeanwhile, after trying it out for a Brownie badge, my daughter is smitten with embroidery. I’ve been doing a little here and there as well and now, between the two of us, we’re losing needles all over the place. (Seriously, one of these days, someone is going to flop on the couch and get a very nasty surprise.)

I realized we really needed a needle book, a little cloth booklet to poke our needles into when not in use. After digging through a bag of scrap (ha ha — nearly called it “a bag of crap,” which would be accurate as well), I found the cuffs I cut off the men’s shirt I recycled into a kid-sized dress a couple years ago.

After looking at it for a minute or two, I ironed two sharp folds into it, at the top and bottom, and figured I was already about three-quarters of the way to having a book made. After I backstitched the word “needles” onto it, I realized most needle books have felt inside to hold the needles — something I don’t have around. I do have embroidery linen, which maybe wasn’t ideal (omg the fraying), but it got the job done. I sewed it down into the middle of the book and (somewhat haphazardly) at the outward edges, but I didn’t do the tops and bottoms in order to keep it loose and flexible enough to get needles in and out.



My overwhelming need to Create Something! is satisifed.

For the moment.

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