Hey it’s a non-sewing sewing project today but it’s one I think you’ll like.
If you’ve sewn for any length of time you know that dropping pins happens. And if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to step on a pin, I can only say ouch in sympathy.
One of the best things that the sewing world created to deal with this problem is the magnetic pincushion. They let you pass the pincushion (or pin bowl) over an area and the pins come flying towards the super strong magnets inside.
I love my magnetic pincushion. It’s probably my most used pincushion just because I know my pins won’t fall out of it. But it’s not so cute. It’s pretty plain if I’m being honest.
So I wanted to create an easy DIY magnetic pincushion that would combine the practicality but also be a little nicer in form. I’ll show you how to make your own + we’ll give a store bought magnetic pincushion a little makeover because, options people!
DIY magnetic pincushion supplies
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How to make a magnetic pincushion
You see this DIY a lot, but I’m putting a little different spin on it with one of my favorite weird craft supplies: nail polish.
Between being a lifelong violinist and being sensitive to things on my hands me + nail polish =get this stuff off me now!!!
But the color is awesome and dog gone if it isn’t durable stuff. I use it to paint custom buttons for my garments pretty frequently.
We’re putting it to good use here to fancy up our pincushion base.
Step 1: Paint your dish
Basic painting your magnetic pincushion
Get a variety of colors and paint your little plate or dish. Simple is good if you’re painting straight out of the bottle as I am.
If you have nail painting skillz, you’ll probably do a much more creative job here than me!
Stripes, dots, little swooshes, geometric patterns are all good here.
Marbleize your pincushion
This is a fun way to paint your DIY magnetic pincushion.
Fill a small plastic container with warm water. Pour in several drops of different colors of nail polish.
Quickly dip your dish into the water, letting the nail polish cling to the surface.
Set it aside to dry. Also, have some nail polish remover handy because you’re likely getting this on your hands!
Whichever way you paint your pincushion base, set it aside to dry thoroughly.
Clear coat your pincushion base
Spray your dish with a clear coat to protect it from wear. We’re not eating out of this guy ever, so spray away!
You can also use a brush on clear coat. Polycrylic is one of my favorites.
Step 2: Add the magnets to your pincushion base
Next, flip your pincushion base over. Glue on 1 or more of the magnets with a generous drop of E-6000. However big the bottom of your surface is, space out a few magnets.
Note, it’s a good idea to add the glue to the surface, not the magnet.
I did it the other way around and the magnet punked me by sticking to the other one.
If that happens, you can clean up the surface of the magnet with some nail polish remover.
Let the glue dry overnight, and you’re good to go!
Step 3: Test the magnets!
This is the fun part. Drop your pins onto the right side of your dish and flip them over.
See how they stick?! Nice, right?!
I will say that this DIY magnetic pincushion won’t be as strong as a magnetic pincushion that you purchase.
In my tests, once I got past a handful of pins in my little magnetic pin bowl I couldn’t pick any up in the upside down position. This is not the case with my basic Dritz magnetic pincushion.
But that being said, your DIY pincushion is way cuter.
But what if we could spruce up your super strong magnetic pincushion and add some snazz to it’s awesome functionality? Read on friend!
Magnetic pincushion makeover
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.