I like to keep a small stash of first aid supplies in my wallet since I have it with me at all times. Before this project, I had managed to cram a CPR face barrier, an alcohol prep, two adhesive bandages, a butterfly closure, and a gauze pad in one of the pockets of my L fold. However, I wanted to add a needle and thread to this stash. I also wanted to do so in a way that I could be fairly sure I wouldn't get stabbed or have the needle puncture the packaging of any of the other supplies. And thus this quick project was born. (When I should have been studying.) I'm sorry that some of the pictures are dark - my roommate was sleeping. I think it's still easy to see what's going on.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
-Cotton swab (Or similar object that can yield a small section of tightly rolled paper, like a lollipop stick)
-Thick paper or card stock (I used a "desk calendar", a big sheet of card stock covered in advertisements someone slipped under my dorn room door, if you wonder later why there's stuff on it.)
-Standard size card (For measurement)
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Cover
First, we're going to make a paper cover to put everything in and to keep the needle from running away. Put the card in the corner of your card stock and trace around it, then move it and do this two more times as shown, creating three touching rectangles, each the size of a standard credit card. Then, cut around the outside line so you're left with a rectangle three credit card-lengths long.
Step 3: Cover the Needle
Cut one of the ends off of your cotton swab, then cut off a little more so you're left with a short length of paper stick. Make sure it doesn't go flying and get lost when you cut it! This piece will be used to cover the point of the needle. Press it on to the point of the needle HARD to ensure that it won't come off. USE CAUTION. It would not be very hard to stab yourself with the needle doing this. I did it by hand the first time without hurting myself, but I'd recommend that you use two sets of pliers as I show in the pictures. I found that it was easier to get a grip on the needle to press it tightly into the paper with the pliers anyway.
Step 4: Fold the Cover and Cut Again
Fold the cover at both of the lines that were drawn earlier so that it will be the size of a single credit card when folded in three. Then, take one of the short ends and fold it in again just a little bit. The needle will be contained under this short flap. Hold the needle over this flap, approximately centered, and draw two small marks, one at each end of the paper cap. Then cut out a small notch between the marks as pictured, going through both layers.
Step 5: Make a "spool"
Cut out a small rectangle of card stock, smaller than a credit card. This will function as a spool for the thread, and a way to staple it into the cover. Cut two shallow notches at one end of this spool to wind the thread around. Make sure there's enough paper at the other end to staple without the possibility of stapling the thread.
Step 6: Thread the Needle
Cut a length of thread and thread it through the needle. I prefer to thread it so that both ends are of equal length. This makes each stitch stronger and also makes it harder to completely un-thread the needle, reducing the risk of having to do so while panicked or rushed. I used a very short length of thread in the picture to illustrate my point about both ends being the same length. You should use a longer piece. :)
Step 7: Wind the Spool and Secure the Needle
Wind the thread around the spool, through the notches you cut. Place the needle inside the fold of the small flap on the cover, with the cap in the notch you cut as shown. Fold the flap over and staple it down, securing the needle in place. Be careful not to staple the thread. Using pliers, squeeze the staple ends down to flatten them.
Step 8: Close It Up
If you want to write any kind of directions for use inside, now would be the time. Then, fold it up. I recommend folding it the way I do to make sure the spool stays in place inside, so we know where it is when we staple. Then, staple through the entire thing once, making sure to go through the paper end of the spool but not the thread, to hold it in place. Once again, you may want to squeeze the staple ends down with a pliers so they don't rip up your wallet or anything in it. You probably want to write something on the outside so people know what it is. Then they can use it too, or at least know what it is. Slip it in your wallet and you're ready to go!