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Have you ever lost a button right before you leave the house? You could grab a safety pin, or stop to sew it back on. YET so many people here and abroad just don’t have the resources – no thread, no needles, no extra buttons. That’s why I love including mini sewing kits in all of my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (yes even to the boys! They need to learn how to fix their clothes as well.) AND include them in blessing bags, hygiene kits for shelters, homeless and veterans groups. It’s a necessity you don’t even realize you need it – UNTIL YOU DO!
HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO MAKE MINI SEWING KITS:
What container should you use? I’ve used everything from a zippered pencil case, a ziploc baggie, a plastic container, even plastic Easter Eggs like the one pictured! (Check my other uses for Easter Eggs!)
One year I was able to get a donation of clean empty pill bottles. My friend’s mom carefully removed all the labels (with hot water and some scrubbing). I wanted them to look special, so I added a label on each one that says: “SEWING KIT packed with love just for you!”. You could even paint or add a fun round sticker to the top!
What should you include in your MINI SEWING KITS?
Most of the supplies I’ve suggested come from Amazon. I personally end up doing alot of my own shopping there to miss the crowds, and get bulk items delivered to my door! But definitely check JoAnns, Michaels or ACMoore and use a coupon to get a good discount.
There are many ways to include thread. The size you need will depend on the size of your container. With a larger container you can use a full-sized spool, but mostly you will need small assorted spools of thread like these. OR you could include something even smaller, like these bobbins wound with thread:
This is a 144 case of white threaded bobbins. I love these because they fit really well into any small container, even the tiniest!
One year I received a donation of giant spools of thread. Hmmm – What to do? Well the first year I grabbed some paint chips and cut out spool-shaped cards (with a tiny notch at one end to catch the start of the thread). They were cheerful and fit really well into my mini sewing kits. However, I found it was very time consuming to hand wind the cards.
The next year I used empty bobbins and tried out a small bobbin winder I got on sale from Michaels. If you want to wind your own, you can pick up these empty bobbins, also from Amazon. But as soon as I finish using up this thread – I’m just getting those pre-wound bobbins!
Most times when you purchase a shirt or coat, there is a little bag with extra buttons attached. I’ve always saved them and recently was surprised just how many I had. Plus, just before you toss your old clothes, cut off the buttons! These are all perfect to include in your mini sewing kits. You could also ask on Facebook or in your church bulletin for buttons – I find that people have tins full of buttons that they’ve saved for years and would love to donate!
If you would like to add some fun fancy buttons, this pack was my favorite in addition to any plain buttons.
In the past, I have purchased inexpensive dollar store safety pins. (not Dollar Tree, I haven’t checked them out yet) I found the metal was thin and bent easily. I would suggest purchasing better quality name brand ones.
Just like the safety pins, I would suggest getting better quality needles.
I don’t always include this item as it isn’t an absolute necessity. However, for several years I was able to get donations of the heavy paper ruler tapes Ikea displays in their furniture section. It is amazing what you can get donated just by asking a manager! We folded them and secured with a paper clip so they would fit well into our mini sewing kits.
This will depend on the size of your container if you can include these. Or you could include a seam ripper instead.
These items are difficult to include in mini sewing kits – but if you have something slightly larger, they are wonderful if you are packing a “sewing” theme OCC shoebox, or if you know different charities asking for these specific items:
- trims of all kinds
- 1/2 yards of fabric
- pre-printed fabric kits that come by the yard (some make vests, or stuffed animals, etc…)
I had great fun making up these mini sewing kits. Like I said, we put them in both the older girls AND boys OCC shoebox gifts.
If you want to include mini sewing kits, but don’t have the time to make your own, I also have purchased several packs of these from Amazon – (they come in a pack of 100) and include 2 buttons, 1 needle, 1 threader, 1 pin and threads in 6 colors. I’ve tucked them into all of my pencil cases. (These might be great to include in backpack programs and homeless hygiene kits as well.)
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