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Project

Sewing Kit in a Jar

Introduction

With just a little retrofitting, an old-fashioned Mason jar can become a new sewing kit with a built-in pincushion on top. To begin, separate the lid's sealer and screw cap. Trace around sealer on cardboard. Using a compass, draw another circle on linen or cotton, 1 inch larger in diameter than the first. Cut out both circles; make cushion by placing batting between fabric and cardboard. Turn screw cap upside down, and apply hot glue to inside edge of rim; quickly press cushion into lid until cloth protrudes smoothly above screw cap's opening and cardboard is flush against rim. Apply hot glue around edge of cardboard, fold over excess fabric, and press down. Glue top of sealer to cardboard. Fill jar.

 

Source
Martha Stewart Living, August 2006

Reviews (62)

  • 20 Dec, 2011

    msmooser,
    I had the same problem, so here's what I did: Skip gluing the fabric to the cardboard and glue it to the underside of the metal lid (where it touches the lip of the jar). Leave an opening so you can stuff the batting in like a little mini pillow, then glue closed. Now glue the ring on. Use the leftover cardboard circle to cover up the raw fabric edge, trimming it so it would fit on the inside of the jar opening and allow the jar lid to fit and screw closed.
    Hope that helps!

  • 20 Dec, 2011

    msmooser,
    I had the same problem, so here's what I did: Skip gluing the fabric to the cardboard and glue it to the underside of the metal lid (where it touches the lip of the jar). Leave an opening so you can stuff the batting in like a little mini pillow, then glue closed. Now glue the ring on. Use the leftover cardboard circle to cover up the raw fabric edge, trimming it so it would fit on the inside of the jar opening and allow the jar lid to fit and screw closed.
    Hope that helps!

  • 20 Dec, 2011

    msmooser,
    I had the same problem, so here's what I did: Skip gluing the fabric to the cardboard and glue it to the underside of the metal lid (where it touches the lip of the jar). Leave an opening so you can stuff the batting in like a little mini pillow, then glue closed. Now glue the ring on. Use the leftover cardboard circle to cover up the raw fabric edge, trimming it so it would fit on the inside of the jar opening and allow the jar lid to fit and screw closed.
    Hope that helps!

  • 20 Dec, 2011

    msmooser,
    I had the same problem, so here's what I did: Skip gluing the fabric to the cardboard and glue it to the underside of the metal lid (where it touches the lip of the jar). Leave an opening so you can stuff the batting in like a little mini pillow, then glue closed. Now glue the ring on. Use the leftover cardboard circle to cover up the raw fabric edge, trimming it so it would fit on the inside of the jar opening and allow the jar lid to fit and screw closed.
    Hope that helps!

  • 20 Dec, 2011

    msmooser,
    I had the same problem, so here's what I did: Skip gluing the fabric to the cardboard and glue it to the underside of the metal lid (where it touches the lip of the jar). Leave an opening so you can stuff the batting in like a little mini pillow, then glue closed. Now glue the ring on. Use the leftover cardboard circle to cover up the raw fabric edge, trimming it so it would fit on the inside of the jar opening and allow the jar lid to fit and screw closed.
    Hope that helps!

  • 4 Dec, 2011

    What am I doing wrong?? I can't get the top to screw back on, even without the cardboard. Very frustrated! Any help appreciated.

  • 8 Oct, 2011

    I made several of these last year and used material from my Mothers apron. She loved to sew and it "seamed" a good way to honor her. I brought them to Thanksgiving Dinner and each of my neices and nephews took one home along with some photos and an essay I wrote up about Mom & Dad. The family really enjoyed this and it was a good time to share family memories and pass them along to the next generation.

  • 25 Aug, 2011

    Martha, what a clever idea! (But you probably always hear that) Be sure to see her other, equally clever ideas for sewing kits!

  • 25 Aug, 2011

    I saw this on Martha Stewart TV show years ago and decided to give it a try. I made one for all my nieces and sisters. After probably 10 years they still tell me how much they use them. I finally had to make myself one. Putting the batting on top was a little tough but works quite well as a pin cushion.

  • 25 Aug, 2011

    Such a great idea! Love it!

  • 25 Aug, 2011

    thanks for the tip i been saving neat jars for this tip and more thanks again
    shortshorts

  • 25 Aug, 2011

    What a great idea! Easy too! Thanks.

  • 25 Aug, 2011

    Just like Martha Stewart to take something simply and turn it into an amazing gift...Thanks Martha....with one niece getting married and another having a baby, this will be the perfect little "wishing well" gift for the both of them......

  • 15 Dec, 2010

    I luv this idea! I just made one for my mom with little embroidery items inside. I think this will be a great christmas gift!

  • 5 Sep, 2010

    STOCKING STUFFERS, COLLEGE KIDS, LITTLE PARTY FAVORS...MY BRAIN IS GOING WILD. HOW ABOUT BABY FOOD JARS FOR SOME LITTLE SEWING KITS. MAKE A CUTE PINCUSION IN THE SHAPES MARTHA HAS SHOWN (STRAWBERRY, TOMATOE ETC) HOT GLUE IT TO TOP OF THE LID. INSIDE PUT BOBBINS OR SMALL SPOOLS OF THREAD JUST 3 O 4 IN BASIC COLORS (THE KINDS YOU GET AT THE DOLLAR STORES LIKE 10 FOR A DOLLAR) YOU CAN EVEN WRITE THE PERSONS NAME WITH A PERMANENT COLORED MARKER CUTE!! SOOOO CUTE!!

  • 11 Mar, 2010

    It is times like this when I say, "I love you Martha." I am a mom and a full-time student so when it comes to sewing, I mostly do it in a hurry but this is going to make it so appealing that I have to set a special time just to sew. THANK YOU!!! :-))))

  • 11 Mar, 2010

    It is times like this when I say, "I love you Martha." I am a mom and a full-time student so when it comes to sewing, I mostly do it in a hurry but this is going to make it so appealing that I have to set a special time just to sew. THANK YOU!!! :-))))

  • 3 Mar, 2010

    great stocking stugger for my daughters!

  • 3 Mar, 2010

    I think this is the coolest thing I have seen in a long time!!!
    Thanks for it!

  • 3 Mar, 2010

    This is a great idea to give someone in college or just moving into their first apartment where space for storing things like sewing kits is limited.,
    Aldensgrandma

  • 3 Mar, 2010

    This is a great idea to give someone in college or just moving into their first apartment where space for storing things like sewing kits is limited.,
    Aldensgrandma

  • 3 Mar, 2010

    Great idea. I was given a case of jars - I am going now to make this for my silk thread and perfect for my embroidery project with needles and scissors. Oh... so many ideas!

  • 2 Mar, 2010

    What a great housewarming gift. Everyone is always scrambling to find a needle and thread. Also a great way to use those old Mason jars a bit past their prime.

  • 2 Mar, 2010

    What a great housewarming gift. Everyone is always scrambling to find a needle and thread. Also a great way to use those old Mason jars a bit past their prime.

  • 2 Mar, 2010

    The Container Store always keeps jars year round in Kitchen

  • 2 Mar, 2010

    The Container Store always keeps jars year round in Kitchen

  • 2 Mar, 2010

    The Container Store always keeps jars year round in Kitchen

  • 2 Mar, 2010

    LucyMaryJane, we all have to wait a bit as this is a delayed entry
    posting. Mykele

  • 2 Mar, 2010

    Why not skip cardboard and use metal insert and glue circle to edge being careful to enclose it under the rim and glue. Or try wetting fabric/clip and fold
    under. My compter is slow tpying this comment. Is it just me?

  • 2 Mar, 2010

    Jars are especially easy to find during the summer time at grocery stores, hardware stores, maybe walmart. Ask for canning supplies.
    Why use cardboard? Just use the removable top as a base. Try soaking the
    fabric or clipping the edge as in fabric button making. My keyboard is SLOW while typing, is it only my computer?

  • 31 May, 2009

    I tried and I tried! Between the thin cardstock I used, folding over the excess fabric(thin again) and putting the sealer back, the threads wouldn't catch to close the jar.There was just too much bulk to close the jar. Am I doing something wrong?

  • 31 May, 2009

    I tried and I tried! Between the thin cardstock I used, folding over the excess fabric(thin again) and putting the sealer back, the threads wouldn't catch to close the jar.There was just too much bulk to close the jar. Am I doing something wrong?

  • 14 Sep, 2008

    what about using a shaker jar like those in a pizza place, but threading several colors of thread thru the holes. Then you don't have to dig in the jar for the right color. You could attach some felt to the outside of the jar to hold your needles.

  • 3 Sep, 2008

    I recently bought 'simple home solutions' and found this idea inside. I decided to try it. Mason jars are hard to find in the UK, but I managed it thanks to the 'net. This is a superb idea, and easy to do. So simple to find cotton and a needle when you need it! Thanks martha :O)

  • 2 Sep, 2008

    I love this idea, but I'm going to put the thread on bobbins instead of filling it with spools. you can get more colors in the jar that way.

  • 2 Sep, 2008

    Sweetrsyl You can make it the same way just turn the cap over when closing up the jar. When the sewing items are being used the lid can be turned to the top so it is accessible.

  • 1 Sep, 2008

    You can use emey grain too. You can find at Ebay...

  • 1 Sep, 2008

    I've also used clear plastic jars for this, not as pretty but safer. Before hotglue was a household item, two pieces of cardboard were cut the size of the lid insert, one padded and covered for the pincushion and the other covered for a lining and the two were glued together. The cushion could be inserted "up" or "down" in the ring and changed on a whimsey.

  • 1 Sep, 2008

    As soon as I saw the picture of this I thought, "pincushion on the inside would be much better" and then when I read that it is a mason jar I thought how easy to flip! Other thought was that you could make this out of ANY jar even a plastic coffee jar so that you could place MORE/LARGER ITEMS including tape measure and pinking shears to make this a real COMPLETE sewing kit!

  • 1 Sep, 2008

    I love this idea! I would use a antique mason jar and old world fabric for the pin cusion. What a great gift idea!

  • 1 Sep, 2008

    I would buy an antique mason jar put the pin cusion on top with old world fabric and place a few sewing goodies inside and this would be a simple, but homemade GIFT giving idea. Perhaps put it inside a small basket with some fabric and a sew/quilting magazine. Martha I love your idea's.

  • 1 Sep, 2008

    I have cats and small kids so I would do this by making the pin cushion on the inside and cover the visible part of the lid with the same fabric. That way the cats and kids don't get hurt by the pins and the pins don't fall out by them touching it.

  • 25 Jul, 2008

    Once the cushion has been assembled and glued, is the cap supposed to be able to screw on the jar? Or, is it supposed to just sit on top of the jar?

  • 21 Jul, 2008

    Love This!!! I love being able to have a "see through" sewing container. I added lace and trim around the jar lid.

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    You can use steel wool instead of batting and it keeps your needles sharp.

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    it's a neat idea, but is there another element besides the batting for the filling of the pin cushion? You need something with more substance.

  • 30 Jun, 2008

    This is a cute idea. I have a lot of jars so will make a few. I believe I will spray paint the lid to coordinate with the fabric, and tuck it inside with other gifts for my daughter's wedding shower gift. How handy.

  • 15 May, 2008

    Wow I am just going through some of these tips a second time, must have missed this - LOVE it. Gonna make one today!!

  • 2 May, 2008

    Hey Fun2Run - I loved your idea of putting the pincushion inside. Can you tell me how you're doing this?

  • 23 Apr, 2008

    Fun2Run....that is a fantastic idea to have the pincushion inside! it will take up quite a bit less space and be safer in case you have little ones around! thanks for the idea!

  • 15 Apr, 2008

    Yeah! I just made this and it was so easy! Great idea to use up small pieces of fabric. Thanks!

  • 15 Apr, 2008

    What a great idea. I will be making this for several of my friends that travel in RV's and have little or no sewing skills. They can easily attach a button, and do minor repairs.. The only difference I will try is to put the pincushion so it is in the jar for travel and can be flipped up for use.

  • 14 Apr, 2008

    I think I will make one for myself as well for my mom and sister.
    Thanks for the great idea!

  • 13 Apr, 2008

    Great gift idea!! I will make them for my not so sewing gifted friends!! At least they will have all that is need to at least attempt sewing on a button, or repairing that little hem deficiency!! Look at your local Thrift Shops for Mason Jars, as they are usually donated when canning/pickling is no longer done. Grocery stores also carry them, along with new seals/caps.
    Thanks for the grea idea!!

  • 13 Apr, 2008

    Going to do this as a Cub craft, then the boys can have thier own sewing kits to use when they sew on their own badges.

  • 30 Jan, 2008

    This is a really cute idea! I will be trying this one!

  • 27 Jan, 2008

    Love this idea! I'm going to try it!

  • 22 Jan, 2008

    jassijoon - try a kitchen/cook's supply store, or google "canning supplies"

  • 21 Jan, 2008

    Cute

  • 21 Jan, 2008

    I visit (when my granddaughters are on vacation-their Moms work) so I take crafts with me to occupy their time and mine. We have fun.

    Penquin

  • 21 Jan, 2008

    i live in sweden. where can i find a mason jar? i often go to the united states.

  • 21 Jan, 2008

    Excellent and simple! I made one for the laudry room and one for my craft table and several to keep on hand for gifts!