Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tool Time Tuesday...Chicken Feeder For Sewing

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What? A Chicken Feeder? You betcha! Hubby and I were shopping in a Tractor Supply store this past weekend, looking for special diet dog food for our yellow lab, Annie. They didn't carry the dog food, but you know I roamed around the tool and hardware section.

They carry a lot of galvanized metal items (my absolute favorite!)...buckets, pans, scoops, troughs and chicken feeders. The chicken feeder caught my eye.

Do we have chickens? No. Well, we have them in the freezer from the store, but to feed...no. So why buy a chicken feeder. To make one of these.

Here it is from the store...$4.00

I know there are probably more things to do with this, but I'm still thinking!

You can buy the plastic bottle the chicken feed is dispensed from, but a canning jar fits too. Maybe fill the jar with...
  • bird seed for our other feathered friends, just not chickens
  • maybe m&m's for a candy dispenser

I still like the thread idea though. Great to use by your chair for all your hand sewing, but it's missing something...the pincushion!

All you need is a scrap piece of fabric, some stuffing and a circle pattern. I used a plastic lid to trace.

It is about 6 inches across the middle.

There are 2 ways to gather up the edge of fabric with a circle.

First way is to use a heavy weight string and a needle with a bigger eye.

Use a running stitch or larger gathering stitch around the edge of the circle.

because the string is a heavier weight, you can just pull the strings to gather it up into a pouch.

Stuff with batting or filling.

Pull tight and knot off to secure.

The second way is better if you are using a thinner cotton weight fabric.

Set the stitch length on your machine to the longest stitch or gathering stitch. Mine is 5 on my machine.

Stitch all the way around about a 1/4 inch in from the edge.


One tip for a machine gathering stitch is to use 2 different color threads. You have to pull 2 threads, but from the same side.

I used white on the spool and black in the bobbin. Now I know to only pull just the white threads or just the black threads when gathering.

Once gathered and knotted to secure, you can just place the pincushion in the center hole or use a little glue or hot glue to hold it in place.

Add your pins and needles...

and your little snips too.

Maybe you can add a little bow to make it pretty.

Ribbon or not, this will work great for you when you are hand sewing in your comfy chair watching tv and having a cup of tea.

hmmm, where's my tea?

That's better!

Tool Time has been to the hardware store, the automotive store, office supply, grocery store, recycling bin, health and beauty isle and many others, but this is the first time in the farm equipment section. Definitely going to look into that more. Lol !!

You never know with me...what will inspire me next.

Remember when you're in any store...
  • look at something twice before passing it up
  • don't think..."do I need this?" Think..."what can I DO with this?"
  • and always...think outside the box!!!
Have a happy Tuesday,


  1. I LOVE this! I need to find one of these.....and yay, we have a Tractor Supply in our town! Woohoo! Thanks!

  2. That is darling! Thanks so much for sharing! I think I have to pick up one (or two) of those!

  3. Oh, this is incredibly cute! You are the most clever woman I've ever met!!

  4. How fun is that!? Love it! You have the bestest ideas.

    robin :-)


  5. THis is so cool, you always amaze me with what you come up with...I can see my sewing friends wanting one of these and me of course!..
    Julia ♥

  6. Oh gosh...I love this idea for sewing and keeping your spools & needles handy. Thank you. I'm sure I won't be able to find one here.

  7. What an amazingly creative woman you are. I love it when people can think outside the box and see things like this,

    Hugs and kisses, Happy Valentines


  8. I love your creativeness. Now if it would just stop snowing so I can check out our MFA feed store to see if they have one of these. I'd like to make some for my small quilting group of 12 friends. Thanks for sharing.

  9. LOVE it (Thank you!!)...wonder if there is a feed store within 50 miles of me...Hmmmm

  10. I'll have to try this. We actually bought one of these for our chickens but decided on a different type of feeder so I have it, never used, in my garage. This is such a cute idea-thanks!

  11. This is a very clever use for the chicken feeder. It looks to be very useful and it is attractive.

  12. What a great idea! It seems I always have spools of thread all over my sewing table, under fabric, rolled under the desk - this would solve alot of problems. Now I'm going to be on the look out for something similar to make.

  13. That is a great idea! I wonder if all the tractor supply stores are ready for the influx of city women wandering in looking for chicken feeders.

  14. How smart is that? Just love it and it's my fav...galvanized!

  15. Wonderful¡¡¡ Happy Valentin's Day.

  16. Well, I know where I am going after my quilting group this morning! Great idea!

  17. You clever girl ... I wouldn't have thought of this!!!! On my next trip to town guess where I'm going??? Thanks for sharing.

  18. What a great idea - these have come and gone in my house - never as a pin cushion!! You know I am going to the feed co-op to get on this week!!! TFS and happy Valentine
    s Day!!!

  19. That's great! Believe it or not, I have a couple of those in my garage--what can I say? We have chickens...but no worries, the feeders haven't been used yet! As for the candy dispenser, I made a BUNCH of these years ago and wrote "CHEEP TREATS" on them, topped them with these adorable little chickens that I made(got the pattern from a quilt shop), filled them full of candy & gave them as gifts. Maybe I'll post the one I still have on my blog some day...

  20. That is such a great idea!! We actually have an antique one made of glass that I might have to borrow to use!

  21. I love your way of looking at items and repurposing them- keep it up! Shared the chicken feeder idea on FB!

  22. Adorable!!!

    Happy Valentines day to you!!!

    Carmen and the Primcats

  23. Very clever! Need to find a Tractor Supply near by!

  24. Oh you clever girl! I've even got a feeder in the shed, but if I didn't, this would be worth a trip to town to pop into the farm store. I'm thinking this is the perfect Christmas gift for a couple of ranch wives I know. Thank you for sharing this!

  25. I love this idea! My threads always end up tangled in a box by my chair. We have two farm stores within 3 miles - a trip is definitely in order!

  26. Oh, that is pretty darn clever. We've had a few of those around during the years and I never would have thought of doing this, EVER. Thanks for the idea. My husband will get such a kick out of this :)

  27. You have the most creative mind!
    I love Tuesdays,now.

  28. I love this, and had to hit the co-op this morning. They had these in bright green or purple so I bought a green out to try it out, but now I think I need to buy a few more, as it's a perfect gift idea. Thanks for sharing!

  29. I mentioned this post in my Quilting groups this morning and got a rousing applause. I bought all that they had (5) and our group is going to have a little party, making these. Thanks again for such a great idea. I will post the finished products on my blog when they are done.

  30. The farmgirl in me LOVES your clever chicken feeder!

  31. Very cute!! I love taking "normal stuff" and using them to make awesome things for the sewing room! :)

  32. How fantastic! I like the way you can still see all the colours of the cottons.

  33. Cute Cute Cute!!! My little "chics" would love the M&M idea most! :0)

  34. it's amazing how you are always thinking outside the box! it's a gift really :)

  35. That is adorable! What a great gift to make for a sewing friend!

  36. I so need to do this with a chicken pincushion in the middle! Such a cute idea for a used chick feeder!

  37. Karen, do you EVER sleep at night, or do you just lay awake and think of these things? You have some of the best, but odd idea's. I really like the chicken feeder/thread holder. This will work perfect for my machine embroidery. I'll keep the threads that I am using close by and in the order that I need them!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!

  38. So when I take the feeder away from the chickens you think they
    will notice? Just kidding, great
    idea Karen, only YOU!

  39. this is a great idea. I love to shop in the hardware, feed stores, harbor freight..... etc. Great deals for things that can be very useful to quilters and other hobby orientated people.

  40. Great use of materials, I want one for my sewing room now, great post!!

  41. Love the idea, now I know what I will do with my chicken feeded that I bought 10 yrs. ago for candy corn or M&M's. Yours is a lot less fattening or maybe we could use it for both ideas, hmmm, we could have our snacks handy..

  42. Hello,This is a nice article.I like it.Nice share indeed.Hope you will love to check my pet care blog where you will get nice pictures and information about pets.Check PETCARE

  43. I love this idea. I have a son who is a bird lover and has many of these. He is going to give one to me. I will think of him every time I use it. He lives far away from me in Canada. ( I live in NJ)
    Thanks so much

  44. Thank you for such a fantastically clever idea, Karen! I found your chicken feeder pincushion originally on Pinterest and had to make my own immediately. You can see it here (if the link works - https://whimziequiltz.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/which-came-first/) Made sure I included credit for you, though I'd love it if people assumed I was smart enough to come up with such a great idea. :D Thanks again!

  45. Thank you for such a fantastically clever idea, Karen! I found your chicken feeder pincushion originally on Pinterest and had to make my own immediately. You can see it here (if the link works - https://whimziequiltz.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/which-came-first/) Made sure I included credit for you, though I'd love it if people assumed I was smart enough to come up with such a great idea. :D Thanks again!


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