The Potato Chip Can Thread Catcher

The last time I got together with the other members of SITU-Seattle sewing circle I was once again faced with wrangling and policing all the snippets of thread I’d strewn about. I am not a “compact” designer/artist/crafter/sewer – I tend to spread out. I work harder at keeping “my” area in check when I’m at someone else’s house, especially when there are a lot of people working in close proximity. But thread bits and other drifting pieces of sewing fluff are my downfall…they end up everywhere.

So imagine my delight when I ran across a YouTube video on Pinterest that shows how to make a portable thread catcher out of a potato chip can.

rachel-thelifeofrilely.blogspot.com

rachel-thelifeofrilely.blogspot.com

A lot of you probably already know about this nifty little thing. As you can see, Rachel certainly did. She posted her set of thread catchers just a couple of weeks ago. But it I’d never heard of it until I discovered Angie’s video. I was instantly enthralled and knew I had to make one. And so I have.

Here is the instructional video from AngiesBitsAndPieces and here’s what I did with it. (Please excuse the color changes in the photographs. I worked on it off and on throughout the day yesterday and today, and the light’s been all over the place.)

I used a short can of Pringles potato chips - don't need all the calories from the big can.

I used a short can of Pringles potato chips – don’t need all the calories from the big can.

Two half-inch wide rings. The inner ring trimmed down to fit snugly against the outer ring, the glued together.

Two half-inch wide rings. The inner ring trimmed down to fit snugly against the outer ring, the glued together.

Circles for base cut from facial tissue box. Quilt batting  circles cut from scraps begged from local quilt shop.

Circles for base cut from facial tissue box. Quilt batting circles cut from scraps begged from local quilt shop.

I added this step: a dab of glue in the center of the cardboard to prevent the  batting from slipping around.

I added this step: a dab of glue in the center of the cardboard to prevent the batting from slipping around.

Cardboard base placed batting-side-down in center of cover fabric circle, edge gathered.

Cardboard base placed batting-side-down in center of cover fabric circle, edge gathered.

Drawstring edge pulled snug and tacked closed. Kinda looks like a mutant Oreo cookie.

Drawstring edge pulled snug and tacked closed. Kinda looks like a mutant Oreo cookie.

Paded base circles pinned with wrong sides together, ready for sewing closed around the edges. Now looks like a mutant Oreo cookie throwing star. And draws almost as much blood if one isn't paying attention.

Paded base circles pinned with wrong sides together, ready for sewing closed around the edges. Now looks like a mutant Oreo cookie throwing star. And draws almost as much blood if one isn’t paying attention.

The padded base is done.

The padded base is done.

Here's another deviation from the video. I decided it would be neat to have a contrast color on the ring of the catcher, and that using a stripe fabric for the body would give it a cool twister look when closed. So I went for it.

Here’s another deviation from the video. I decided it would be neat to have a contrast color on the ring of the catcher, and that using a stripe fabric for the body would give it a cool twister look when closed. So I went for it.

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Besides being a fun project, it's 100% hand sewn. You can make one (or a dozen) of there anywhere.

Besides being a fun project, it’s 100% hand sewn. You can make one (or a dozen) of there anywhere.

You could even use a creasing stick or finger press instead of an iron. No electricity required!

You could even use a hera marker or finger press instead of an iron. No electricity required!

Fabric tube folded over and sewn down around the cardboard ring.

Fabric tube folded over and sewn down around the cardboard ring. This shows the true fabric colors.

Next the inside is pulled out (up) and padded base sewn on. Now it looks a bit like a fantasy pig's snout.

Next the inside is pulled out (up) and padded base sewn on. Now it looks a bit like a fantasy pig’s snout.

Padded base pushed back down through center of the ring. Now it's like a fabric cup, which is the goal.

Padded base pushed back down through center of the ring. Now it’s like a fabric cup, which is the goal.

Outside view. Now the edges of the outer fabric tube get turned under and sewn to the padded base.

Outside view. Now the edges of the outer fabric tube get turned under and sewn to the padded base.

All sewn and ready to use.

The sewing is done.

Ready to use!

Ready to use!

At the end of the day, just twist to close.

At the end of the day, just twist to close.

It doesn't matter whether you twist it to the left or to the right...

It doesn’t matter whether you twist it to the left or to the right…

...both work equally well.

…both work equally well.

Two notes of caution, though.

In her video, Angie mentions about making sure your circumference measurements are correct. My Pringles can measured 9 1/4 inches, not 9 1/2. I measured carefully but still had to adjust the side seam of the fabric tube by letting it out a bit over 1/4 inch to get it to fold over the cardboard ring.

In addition, make triple sure the cardboard base circle is small enough to fit into the covered cardboard ring once all the padding is in place. I cut mine a bit too large, and not perfectly circular, so the base of the thread catcher will not push into the ring and stay closed.

Aw, nuts!

Aw, nuts!

That’s my error, not a problem with the instructions.

But it means I have to get to make another one. This is a perfect scrap or fat quarter project.

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Next time, I think I’ll add a fabric loop so I can button the thread catcher onto an apron or a belt loop. And I’ll definitely use my compass to trace a true circle for the base.

In the meantime, my latest little project needs a job. As it just to happens, we’re in a wee bit of a heat wave up here, so…

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…keep an eye out for my upcoming line of portable beer coasters. (You know you want one.)

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