ScrapHappy November 2021

A more traditional and simple ScrapHappy this month; I’ve repurposed an interdental brush as a needle pin to use in carding my files.

I first came across needle pins when I was a child, making Honiton Lace* – it’s the tool we used for pricking out a pattern, but I’ve found them super useful for all sorts of things in the decades since.

Carding a file is what one does to clean a metal working file – it’s scraping out all the swarf that gets stuck from within the teeth. Many of the files I use are small and all have very fine teeth so the brass brush I have doesn’t really ‘un gum’ (technical term!) lots of them sufficiently

These interdental brushes are incredibly good. They come in different widths, are made from carefully sourced bamboo so the handle is compostable, and the brush part pulls out with a little effort from the handle to go into the standard waste bin. And for me, there’s an extra bonus as The Truthbrush is a local company (though they sell internationally – here’s a link)

What I’ve done, is take two broken pins – one’s a bit thinner than the other and it’s nasty plastic head pulled off when I ran over it with my sewing machine. It’s very long and thin and is one of the ones I got in a Christmas cracker many years ago. The other one is a bit thicker, though still slim, has a glass head, but bent when I tried to use it to block my crochet.

I expected to have to anchor them into the top of the Truthbrush with glue, but I was able to simply push them in as the hole the brush came out of has been drilled wonderfully deeply into the handle.

I smashed the glass head with my stamping hammer, and now I have two new needle pins – one super fine and one fine with a convenient kink to help align it.

And look!! My favourite file is no longer filled with silver swarf, and works beautifully again (I’ve cleaned it all, this is just to demonstrate the difference!))

*Honiton Lace – bobbin lace, made on a straw stuffed round and flat pillow, in motifs and runs of lace, using extremely fine cotton. Traditionally the bobbins are long and slim, with no beading and the lace is white. Learn more here: Victoria and Albert Museum Wikipedia Honiton Museum


About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?! Find me and my shinies on and as @DawnGillDesigns on social media
This entry was posted in processes, resources, ScrapHappy, silver, Stuff I love, Tech Tip, tutorial and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to ScrapHappy November 2021

  1. excellent make… and now I need to follow that link because I’ve been using the plastic interdental brushes and feeling very guilty…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katechiconi says:

    That’s very, very clever. They’re also very useful for poking out the fluff that builds up around the bobbin race on a sewing machine. Maybe it’s just me, but I use an interdental brush to put on mascara, because I’m blind as a bat without specs, even in a magnifying mirror, and with one of these teeny things I can get it behind my glasses and see what I’m doing. Last for ages if you wash them out every time, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The new needle-pin looks like a super-useful tool, and I like the new use for the old pins.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wow! I learn something new from you every month. I could use a needle pin to clean my fine hand carders.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. acflory says:

    Wow…your patience and attention to detail is amazing. Bravo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rutigt says:

    Great!! Why throw a brooken pin away when you can use it for something else!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Going Batty in Wales says:

    That is a very clever scrappy Dawn. I have been given the pillow and bobbins for Honiton lace by my daughter’s late M in L. I think there is a booklet with it on ‘How to’ and no doubt there are you-tube videos but one of these days have never made it so you may be getting a request for some help!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lynda says:

    I have used these brushes twice when after hand surgery I could not floss. I always hated tossing them, but think that I should do as you have done and find a way to repurpose them. I went looking through your post on jewelry making and find I love your style! I had a short stint at jewelry making in my senior year of High School, and loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

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