Pin Cushion Sewing Box - Handmade Gift Idea

A Charity Advent Calendar for Oxfam

Last month I was sent a little unassuming, plain pine box as part of a really wonderful idea for raising money for Oxfam.

(A reminder in advance - when you get to the end of the post please do share it somewhere so we can get lots of people involved and lots of bids)

24 Bloggers, 24 Boxes

Parcel Hero, the organisers of this brilliant event, are creating an advent calendar made of 24 boxes by 24 bloggers .  

All the boxes are being transformed by bloggers all over the world and will be collected together to become one giant advent calendar.  The whole advent calendar, complete with gifts inside every box, will be auctioned on the Oxfam Ebay page from the 18th November.

The Brief

My instructions were to decorate the box however I wanted, "Go Wild" let your creativity flow...  oh and make something to put inside it as a little gift. 

Imagine how much fun it would be opening up a new box everyday of December with a handmade gift inside! 

I didn't exactly go wild, I have a thing about making things that are functional. After a little head scratching and looking at the box every day for a fortnight on my desk, I decided to make a sewing box with a built in pin cushion.

The sewing box has a pin cushion top, a little handmade purse and a few emergency sewing supplies.  I really hope whoever the lucky person who bids the highest for this amazing advent calendar will find it useful.

How to Make a Sewing Box Pin Cushion!

I used a very scary looking drill bit called a hole saw to cut the hole in the top of the box. The box came from here - The Wooden Box Mill - I was a bit nervous! I then used a coat of white paint, I've left it at one coat so the gran still shows through.

I then laid my pretty Japanese material (wrong side up) over the inside of the hole, I added the stuffing (read more about the very special stuffing in this box at the end) and I then wedged the stuffing in using a piece of thinish wood I found in my garage, and cut it exactly to fit the inside.  It's really secure with no need for glue or pins.

Use more stuffing than you think and stretch the fabric and let it push through as you press down, as this then gives a really smooth finish and makes the pin cushion sturdy enough to support the pins well with no creases.

The fabric which overlapped was trimmed and a little card piece added to make it look neat and tidy - you could also use another piece of wood here. 

I printed a little inspiration too - 'Measure twice, cut once, swear less' never a truer word said! I'm always thinking I'll get it right only to ruin something! (usually when gung ho after a glass of red!) 

Inside the Sewing Box

The brief asked for something handmade. I made a little purse to match the pin cushion in the pretty Japanese Sakura fabric and then added some extra goodies on top so it became a useful sewing kit.  The sewing kit will fit inside the purse and you can use the box for pins then and have a mobile sewing kit for your handbag too!  Or just use the purse for change.

To make the purse you can use my mini coin purse tutorial from waaaay back in 2010 on my old blog.

I like presents where there's lots of little things so I hope whoever bids for this does too. 

I've added some reels of cotton, folding scissors, a seam ripper, pins and a tape measure.  I bought all this from Abakahn which (lucky for me) is just up the road now I've moved to North Wales.

The little ring is useful for clipping inside a bigger bag.

Nice Zip right?

and now....   The Story of the Stuffing!

This little box is actually really special!  The stuffing inside my pin cushion is made from the actual wool that was on Harvey Nichols shop front for Wool Week back in 2012.  

It's roving, so perfect for the pins. I got sent a bag of it as a prize for completing a questionnaire about wool week and it's been in my craft stash ever since, I am yet to think of a great use, as it's such a pretty blue it shouldn't really be hidden away.  (when I entered I though t would be wool to knit with rather than roving)

So there's not only a lovely purse and sewing supplies, but a little bit of history in this pin cushion too, it's probably lucky and will make all your sewing projects turn out perfectly!

If you like the post please share, pin and tweet so we can raise lots of money for Oxfam!

You will have the chance to bid via Oxfam’s eBay page from November 18.
[Update - See all the boxes HERE]