Creating a home by hand.

Clam Shell Accessories Case Plus a Mini Letter Needle Book

In Wednesday’s post I mentioned that I had some small projects to share once I had them completely finished.

Last year, I took part in the Santa Sack Swap for the first time. One of the gifts I made for my swap partner Judith was this little Clam Shell Accessory Case.

Photo of Clam Shell Accessory case made for swap partner

It turned out so cute that I wanted to make one for myself as well. Now, when I bought the kit, I mistakenly thought that you could reuse the plastic templates that were included. But those are used when you make the clam shell case as that’s what gives the case the stiffness and bendability to open and snap back closed.

Unfortunately they don’t sell the plastic templates separately. If you want to make another one, you have to buy another kit.

Thinking I might be able to figure out a way around that, I traced around each of the two different sized templates before I made the one pictured above.

At first I tried making that second one using a very stiff interfacing. That did not work out at all. For many months, it sat in one of my project bags waiting for me to decide to fix it or pitch it.

Then one day a couple of months ago, I had gotten out the plastic container of one of those pre-mixed salads (we like the Spring Salad Blend) to make myself a salad for lunch when I realized that the plastic lid was about the same thickness as the clam shell templates had been.  Over the next several weeks, I saved all the lids from our salad containers and when I had collected enough, Dave volunteered to cut out six new templates for me.

The seam ripper was put to use to disassemble the sad looking first attempt, the new plastic templates were inserted and here is the final result:

Fussy cut owl clam shell accessory caseI love it!!

It sits on my nightstand and it makes me smile every time I look at it!

Even when I pick it up and turn it over… the Sleepy Owl on bottom makes me smile too.

And that brings me to my second finish this week. Do you ever see something that is so sweet you want to make it immediately? Even if it’s something that you certainly don’t “need” another one of as you have one that was given to you and another that you made for yourself?

That’s what happened when I saw a pin for the Little Letter Needle Book. The pin itself led to a blog that is no longer available but after a bit of searching I found the pattern was still available here.

This is my version:

Front of Little Letter Needle Book

It finishes at about 3 3/4 inches wide by 2 3/4 inches high!

And this is the back with a teeny tiny button and thread closure:

Back of the Little Letter Needle Book

I used this cool sewing accessories themed fabric for the inside:

View of the inside of the Little Letter Needle Book



  • Leslie Sorenson
    September 12, 2014 6:29 pm

    I love needle books but do agree there are only so many you need so I just collect and make them of fun and gifts.

  • Vickie
    September 12, 2014 6:08 pm

    Oh My! I love the clam shell case and the fabric you used. Do you have a link or tutorial on how to make them? They are adorable.

    I also really like your needle book. I am currently using a piece of felt that I folded over as a book to hold my needles. You are so creative! Thank you for sharing these two projects.

    Enjoy your day!

  • Kathy h
    September 12, 2014 8:04 pm

    Your little clam shell is so cute with those owls. I love the needle book too and it is nice to have a different one for different types of needles. So I think you could use a few too!

  • Angie in SoCal
    September 12, 2014 9:00 pm

    I really like both of those projects. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gretchen
    September 12, 2014 11:46 pm

    Please tell us you are working on a tutorial for the clamshell! And I think the needlecase is adorable – everyone in my family will need one for their travel kits! Thanks for sharing!

  • judy rogers
    September 13, 2014 12:01 am


  • Celtic Thistle Stitches
    September 13, 2014 3:16 am

    I love your clamshell, glad you solved the problem of the templates. Think they are missing a trick there not selling the templates separately!
    The sewing fabric is just perfect for your needlecase too 🙂

  • Kate
    September 13, 2014 8:39 am

    Enjoyed reading about your resourcefulness for the clam shell and like the fabrics you used. Thanks for the link to that sweet needle book. 🙂

  • Gemini Jen NZ
    September 14, 2014 3:04 am

    Oh I love those owls! What a cool wee case, I love the way it pops open like that, haven’t seen those before!

  • Donna
    September 14, 2014 7:23 am

    I love clam shell idea. I would also love to win your little needle book. I currently just use an old piece of wool felt.

  • Lori Smanski
    September 14, 2014 9:29 am

    your clam shells are too adorable. your are very creative and did a fabulous job. I love your needle case. don’t have one as yet. I just stick them in a piece of cloth when traveling. thanks for the chance. this is just perfect.

  • Cheri
    September 14, 2014 1:11 pm

    Very cute ideas!

  • Vicki Richardson
    September 14, 2014 4:15 pm

    I cannot believe that someone else did the clam shell thing, I thought I was the only one. HEHEHE I love your needle keeper, and I do not have even one, so this would be so exciting to win. Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs from afar,

  • Alcea Rosea
    September 14, 2014 5:15 pm

    I was lucky enough to buy an old silk clam shell case, used for tatting, on Ebay a couple of years ago. I love it but don’t use it. I love the letter needle case and I would love to copy the idea. I like to have lots of needle cases, for all my machines, projects, knitting and in each room. The same with pin cushions.

  • Nesta
    September 14, 2014 5:20 pm

    Your owl clam shell case is perfect and a great recycle idea too! Love your needle book too, so sweet!

  • Nancy
    September 14, 2014 6:52 pm

    What cute projects you have made…so creative. Thanks for sharing!

  • Michele Timms
    September 14, 2014 9:37 pm

    OMGosh!!! That has to be the sweetest owl fabric!!! I love small special items and your needlecase would be a treasure… It is perfect!!! Thanks for the chance!

  • Kathy Davis
    September 14, 2014 11:08 pm

    I know what you mean about seeing something and wanting to make it right away. I saw a turtle in a blog but I had to order a book to get the pattern. I didn’t think the book would ever come. When It did I jumped right in… it was one of the hardest little suckers I have ever made, but turned out so cute. Glad I did it, my granddaughter loves it. I promise I would take good care of your needle case. Thanks, Kathy

  • Cathy Driver
    September 15, 2014 2:54 am

    I think the little letter needle case is adorable. I worked for the Post Office for 37 years & this would be so cute in my sewing room with my PO memoribilia.

  • Lori Morton
    September 15, 2014 6:50 pm

    Love your Clam Shell!!! You were very Creative to make another! Good job!
    I don’t really have a “needle case” to speak of…so knooow this Letter one would be well loved & used here. 🙂

  • Lee
    September 15, 2014 8:22 pm

    You are so clever! Love those clamshells! And thank you for being so kind to do a giveaway for that sweet needlebook!

  • jessica eapen
    September 15, 2014 8:28 pm

    the needle book is adorable!

  • Yvonne
    September 15, 2014 11:00 pm

    Love the needle book. thanks for the giveaway.

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