Hello again.. Sorry for my hiatus, I’ve been busy working on lots of new things for Make Thrift London and blogging has gotten neglected. But fear not, I’ve got a heap of great posts in the pipeline, from furniture upcycling, the return of Mending Monday, more thrifty DIYs, so stay tuned..
Last week I was working on my next Mending Monday post, when I found myself struggling to grab pins whilst trying to pin onto myself and realised I needed a wrist pin cushion to keep my pins in easy reach. I came up with this super easy DIY upcycling a bottle top. You should be able to find most materials in your sewing room or around the house.
You will need:
- a piece of scrap fabric about 12x12cm (preferably cotton or something non-stretchy, definitely pretty)
- some stuffing (I used some scrap wadding)
- a needle and thread
- chalk or a pencil
- craft knife
- piece of elastic around 1cm wide (long enough to stretch round your wrist comfortably with a small overlap)
- a plastic bottle lid (mine came from a milkshake)
- multi-purpose glue
- scissors and a cutting mat if you have one or something to protect the table underneath like a piece of cardboard
- sewing machine (you could also hand sew)
Step 1: Prepare your cushion
Using chalk or a pencil draw a rough circle just inside the perimeter of your fabric or with a diameter of about 12cm (so from one side to the other.) Cut out your circle.
Thread up a needle, knot one end and stitch a large running stitch (in and out) about 1cm long around the edge of your circle about half a cm in from the edge.
When you get back to the start, pull the thread to gather your stitches so the circle comes together to create a ball and you’re left with an opening.
Grab some stuffing and start..well, stuffing your cushion. If you’re using wadding instead of stuffing like me, rip up the wadding into smaller pieces so it’s easier to stuff and more even. Keep filling until it’s quite a firm ball when you pull your thread to close it.
Now comes the fiddly bit. Once you’ve pulled your stitching together, you need to stitch it closed. I found squeezing the cushion whilst I pulled the thread taught the easiest way. I then made a few initial stitches across the opening to hold it together and then reinforced these stitches by going over them a few times in the same place and knotting at the end. It’s important you make sure this bit is secure. We don’t want it popping open. It’s a fiddly business but you’ll get there.
Step 2: Making the wristband
Take your piece of elastic and place it across the centre of your bottle top. Using a marker pen, make a small mark at the top and bottom and again about about 1-1.5cm apart. This marks the space where the elastic will go across your wrist, so adjust according to the size of your bottle top.
Take your craft knife and over a cutting mat or some cardboard to protect your surface underneath, carefully make 2 vertical cuts from your top mark to the bottom.
Next feed through your elastic, starting on the outside, (flat side) of the bottle cap. I found it easiest to press down slightly from the inside, on the central piece between your two slits, to make the opening larger and feed through your elastic, then pull through a little and using the corner of the elastic, feed it back through the second slit. Once it’s poking through, pull from the outside. Feed it through until the elastic is roughly the same length, either side of the centre of your slits.
Now, overlap your elastic by about 1.5cm and pin lengthways. Pop it over your wrist and check you’re happy with the tightness. Too tight? Release some of the elastic and repin. Or, as in my case, too loose, snip off a cm at a time and check again until you’re happy. Mine fit without any stretch the first time but I felt it would slide around my wrist, so I wanted it a little tighter.
Once you’re happy, keeping the pin in place, remove it from your wrist and thread up your sewing machine. You want a medium zig zag stitch which won’t be too wide that it goes off the edge with a stitch length of about 2. I used blue thread so it would be easy to see in the photos but you could use a matching colour so it isn’t noticeable.
Keeping the pin in, carefully place your elastic under your presser foot, keeping it in the centre of the foot. Start at the top, just beyond the overlap of the elastic so you definitely catch it. Lower the needle into your elastic and put the foot down before removing your pin. Carefully stitch, ensuring you keep the overlaps even and backstitch at the beginning and end to secure.
Once you’re done, take it out and trim your ends and put it on to check it stretches nicely without coming apart.
Part 3: Put it all together
Finally, place your glue inside the rim of the bottle top-follow the guidelines on your glue-some suggest waiting until it’s tacky before placing your other side against it.
Place the stitched edge down into the cap and press down. Check where you might need extra glue and top up around the sides. Hold in place for a minute or so and leave to dry completely.
Once the glue is completely dry, just pop your pins in and you’re ready to start pinning! *Be extra careful not to put too much pressure onto the top of your pins or they may pierce through the plastic. I put a needle into mine and kept it on trying on a the dress I was altering and as I pulled my arm through it pushed the needle so far into the cushion and it poked through the back! So please don’t be silly like me.
I hope you enjoy this little DIY. Share your pics using the hashtag #MakeThriftLondon and @MakeThriftLDN on twitter or instagram.
Fancy joining our Mending Club? We’re holding our first open session on Saturday 8th August, where I’ll help you repair, alter or refashion your clothes. Bring in your pile to get some inspiration and revive your old wardrobe. Blog readers can save 10% on the morning, afternoon or full day session with promo code BLOG10. Book here.