Friday, July 15, 2016

Sewing Room Tools: DIY Magnetic Pin Plate

Friends, I have a confession - I'm not super patient with tools when I'm sewing. I want my tools to work (and easily) how and when I need them to, and when they do I am able to be super productive. One thing that I always feel deficient in is pin collection while I'm sewing. A friend of mine gave me this awesome (but incredibly old) wrist pin cushion a few years ago, and I used it all the time for months - I could easily just stick the pins on my wrist as I pulled them out of my fabric while sewing, and then they were all ready to be used without having to arrange them any certain way. I say "used" (past tense) because being an old item (from at least the 70s, possibly 60s or earlier), eventually this happened:
I would stick the foam back into the little plastic housing, but it kept coming back out, then one day I saw the insides looked like this and I knew it was no use:
Yeah... not much left there to pin into anyway. Around the time of this small tragedy, I came across this post by Mint Green Sewing Machine and I decided to try something new (and way cuter, let's be real). I'd never thought of such a great purpose for the cute plates you find in thrift stores. I would always be tempted by pretty plates, but knew I would never use them, so this post gave me yet another thing to hunt for, lol. I picked a pretty plate, bought some magnets, and got to work.
When I decided to make it, I couldn't find my furniture felt pads, but I had just made a Princess Anna Cape and had scrap pieces of pink felt readily available and my larger circle Sizzix Paddle Punch was the perfect size to cover the magnets I bought so I just used that instead.
I wanted a strong bond (no falling apart like my wrist pin cushion!) so I used E6000 to glue the magnets to the plate, then I used a little more of it to glue the fleece to the magnets. I followed all the instructions and even let it sit overnight before I messed with it.
Et voilĂ ! A magnetic pin plate that's way prettier than the expensive than the ones made by Clover and the like.I made this plate 2 years ago (wow! seriously, it was July of 2014) and I still use this every time I sew anything. I liked my plate so much that I made more for my mom, sister, and aunt for Christmas that year (they all also sew) and I know that my mom at least mentions how much she loves hers. I may even make myself more (one for next to the machine, one by the cutting table, etc) so I don't have to remember where I set it all the time. 

To anyone going to make one themselves, I would definitely advise you maybe put one more magnet on the bottom. It's fine on the stronger magnets, but when I made my gift versions I used a different brand of magnets and didn't notice that they were not as strong until I had them glued and then it was too late, so I had to add another in the center on those. Also, the fleece totally works in place of the felt pads and it makes for one less thing to buy. My fleece is still going strong after 2 years and it keeps my magnets from scratching my desk I painted.

Anyway, this feels like a silly thing to post, but this is seriously one of my favorite sewing tools so I thought I'd share. I found a slap bracelet style magnetic wrist pin cushion at Hobby Lobby (in the clearance, no less!) a month ago, and I've used it a bit but it's still no where near as convenient as the magnetic plate. For real. This project cost about $2.00 and took maybe 10 minutes total to make. Make yourself one! You won't regret it :)

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