Altoids tins are amazing. One evening, a fellow yarn addict and I, after a stitchy meeting, were chatting about yarn needles and how easy it is to loose the little things. They’re small, it’s hard to stick them into a ball of yarn without feeling like you’re looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack… and the worst thing is – when you need it, you can’t find one. I have no idea of how many yarn needles I have lounging around in various bags of yarn in various projects. Occasionally, after a crazed closet and stash dive, I will run across one of my long lost needles. I then dutifully put it in a “safe” place, maybe to use it one more time and then never for it to be seen again – or at least until I move.
Anyways, back to my friend and I chatting… she was digging around in her yarn bag to find the slippery needle and managed to find instead – an Altoids tin. A light bulb went on (CFL type, thank you!) and I happily went home, tin in hand, with a promise to return to her a magical item. A magnetic needle holder. Yes, it is still very possible to loose this in the yarn stash or car and perhaps even the couch cushions, but at least it won’t hurt as bad when sat upon and it might be a bit harder to loose.
magnet – This can be the type bought from the craft store with a sticky backing OR an old pizza shop magnet off of your refrigerator
glue – only if recycling and using the pizza magnet
scissors, paper, pen
1. Open and eat a few of the Altoids, removing the rest to a bowl or other storage container. (The chocolate covered Altoids are really yummy, I know this despite hubby reminding me that chocolate triggers my migraines… I only ate one!)
2. Trace around the base of the tin on a scrap piece of paper. Cut this out and then place inside of the tin. Retrace again (it will be slightly smaller) to get a good fit. Trim edges.
3. Take your new paper pattern and place onto the magnet. Trace this onto the paper side of the magnet, sticky type or pizza shop type, doesn’t matter. Trace the shape out onto the paper and then cut this out carefully.
4. Place cut out magnet into tin, marking on the edges where a bit more trimming is needed.
If you’re using the sticky backed magnets like I did, now is the time to peel the paper off!
My paper was hard to pull off, so use some of those muscles. If you’re recycling (you’re such a good kid!) place the glue of your choice onto the paper side of the magnet. For either one, place sticky side down into the tin, pressing firmly to ensure contact of glue and tin. (If you’re a recycler, you might need to add some weight inside the tin.) Let dry.
5. Give it a test run! Find your long lost yarn needle, sewing needles, quilt pins or paper clips and stick them on your magnet. Depending on their weight, most will stay put just fine (though those quilting needles in my picture were only mildly interested in staying put).
6. Make them and give them to your pals! I made a couple of these for my MIL and SIL before a quilt show and then returned the paper lining and mints (well, most of them) to the tin and gave it to them as a pre-show gift. These would work great for door prizes for quilt groups, Stitch n Bitch groups or even your grandma! Enjoy!
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