Faux Ivory Shell Needle or Pin Keeper

Out of stock

This shell pin or needle keeper is an adaption of an idea I have seen at antique fairs. Shell shapes, both real shells or crafted in ivory or bone, were commonly used for needlework tools. My shell covers were hand-crafted here in England and are, of course, not made from ivory.

This Treasure is supplied as a lovely quick-make kit to be finished in an evening.

Your boxed kit includes 2 faux ivory shell covers, silk ribbon, undyed wool felt, gold-plated needle, embroidery threads and complete instructions. The completed shell measures 3 x 3in (7.5 x 7.5cm) when closed.


Out of stock

Out of stock


The story of this little treasure

I love hunting unusual needlework tools, both for you and for me! Sometimes seeing something at a fair or in an auction catalogue sets me thinking.

I love things like pincushions made in real shells and needlebooks in tortoiseshell. I know I would not be happy buying anything made from real animal, but an old idea can be made to work in new ways. (After all, when you look at a new piano, the keys are no longer made from ivory but look as if they might be.)

I have always been an avid shell collector, so I thought they would be good inspiration for a needlecase or similar. The wonderful Ethan Danielson drew the scallop shell shape for me with the pretty antique shading, and Lyn at History Craft created my lovely shell covers. I buy the faux ivory material in sheets and then the shapes are cut on a laser. It’s quite a task as all the elements are created in separate passes of the machine but I knew what I wanted and didn’t compromise. This is another case where holes are not free!

Once I had the prototype of the shells, I had a day playing with the best way to join them so they hinged well. I also discovered a maker of beautiful natural felt for the inside, then added silk ribbon. I am rather pleased with the result, though I say so myself.