When working any craft, I prefer things visible and in arm’s reach. Those who don’t sew may not realize that there are specific sewing machine needles for a variety of tasks – embroidery, knits (ballpoint), denim, double needles, universal, sharps and more – each with their own choice of a few sizes. I like to keep mine in the case they come in for easy identification.
Did you know that most cracker boxes are the perfect size for storing your needle collection?
Peel open the ends and cut your box lengthwise. I just used scissors (not the fabric ones, I have a craft pair).
Pick out some papers – you can find decorative paper at the craft stores by the sheet or in pads, buy it online, print it on your printer or paint / color your own. I used the 12 by 12 size, purchased at Michaels to make this one of my speediest projects ever.
Choose your medium – Turned out, I was able to use my really old Mod Podge Gloss Finish after running the lid under some hot water and loosening it’s edge with a knife so I could unscrew it.The stuff in the jar – although old, was fine. You could also use gesso or gel medium.
Regular old newsprint protects the work surface. I have a bag of bottle lids handy in case I need to raise something up (If you’re afraid of gluing your item to the newsprint, also not needed this time around). Painted the Mod Podge on the box and smoothed my paper onto it. I have a brayer (small roller) but never had to use it for this project – my hands worked just fine.
Flip your box over and glue down the edges. True confessions – I just wipe the Mod Podge onto the paper with my finger as I’m working close to a sink and can walk over and rinse it off easily.
Weight the whole thing down (I put an open box – aka Priority mail as I always have a few handy – on top of my project then some pretty full detergent jugs on that). Let dry for a bit (doesn’t have to dry fully – just start setting, so 30 minutes to an hour).
Next we’re gluing down what was the top of the box – the part we cut – to the sides. Smear Mod Podge on it.
Turn it over, weight it down (you can see how it wants to raise up and needs weight along it’s length – thus the laundry detergent jug necessity. The small jars don’t cut it).
Do both long sides.
It’s ready for the lining paper. Grab your sponge brush, slabber on some Mod Podge to the inside of the box and smooth your lining on. It doesn’t cover the box ends all the way and that’s ok (I like a bit of cardboard to cardboard contact for gluing the ends directly).
Then, make a few slits on the paper at the ends so you can fold your ends back up and glue them shut with Mod Podge. The laundry jugs keep the box nice and upright and strong clips keep the ends closed while drying.
Cut pieces to cover your box ends. If I were really fancy, I would have cut cardboard from another cracker box to the size of the end and covered it with all paper edges folded over to one side, then used that to glue to the end so there would be no paper edges. But, I decided this would be good enough for this project. Oh, and can you tell I’m a fan of Schmetz Gold Titanium Embroidery Needles?
Brush the box end inside and out with Mod Podge and press your paper on. I find it much easier to brush the box, if you brush the paper, it isn’t quite as easy to handle. Put the clips back on while it dries. Then, place needles in and you are set to go. I’ll probably paint Mod Podge over the box to give the paper a better chance of standing up to wear and tear. Since I’d forgotten how easy decoupage is, I can hit that when I tackle the few other quick fixes I’ve lined up to neaten my desk and sewing table.
Spent needles go in an empty vitamin bottle I keep in the back of my box. For machine embroiderers, yes – you can see Coats and Clark thread in the box. I mostly embroider with Sulky rayon 40 but for thick thread designs, use Coats and Clark 30 weight. I’m lucky (and so thrilled) that my machine isn’t as finicky about threads as do hear the horror stories from others about temperamental machines shredding thread. If I ever get a few gifts in the mail and delivered, I’ll post a project with this thread.
This post is participating in Unknown Mami’s Sundays in My City.