Keeping Christmas in your Heart 2020: December 7, 8, & 9 with a tutorial for turning stale bread into fancy sewing pins

Christmas Header

Self isolating at home during a global pandemic is an unlikely time to be thinking of Christmas. I find, however, that keeping my hands busy with little projects helps fill my time and allows me to plan for a happier future. As an added bonus, I get to make something nice for my mom using materials I had on hand.

I have now finished little gifts to add to the tins for December 7, 8, and 9. I was able to use materials found in my stash and avoid going out to the stores. Here is what I ended up with.

The tins for December 7, 8, and 9 are ready to go.

December 9

Fridge magnet

While doing a little isolation cleaning, I discovered a souvenir fridge magnet I purchased at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria while visiting a friend. Not only is Emily Carr one of my mom’s favorite artists but it fits with the quote on the inside of the tin as many of Emily Carr’s painting feature wet West Coast landscapes.

December 8

Cross stitched bookmark

I had enough embroidery floss and Aida cloth in my stash to stitch this Christmas themed bookmark. The pattern was found on Pintrest.

Wrapped up with a bow

December 7

My mom is a talented seamstress and quilter. She is my inspiration when it comes to wielding a needle. I made a tiny patchwork pincushion using a free pattern found online. I stuffed with steel wool to keep the pins sharp.

Of course, every cute little pincushion needs special pins to go with it! These pins could be easily made using polymer clay but I didn’t have any and since I wasn’t running out the store for non-essential shopping I had to make do with what I had on hand. What I had on hand was stale bread. Here is how I turned stale white bread into decorative sewing pins.

Mushroom Sewing Pins using White Bread Modelling Clay


These are the materials I started with. I eventually decided on making little mushrooms and did not need the mini cookie cutters. I also ended up using plain steel sewing pins with tiny heads. You will need:

  • Four slices of white bread
  • White glue
  • A mixing container. I used a recycled deli container.
  • A Tablespoon to measure the glue
  • A fork for mixing
  • Red, white, and brown or cream acrylic paint
  • A paint brush and a bit of tinfoil to use as a pallet.
  • Spray varnish
  • Straight sewing pins
  • A small scrap of florist foam. A recycled egg carton would also work.
Materials for making White Bread Modelling Clay

The first step was to make the modelling clay. I used 4 slices of stale white bread and 2 Tablespoons of white glue from the dollar store.

I found the more I kneaded and worked the dough the better it became. I kept kneading and rolling it around until the dough lost it’s stickiness. Then I made the little mushrooms.

I was very surprised with how well this modelling clay worked. It dried hard and it didn’t crack like salt dough does.

I made a little box for the pins out of a scrap of paper and decorated it with a small strip of Christmas themed washi tape.

These three tins are finished. I am currently researching ideas for the next three tins using only materials I have on hand as being on lock down means no non-essential shopping. I hope you will drop by again to see how I make out.


  1. Such creative ideas! Congratulations on keeping on keeping on with your goals. I love to make do with what I have. I’ve been sewing masks like so many, but I am also knitting a few little stocking stuffers—specifically little pouches for earbuds.
    Be blessed, and do drop by.
    Laura of


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