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Walnut shells for pincushions

Walnut shells for pincushions

Old 01-24-2018, 10:06 AM
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Default Walnut shells for pincushions

I'm making a number of pin cushions for giveaways at our guild's quilt show next month.

I tried making a liner and filling with fine sand, but after a few "pounces" I still get a gritty residue coming out of my pincushion.

Someone told me about crushed walnut shells, but they are a little expensive ($9 for a 12 oz bag).

Does anyone know if the ground walnut shells used as animal bedding for birds and reptiles would be usable or the same?

I can get something like 7# for about $8. That would be a considerable savings?

(okay, part II, if that would work.....do I have to wash them first?) I'm a lil confused here as you can tell.....
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:24 PM
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My friend used walnut shells and she got them somewhere inexpensively, so I think you'd be ok with the more economical bag.
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:28 PM
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I'd invest in a bag of the product you are considering and try it!
Alternatively, wool yarn scraps or shredded wool strips in pincushions are supposed to keep needles and pins from rusting.
Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2018, 12:40 PM
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I've made several pin cushions with leftover batting.
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:48 PM
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I've used batting, too, but I like the weight of heavier material in there. That way the cushion doesn't come along with the pin...which irritates me when I am racing against the clock
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Old 01-24-2018, 02:54 PM
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There may be differences in brands. However, I did a quick look on Amazon and found this particular bag:

I went down to reviews, and at the bottom of the page is a "search" box where you can search for a key word in the reviews. I did a search on "pincushions" and found way more than a dozen reviews that said it worked great for pincushions. You may be able to find a local brand this way also, by searching on Amazon.

I also did a search on "wash" and "washing" in those reviews and found nothing related to pincushions. This leads me to believe that you do not need to wash the walnuts before using them in pincushions. I think it would be tough to wash and dry ground up shells anyway.

I noticed the expensive brand had a lavender scented version. If you have essential oils on hand, you could easily add some scent to the walnuts. The only thing is, some people are sensitive to essential oils so you would want to label them if you add scents.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:11 PM
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I bought crushed walnut shells at a nearby chain pet store. They are in the reptile supplies area, used for pet bedding. It was a much larger bag than I needed, but it didn't cost much at all. I had not heard about washing it, but I don't see why you would. Some people are concerned about those with nut allergies receiving a pin cushion filled with walnut shells. If I were making pin cushions to sell or give to a large group of people, I would just make people aware that they contains nuts products. The shells make a really nice pin cushion filler.
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:29 PM
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I've made multiple pin cushions with crushed walnut shells. Never thought about allergies. Got them at the pet store. Made a bag from poly lining and filled it with the shells. Then constructed another bag from pretty fabric and put the lining bag inside it. Then I glued it to a base that was also covered in the pretty fabric. Only problem has been the glue (E6000), one person reacted to its fumes.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:55 PM
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Yes I buy and use the shells from the pet store all the time, they work great. Make a small pouch of fabric scraps, muslin, etc. Stuff with pieces of left over batting, then take a funnel and fill til firm with the walnut shells. Stitch closed and use in your pincushion. Sandwich bags full of shells make fun giveaways at the guild meetings and for secret sisters.
Peace, Brenda
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:01 PM
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They are wonderful and yes, go to PetsMart or Petco and they sell a big bag for about what you pay for a small bag at the quilt shop. My guild started using them years ago - here in the south sans can get moisture in it -not good. Batting is way to,lightweight for a decent pincushion. The crushed walnut shells are the perfect filler - provide weight and don’t absorb moisture. I thunk the bag I looked at was 10 lbs. - ag too big for what I needed at thst time -should have bought it anyway.����

Sandy in Mooresville, NC
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