Seamstress Little Helper

I LOVE dainty coffee cups, tea cups, and saucers. I see them at the flea market or resale stores and I have to buy them. Matching patterns doesn’t matter. It makes no sense because I am not a dainty person. In the world of hot drink cups I am a mug.

I have a growing collection of cups and saucers gathering dust now. There was no reason to buy more saucers. However, since I was at the YWCA Second Seating resale store in Charleston anyway, I decided to buy a few more saucers.

The saucers have a beautiful pattern, and were reasonably priced. Someone donated them, the money went to the YWCA, and I have some nice pre-owned items for a project. That’s a recycle/upcycle trifecta.

My grand-niece is showing an interest in sewing. She was gifted a nice machine and has completed a few little pieces. I thought of a project that will put some of my lonely saucers to a good use and be a nice gift to her: a seamstress’ little helper.

This is a very simple project that creates a cute notions and pin holder by upcycling two saucers and an old candlestick holder. Here is what you need:

  • 2 saucers of different size
  • 1 small candle holder
  • 1 Button magnet
  • Strong adhesive (E6000 recommended)
  • Straight pins (to test)

Test the arrangement and fit of all the pieces. The candlestick holder serves as the column between the plates. Check to see how well the top and bottom of the candlestick holder fits the bottom of your top plate and the center of the bottom plate. I found some of my candlestick holders had square tops and bottoms. They did not work well with some of my plates.

Next, test the strength of your magnet by placing a few straight pins on your top saucer and moving the magnet underneath. If the pins are not attracted to the magnet through the saucer you need a stronger magnet. The button magnets I got at the craft store were not strong enough. I had to get magnets from a hardware store.

Glue your magnet to the back of your top saucer as close to center as possible. Apply a thin bead of adhesive to the lip of the candlestick holder and center on the bottom of the saucer and around the magnet. Repeat with the base of the candlestick holder and the bottom saucer. Let stand 24 hours.

Keep your helper by your machine to hold your pins, scissors, buttons, or any other little notions you have.

My candlestick holders are clear glass. For a little decorative flair I arranged small buttons in the base before using the adhesive. You might decide on small bits of ribbon, plastic beads, confetti, or maybe a small photo. Use your creative imagination!

Robin’s Upcycle is located in Kanawha County, WV. Open by appointment. Phone 304-460-5NEW (5639). For info, visit