Thursday, April 11, 2019

Tips and Tricks: Mini Sewing Kit in a Straw

As far as miniature sewing kits go, you can find lots of suggestions online for the containers--pill bottles, small Altoids tins, Tic-Tac boxes--as well as the contents (it seems like some have enough thread and needles for sewing a dress).  My favorite, and the most practical and compact kit for sewing repairs, is a jumbo straw (1/2” diameter).  And I came up with it all on my own.  You won't see it anywhere else until someone copies it (and hopefully improves on it) and posts it on Pinterest.  
Like the instructions for using straws to make mini packages for other items, I sealed one end with a pair of pliers and a candle flame to melt the plastic together.

So what goes inside?
  • Two shoelaces
  • Two threaded needles (it's easier to thread needles now, and the needles won't get lost if they are dropped while you're trying to thread them in low light as you escape on foot from zombies)
  • Two buttons
  • Two safety pins

The buttons were a little camera shy; they're off to the side.  The needles are threaded and secured under the shoelace wrapper with the thread wrapped around the edge of the wrapper and only the knotted ends visible.  Safety pins are secured in the wrapper.

Make sure these items will actually fit in your straw.  You don't need super-size shoelaces or honking needles for repairing a canvas tent.  This is a mini wardrobe malfunction kit, like for carrying in a bug-out bag.  You should have more substantial kits with your camping gear and at home.

Secure the needles in the shoelaces so that they don't get lost when you open your kit, and so that you don't accidentally get poked.

Put the shoelaces (with threaded needles), buttons, and safety pins in the straw, cut to size, and seal the other end.  To avoid poking yourself while stuffing the straw, put both needles on the end of the shoelaces that will go into the straw first.  If necessary, use the eraser end of a pencil to push everything in.  Trim the end of the straw to fit and seal with the candle flame and pliers.

Next, carefully wrap the straw with 24-36 inches of duct tape for emergency shoe (and other) repairs. That's it!

Remember, you saw it here first.

Links to related posts:
96-hour kit  
Straw mini packages  
Cotton ball fire starters 

© 2019, 


  1. Neat idea, but you did not mention the size or type of needles. I would have one for sewing clothing and maybe a heavier one such as a repair needle for sewing thicker cloth and even a sail needle for canvas. And I'd string together different size buttons (I'd knot the ends or make a loop, like a bracelet) and wrap them around the straw or toss them into the bag. Whenever I throw away damaged clothing, I look for the extra buttons sewn to the pocket lining or the bottom of a shirt. I have enough in two or three sizes for shirts or pants. And a thimble might be nice since it would prevent hurting one's finger and help push needles though tougher materials.

  2. Those are all great ideas. But as this was for simply an emergency kit, I opted for just clothing repairs.