How to Make Wood Sewing Thimbles

Written by lauren vork
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How to Make Wood Sewing Thimbles
Most modern thimbles are made of metal, but you can make your own out of wood. (thimbles and buttons image by JCVStock from Fotolia.com)

One of the oldest and simplest of sewing accessories, the humble thimble is a much-needed sewing tool even centuries after its creation. While thimbles can be made from a variety of materials, wooden thimbles are both firm and provide a porous, fairly non-slip surface to help guide needles through stubborn materials. Carve your own wooden thimbles as a beginning carving project, decoration or to customise a thimble for use.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 2-inch diameter wooden dowel
  • Scroll saw
  • Oscilating power tool with pointed grinding bit
  • Sand paper
  • Varnish

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut a 2 and 1/2-inch section of dowel using the scroll saw.

  2. 2

    Attach the grinding bit to the oscillating power tool. Turn it on and set it to medium speed.

  3. 3

    Round one end of the dowel piece using the grinding tool. Grind down the edges, then continue to roll the tip of the grinder around the outside and over the top of the end of the rounded end. Spend more time on the end to grind this down smaller, forming the wood into a bell shape that tapers from one end to the other.

  4. 4

    Press the tip of the grinding tool slowly into the centre of the non-rounded edge. Grind a hole in this direction through all but the last quarter inch of the wood. Pull the grinding tip back and move it inside the hole in a slow, stirring motion to hollow out more of the material inside the thimble. Continue in this manner until you've hollowed the inside as much you can, leaving a wall about a quarter-inch thick at all points.

  5. 5

    Sand the thimble by hand with sand paper, inside and out. Tear a small piece of paper (about the size of a penny) and work it into the tight areas and curves using your fingertip.

  6. 6

    Lightly touch the pointed tip of the spinning oscillating tool to the outside of the thimble to form a small indentation. Repeat until you've covered the surface of the thimble with tiny dents; these will serve as a grip.

  7. 7

    Varnish the thimble according to the varnish manufacturer's instructions. Apply two coats to both inside and outside to make it smooth and hard.   

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