How to Make a Pin-Sharpening Pin Cushion

07 Jul 2008

sharpening-pincushion

My pins and needles really take a beating, and I've noticed that they're all dulling a bit. So I thought I'd try to make a pincushion that's also a sharpener.

This is based on those little strawberry-things that dangle from the tomato pincushions. They're filled with metal filings, and you poke your pins into them to sharpen.

I didn't have one of these, but I did have some grade 00 steel wool. So I made up a pincushion (the adorable design from Joelle Hoverson's book) and put this together.

Steel wool comes in pads, so first, I unrolled one...

...And tore it up a bit. (Makes a huge mess, as you can see.)

Then I stuffed my pincushion with it. I got two pads in there, and then had to stop. I probably could have used a half-pad more, but:

...I got worried about how much my raw edges were fraying. (Next time, I'd put some Fray-Check on them before stuffing.) Also, I got worried that my fingerprints were wearing off.

Anyway, then I finished off the pincushion. Yeah, it's a little wonky.

But, I've been testing pins and needles, and it works great! Just a few passes in and out, and they're nice and sharp again. Cool!

Obviously, this pincushion is way too large for such a project, but I needed an excuse to make it. (You definitely do not want to store your pins or needles in a cushion like this - they can rust.) What would be perfect, though, is those bottle cap pincushions!

Comments

Such pretty fabrics, and the link to the embroidery ones are also so cute! I want to make those too!


I want to think that some Victorian pincushions were filled with "brush combings" the hair you clean from your brush and save in a little box on your dresser -- only in a Victorian home :) Anyway, I'm wondering if this would work -- I know you can sharpen needles by running them through your hair.


Yeah, I got it! ;)

I love your fabric choices. How brave you are to sacrifice your fingerprints in the name of craft!


What a neat idea!! I so need to sharpen my pins. Love the design too!!


Diane, this just cheered me up so much. How pretty and how inventive. And I love the bottle cap idea. Over to Craftstylish now, to get more cheery.


Ok I'm embarrassed to say that I never knew that is what the strawberry was for. (At least I'm not alone right?) Your idea rocks! Thanks for sharing. I am definitely going to try this one at home.


That's totally RAD!


Well, aren't you just the cleverest one around?! Your comment about rust has my mind jittering about...doesn't someone make a scouring pad out of brass? Would that work? Hmmm....


Very clever! You know I never knew the lil dangly thing was to sharpen pins....I thought it was decoration! You learn something new everyday!


a-dorable.


my mouth... is open... in admiration. i never knew that's what the little strawberries were for! but those bottlecap pincushions totally take the cake. :)


thank you! thank you! my tomato didn't come with a strawberry and my pins are getting old and dull very fast. And I'm glad you said not to store them in there, because of course I would. Yay!


Thank you ! I might have a strawberry somewhere, if I could remember ! I made pincushions with carded wool inside so pins won't rust, but I need another one to sharpen. Also, it would be great to have one sharpening and not rusting in one time, aluminium ? where could I find this ?


Yes, hair works - I gathered the clippings from a haircut into a pretty handkerchief, tied it up with a ribbon and got an immediate pin cushion that has worked very well at keeping pins and needles sharp and shiny. I was told it has something to do with the natural oils in the hair. Ah, those Victorians.....


Wow! Thank you Diane. Cool idea and I didn't know what use my strawberry had!


I'm so lucky to have stumbled upon your blog (from whipup)! Steel wool is brilliant! I've been wondering what I can use besides that sharpening "sand" that I hear is very expensive. Love it! **adding you to my bloglines** :-) Thanks!


That is brilliant! Adding steel wool to my Lowe's list...


Great idea.
I like the warm and sunny fabrics you've selected.

I love how you always do such varied projects, you're always game for something new.


You're awesome, as always!


awesome!!


Update: my test foil-ball with pins stuck in it has been sitting for just over three weeks. Pulled the pins out this morning, completely rust-free.

Shila: rust can form over time if the steel wool comes in contact with oxygen and water. So having your pincushion in humid conditions for a long time could result in rust. Any pins you'd left in the pincushion would rust in that environment as well. Keep in mind that the steel wool is pretty tightly compressed inside the pincushion, so moisture can get trapped inside there. Safest bet is to keep your pins in a regular stuffed cushion.


Dona, running the needle through your hair isn't to sharpen the needle, it only helps it slide throught he fabric better.


You are so flippin' brilliant it HURTS! :)


GREAT idea!


I was wondering, if you want a pin cushion that sharpens and won't rust so that you could store them also, what about one stuffed tightly with aluminum foil? I know many crafters use aluminum foil to sharpen punches and scissors by cutting it a few times.


I get it.. and it's COOL! :D


This is fantastic! (And fingerprints are over-rated...)


Brilliant! I am SO sharing this with my readers!

Denise

http://needlework.craftgossip.com


This is so neat! One question, though.... why does the steel wool make your pins rust if you leave them in it?


I always collect those little bags and things that they put in things to keep the moisture out of items...(desiccants). They come in medications, and electronics...you know, the little bags that say DO NOT EAT. (LOL!)
I put them in with my pins and needles to keep the rust away. I wonder if you added a few of them to your pincushion if it would keep away the rust. Especially using a very small one in the bottom of the bottlecap pincushion.
I keep my little strawberry in my sewing basket....and bring it out and sharpen all my needles that I use frequently, every couple of months. I also sharpen my plastic push pins with the strawberry. Makes them slide into the cork board better!!


This is such a good idea, I am forever swearing over blunt pins .. thankyou so much for posting this. Far better than my attempt - http://alittlebitofkaos.blogspot.com/2009/01/fun-things-with-old-moo-box...


wonderful idea


Ok, first? I had no idea that's what the little strawberry thing on a tomato pincushion is. (I've had one of those for, like, ten years.) And second, now I wish I didn't know that both because I want to make a steel-wool bottlecap pincushion and also because I want to wear off my fingerprints.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Please don't tell anyone you found out how to do it
here. :-)


Ok, first? I had no idea that's what the little strawberry thing on a tomato pincushion is. (I've had one of those for, like, ten years.) And second, now I wish I didn't know that both because I want to make a steel-wool bottlecap pincushion and also because I want to wear off my fingerprints.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Please don't tell anyone you found out how to do it
here. :-)


You are so flippin' brilliant it HURTS! :)


Very clever! You know I never knew the lil dangly thing was to sharpen pins....I thought it was decoration! You learn something new everyday!


That's totally RAD!


GREAT idea!


I was wondering, if you want a pin cushion that sharpens and won't rust so that you could store them also, what about one stuffed tightly with aluminum foil? I know many crafters use aluminum foil to sharpen punches and scissors by cutting it a few times.


I get it.. and it's COOL! :D


a-dorable.


my mouth... is open... in admiration. i never knew that's what the little strawberries were for! but those bottlecap pincushions totally take the cake. :)


thank you! thank you! my tomato didn't come with a strawberry and my pins are getting old and dull very fast. And I'm glad you said not to store them in there, because of course I would. Yay!


Ok I'm embarrassed to say that I never knew that is what the strawberry was for. (At least I'm not alone right?) Your idea rocks! Thanks for sharing. I am definitely going to try this one at home.


Thank you ! I might have a strawberry somewhere, if I could remember ! I made pincushions with carded wool inside so pins won't rust, but I need another one to sharpen. Also, it would be great to have one sharpening and not rusting in one time, aluminium ? where could I find this ?


I want to think that some Victorian pincushions were filled with "brush combings" the hair you clean from your brush and save in a little box on your dresser -- only in a Victorian home :) Anyway, I'm wondering if this would work -- I know you can sharpen needles by running them through your hair.


Diane, this just cheered me up so much. How pretty and how inventive. And I love the bottle cap idea. Over to Craftstylish now, to get more cheery.


Yeah, I got it! ;)

I love your fabric choices. How brave you are to sacrifice your fingerprints in the name of craft!


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