Do you ever lose your needle when you’re sewing or embroidering? It can be really frustrating to have to search for your needle every time you set it down, or to lose one forever and have the constant fear of someone stepping on it accidentally.
A needle minder is the best way to keep track of your needle, and it’s also a fun decoration for your embroidery work-in-progress.
What is a needle minder? Most needle minders use two magnets, one for the back and one for the front, which are designed to attach the needle minder to the fabric you’re working with. A strong magnet like this is a great place to temporarily ‘store’ your needles as you create your stitches.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a needle minder is and how to use it. We’ll also give you some tips on making one for yourself. As always, read on to learn more!
What Is A Needle Minder?
The main function of a needle minder is to keep your needles in one place. This is especially useful if you’re working on a big or sophisticated embroidery project without an embroidery machine, where you need to keep track of your needle and thread as you work.
Small needles can get lost if they don’t have a designated place to go. A needle minder will keep them in the same place on your embroidery fabric, which is useful when you need to put your work away for the day or even when you’re changing colors.
The needle minder eliminates the time and effort it takes to look for needles, as well as the pain you may experience if you accidentally step on a lost needle!
A needle minder is usually made of various materials such as wood, metal, and clay. The back of this decorative piece has a strong piece of magnet, and another piece of magnet is employed to secure it to the fabric.
Using it is simple: you can just sandwich the fabric in between the two pieces of magnets, and the needle minder will stay in place. The magnet itself is dual-purpose: it can hold the front decorative piece in place, and it creates a magnetic surface for the needle to stick to.
The magnets can even hold more than one needle, so if you’re using several different needle sizes for the same embroidery, you can use the needle minder to hold the spare one while you work.
Some people also have multiple accessories attached to their needle minders, such as small embroidery scissors, needle threaders, and other tools. These allow the stitcher to have constant access to their favorite tools!
There are a lot of options for needle minders with fun and cute designs. As long as they have strong magnets, you can choose any adorable design that you want and be sure that they will work really well.
Here are some cute options for your toolkit:
1. Set of 4 Magnetic Needle Minder
This is a set of four super cute and whimsical designs. The magnets are rare-earth metal magnets, ensuring a strong attachment whenever you use the needle minders.
Since they’re large enough to always be spotted against your project when you need them but small enough not to distract from your work, they’re the ultimate convenience item for sewing of all kinds!
2. Lovely Sleeping Cat Needle Minder
These two adorable sleeping cat needle minders have a lovely round base that can be a safe place to hold your needles when they’re not in use.
They also have charm loops on top so you can can secure them to a necklace for easy access while you’re working on your project!
3. 2 Pieces Magnetic Cactus Needle Minder
This is a set of two needle minders in the shapes of cacti, which are sure to inspire your next cross-stitching project!
Needle minders are also relatively simple to make, so if you want to DIY your own unique needle minders, we have a great tutorial below.
What You Will Need To Make A Needle Minder
A needle minder is made of just three parts: two pieces of a strong magnet and a flat base for the decorative front. You will also need glue to attach the front to the magnet.
However, not everything will work. Here’s what you will need to know about how to select the right magnet, glue, and some ideas for a decorative base for your needle minder.
The magnets that you use should be strong enough to secure the needle minder to the fabric and hold the needle while you’re stitching.
Neodymium or rare-earth metal magnets are the strongest types of magnet, so they won’t leave any traces on the fabric when you move them. Most commercial needle minders are made from rare-earth magnets.
Although rare-earth metals are strong, they can be fragile. This is because they’re coated with a material that prevents them from breaking. If they’re snapped together too violently, they can break.
If you don’t have access to rare-earth metal magnets, ceramic magnets will work just as well.
However, ceramic magnets can leave a black residue on the stitching if they’re in contact with the fabric. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on displaying your work; make sure to use the needle minder in a place that won’t be visible after the piece is finished.
You will need a small and flat item to work as a decorative base for the front of the needle minder. The decorative base should be sturdy and strong to hold the magnets, and they should be flat on both sides to hold the magnet and your needles.
Naturally, the first thing that everyone thinks of is buttons – they meet all of these requirements. If you have some leftover buttons from previous sewing projects, you can use them as a base for your needle minder.
If not, you can find similar small and flat things around the house; anything can work as a base! You can use gemstones and pendants or even make a unique shape using polymer clay (which you can harden in the oven). There are so many possibilities here!
If you’d like, you can also glue a base on both magnets rather than just the front magnet. The base helps you keep track of the magnet if it accidentally rolls off somewhere, and it gives you a better grip on the magnet when you want to peel them off of the fabric when your project is finished.
When you have the magnets and the base, the next thing you will need to have is the glue that will work with your base material.
You will need to use industrial glue to create a super strong bond between the magnet and the base so that the bond is not separated when you want to remove the needle minder from your fabric.
That’s why using an industrial-strength glue like this E6000 Craft Adhesive is highly recommended for this project.
Since the magnet and base can be quite small, we recommend having some craft tweezers handy so that you’ll have an easier time working with the small individual pieces.
How To Make A Needle Minder
Once you have all the required materials, let’s assemble them!
First, glue the first magnet to the back of the decorative base. If you are using E6000 Craft Adhesive, you can apply a small dot on the base and then press the magnet on top of it to secure it.
If you are gluing a base to the second piece of magnet, you can do so using the same steps. If you’re doing this, make sure that the magnet is facing the right way so that it can attach itself to the backside of the other magnet.
Then, you will need to wait for the designated time for the glue to dry completely so that the bond is as strong as possible before. Depending on the glue you’re using, this process will take a couple of hours or even up to 24 hours.
After the glue is completely dry, you can test your new needle minder by placing the front piece on the right side of your fabric and placing the back magnet in the same place but on the wrong side of the fabric.
If the magnets feel secure, try removing them and placing them together again. You can also move the embroidery fabric around a few times to see if the needle minder stays in the same place.
If it does, then congratulations, you have successfully made your own needle minder! You can repeat these steps to make as many as you’d like for all of your projects!
If you’re using ceramic magnets, it’s a good idea not to keep them on your fabric for too long to avoid leaving a black residue on your fabric.
Needle Minders Safety
Although needle minders are a great tool for cross stitching and embroidery, they should always be kept away from electronic devices such as tablets and phones. The magnets used in the needle minders are strong enough that they can easily ruin your electronic devices!
It is also recommended to avoid using needle minders if you have a pacemaker, as their magnetic pull can prevent the device from working properly.