You may remember seeing charming strawberry pincushions like these in your grandmother's sewing box. Hers were probably sewn from scraps of leftover fabric; ours are made with ribbon remnants, shirting fabric, and felt, which works especially well because its edges won't fray.
Here's a mending must-have: A simple business-card organizer (from an office-supply store) keeps all the fixings for your clothes in one place. Label and tuck your spare buttons, thread samples, cloth tags, and even those scratchy fabric-care labels you snip off garments (or pillows and blankets) into the compartments. It will be a snap to find them later.
Sometimes the perfect thread for a sewing project comes on a spool that's imperfectly sized for your sewing machine. The solution: Place the spool in a heavy mug, and position it on your work surface directly underneath the spool pin. Take hold of the thread end, and hook it over the spool pin before threading it into the machine as usual (the thread should form a 90-degree angle); the thread will unravel smoothly as you work.