DIY Waterproof Sewing Kit from a Prescription Medicine Bottle

If your family is anything like mine (and, I imagine, most families who read my blog), you have at least one person with at least one regular prescription. That means you have a lot of empty prescription bottles either sitting around or going directly into the trash. So I started thinking about what I could do with my empty prescription bottles, and one thing I came up with was an emergency sewing kit. These kits are big enough to hold numerous items that you might need spontaneously, but small enough to fit in a purse, diaper bag, or glove box without much trouble.

First, you need to decide what you want in your sewing kit. This one's going to go in the glove compartment of my car, so I'm going a bit heavier on the button assortment than I would in a sewing kit for my camping gear. It's hard to go wrong with an assortment of threads, buttons, and safety pins. Of course you'll also need some sewing needles, and I felt a scrap of fabric could be useful in case I needed a patch.

To secure your sewing needles, cut out a small scrap of paper. Fold it in half and stick the needles through it. When you unfold the scrap, you'll have needles secured just the way they're sold in stores.
At least, if you buy the cheap ones that don't come in a plastic case.
Next, cut a piece of cardboard from a cereal box or other non-corrugated source. You want it to be about one inch in width and maybe 1-2 inches in length, depending on how many different threads you're putting in. Cut small small notches in the sides--one on each side for each thread--and one in the bottom. The bottoms notch will hold all the end threads after you're done wrapping the threads.

Cut lengths from each thread to your desired length. Mine were about five feet long, or from hand to hand across my body. Then wrap each thread around its designated spot, taking care to keep the outside end out of the way of the other threads. It may help to bend the little cardboard "wings" a bit so you have an easier time getting the thread all the way into the notches on each pass.

After wrapping all the threads, gather the loose ends and tuck them into that end notch to keep them secured.

Now you can decorate your bottle! I used some patterned duct tape like this set of 12 rolls from Amazon. You don't necessarily need to remove your medicine label to do this, but I really didn't want my prescription info up on the internet for anybody to grab. But it's probably not in your best interests for a sewing kit to look like it's a bottle of prescription drugs sitting in your car for anybody to break in and grab. I like using the duct tape because it's easy and durable, and you can get some really pretty patterns.

Now it's time to put your kit together. Add all the items to your bottle, starting with the threads and ending with the fabric scrap. I found this to be the optimal organization to make everything fit.

In fact, I had some room to spare, so I added another fabric scrap.

If you don't want to waterproof your sewing kit, you're done! If you want this to be reusable (one you keep in your purse, diaper bag, or car, for example), you probably don't want to waterproof it. I'm not sure if my method of waterproofing would make this capable of being used more than once and continuing to be waterproof.

To waterproof, heat up a high-heat hot glue gun. You want a high temperature gun because the glue will then stay liquid long enough for you to screw the cap back on. Add a line of hot glue around the threading either on the outside of the bottle or the inside of the cap. Quickly line up the threading on the cap and bottle and twist it on, before the glue dries. This can be tricky! You may want to practice. I know that sounds dumb, but take a cue from the girl who didn't realize how fast she had to get it down and then spent several minutes picking glue from the threading on the bottle and cap afterward. It's painfully tedious.

And now you really are done! Congratulate yourself on being prepared in a frugal way.


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