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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Personal pin-cushion jars

It's around this time of year, I usually start to think about compiling all the necessities I need to make my (whisper it, it's far too early to talk about this) Christmas hampers. Don't panic, this is not a Christmas post. I'm far to preoccupied with the approach of autumn, Halloween, Bonfire Night and all that slots in between. 

By saying I made these, I mean really made. Nothing shop-bought entered those hampers last year, with each little gift lovingly (sometimes) crafted in my kitchen (I didn't stretch to actually weaving the baskets though, I'm not that good). Due to time constraints I won't be making them this year, but I have been thinking about some of the goodies I made. Very few of the actual products were, in fact, festive, and I tried to add a little something especially personal to the recipient. The gifts themselves could actually be given for any occassion, or no occassion at all if you're just feeling particularly generous. I've already posted about the wine and Cranberry vodka I made on a previous post, and let's face it, those would be happily received on any day!

For one particular hamper, the one I wanted to give to my mum's best friend, I decided to make a pin cushion Kilner jar. She is a dab hand at crafts herself, and is always stitching, sewing or creating something wonderful, so I thought this useful little creation would come in handy. 

I'm certainly not the first person to attempt making these, and I won't be the last. I apologise now for the slightly unfocussed photo, it was taken some time ago, before I decided to embark on the life of a blogger.

Firstly, decide what you would like to fill your jar with. This is one of the great things about this particular home-made wonders, you can tailor it to anyone. I decided on pastel coloured buttons and ribbons, which suited the style of craft that my friend normally makes.

Next is the trickier part, actually making the pin cushion. It's not too hard at all, unless you're inept in operation of a glue gun. 

You need to select the material for your pin cushion. I went for red gingham, I'm a traditionalist at heart, and it really does look adorable. In order to make the cushion, remove the disk from your Kilner jar lid, place a good amount of wadding (any local material shop or habberdashery should stock it. I found mine in Hobbycraft) on its top surface, making sure you have enough there to support your pins and prevent them from scratching the lid, place your chosen material over the top and flip it over. The trick is to have enough excess material so that you can glue it down, but not so much that it's impossible to secure. I left about 1cm of material around the rim of the disk, and then folded it into pleats, gluing it to the underside of the disk. I used a hot glue gun I found in Hobbycraft for a very reasonable £5, glue sticks provided - http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/hot-melt-mini-glue-gun/567346-1000.

Allow the glue to cool and set completely before returning the disk to the lid ring. Another fantastic thing about these jars is that you can easily replace the material, just pop the disk out, remove the material and replace with a fresh piece.

Once you have secured the lid back on the jar, pop your chosen pins into the lid. I went for pearl topped ones because they look decorative, but you can use any of your choosing.
Again you can make these to look however you want them to, and for any purpose. It still makes me smile when I walk into my friend's house and see this, perched on her shelf, filled with new goodies waiting to be used in her latest project.
The end product. I did warn you it was a bad pic!

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