This week's trash to treasure is a quick and simple pin keep made from items most likely in the back crevices of every home: an outdated sweater and a vintage tin Jello mold.
As winter woolies are packed away for another year there is always an odd wool sweater, blanket or scarf that hasn't seen the light of day for more than a few seasons. No need to be embarrassed by that 1990's cute theme sweater that never seems to disappear! Now is the time to up-cycle it to new glory!
Next dig to the back of the kitchen cupboard, behind the cookie cutters and under the mismatched random Tupperware lids to pull out those old vintage metal molds. The smaller single serve size works best for this project.
If not already at home, these tidbits can also be found in abundance at local thrift stores. Just be sure to use items of 100% wool.
Machine wash and dry on high heat to "felt" the sweater. This compacts the fibers to create a stretchy but firm fabric.
After a wooly is chosen and felted, you will also need the following:
*Sharpie marker *Wood glue *Scissors
*thread or embroidery floss
With a Sharpie marker, trace 1/2 inch out from the mold onto the folded fabric, right sides together.
Don't worry if the circle isn't perfect. The stretch of the fibers is very forgiving.
Cut the circles out and pin at center, leaving right sides together.
Machine stitch 1/4 - 1/2 inch from circle's edge.
Cut 2 inch slit on bottom side of circle. No need to clip around the outside. (All hail stretchy fabric!)
Turn right side out and firmly stuff with fiberfill.
When you think you can't stuff it any fuller, stuff a little bit more! Place the ball inside the mold to test the shape, firmness, and roundness. Once you are satisfied with the appearance, slip stitch the opening closed. These stitches should not be pulled tight but left loose like a toothy grin.
Fill the mold with wood glue. Don't be shy- go ahead and slather it in, leaving the interior top inch clean. This will prevent any oozing over the outside edge. Once the wool ball is inserted in the tin, place the pin cushion (right side up) under a large book to apply constant pressure as the glue dries. Let it remain drying under pressure for at least 6 hours.
Wallah!!! Your Jello mold pin cushion is ready!
Now you can admire the fabric in its simple state or go hog wild with the embellishments!
Here are a few examples of pin cushions I have made in the past. I adore needle felting and find these wee canvases irresistible!
Theme sweaters offer instant embellishment that turn a fashion faux pas into an heirloom keeper!
Experiment with your own style! Mix up the molds- any shape and size can be used applying the same steps. These sweet keeps make perfect gifts for the stitcher in your life!
Hand of Bela Peck