bbb craft sistersdiy projects

diy project: knitting needle case

by The BBB Craft Sisters

March is our favorite time of year for two things: 1. organizing and 2. knitting. In theory, we’d like to start knitting in the fall to prepare for holiday gifts and the winter months ahead, but it always seems to be the busiest time of year, and sometimes it just isn’t practical to start knitting a sweater on size-4 needles in the middle of November. As we start to get a little stir crazy waiting for spring (for those of us in winter climates, it often doesn’t come for another month or even two, if we’re especially unlucky!), we continue to cozy up at home and start our spring cleaning. In a moment of energized organizing, we made ourselves these knitting-needle cases to arrange and store knitting needles. No more rubber bands holding together unmarked double-pointed needles! No more mismatched pairs! This is so easy to make and so handy to have that we’re thinking about making them as party favors for the “Hunt, Gather and Host” knitting party we’re hosting for friends next week (stay tuned!) – bbbcraft sisters

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • painter’s drop cloth or heavy canvas
  • sewing machine
  • thread in two (or more) different colors
  • sewing scissors
  • twill tape, 1” wide
  • number stamps
  • stamp pad
  • straight edge
  • pencil
  • iron
  • ironing board


1. Cut a piece of canvas 21.5” wide by 35” long. Iron with a hot iron.

2. Across the top and bottom 21.5” wide edges, use twill tape to create an edge. Fold in half over the edge, pin in place and sew with a sewing machine.

3. Fold canvas in half so that the twill-tape edges line up, and then pull the top layer down so that there is 3” between the two edges, with the twill tape slightly lower than the top edge.

4. Fold in half again with the twill edges on top and once again, pull the top two layers down about 2.5”. You should have a piece that is about 11” long with three sections. Iron and place pins around the edges, if necessary, to hold in place.

5. Measure 0.5” in on both sides and make a small dot with a pencil. Draw a line from the top to the bottom on either side. From the dot on the left, make a dot every 1.5” until you reach the right-hand dot. There should be a total of 15 dots, which will create 14 vertical sections with a small pocket for double-pointed needles and a longer pocket behind for longer needles. Draw faint lines from the bottom fold to the top of the second twill tape to create guides for sewing.

6. To add the wrap to tie around the case, cut a piece of twill tape 44” long. Slide the end of the tape between the bottom two layers of the needle case. (You may need to pin this to hold it in place. The sewing machine may prefer no pins, however, in which case, just hold it in place, and sew slowly!) Using a contrasting color thread, sew along the far right and left edges, using the lines you drew. We used dark gray, but it would be cute to use a bright color here!

7. Using white or cream thread, sew along the rest of your hand-drawn lines, stopping just at the top of the top twill-tape edge. Now you have your needle pockets.

8. Using rubber stamps and the stamp pad color of your choice, stamp numbers (plus “c” for crochet hook and “s” for scissors, if you like!) along the bottom to mark needle sizes.

9. Organize your needles, roll and wrap!

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  • Little practicle comment: the l was left off the .html in the after the jump link. Less practically, I love knitting related projects and always welcome more excuses to indulge in this craft!

  • Fantastic!

    Lustre– I have seen this sort of thing for colored pencils and/or crayons for children to take with them on outings. So clever!

  • Brilliant! I was just thinking about breaking out the needles and hooks again. I’m glad to hear late winter is another persons get-out-and-knit time.

  • What a cool project! I love that you used a heavy duty material like drop cloth so the needles don’t poke through! Adding this to my bookmarks of projects I need to do this spring.

  • I love the simplicity of this needle case. It gives is such a clean look. And I like that the open top means that needles of different lengths can just stick out of the top! So accommodating. Very nicely done!

  • Be still my beating heart! This is just what I needed! I have been looking to make a little case for my crochet hooks and scissors and finally here it is! Thank you. =)

  • that painters drop cloth is the best! i use it for EVERYTHING–and now i will be using it to make one of these, as well.

    thanks so much for the project!

  • great tutorial – i have one very similar for my knitting needles, and they work well for paintbrushes, pencil crayons, etc. one tip i have though is it is handy to make it a bit taller and have a foldover on the top to cover the needles and keep them inside. i finally did this after too many times of having the needles slide out the top when it is all rolled up.

  • This is so nice! I’d love to make it… unfortunately my problem is always what to do with the needles for knitting in the round (connected). The wires make things so messy. What do you do with those?

  • I’ve made one of these with grey felt in the past. It was one of the fasted sewing projects ever. Thanks for the reminder!

  • So easy and such a great idea! I’m new enough to knitting that my supplies are still on the fewer side, but I will definitely keep this in mind if my supplies grow!

  • I have a kind of vague, life-long, goal to become a “knitter”. Maybe this adorable project will be my impetus towards that goal.

  • I’ve been wanting to make something like this for a while – I love the simplicity of one large piece of fabric folded to make the different sized pcokets. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  • I loveeeeeee this! Just *today* I was smashing my knitting needles into a plastic bag thinking … geez … I wish I had a Pringles container to put these in. This is a much nicer, much more organized alternative. I made a similar thing for makeup brushes. Don’t know why I didn’t think of this! Good work bbbcraftsisters!

  • Very useful! Thanks! I learned to knit past weekend and now I find this post. I must go to the haberdashery, buy some needles, sew a case like this and start knitting. No excuses! I feel so happy!

  • What a great idea! Just wondering, are the side edges of the project left raw? Or did I miss a step?

  • I could really use a case like this because I cannot begin to tell you how many knitting needles I have. The only problem…I don’t know how to use a sewing machine and I OWN one. In fact, I just brought my machine to my new work studio hoping one of my interns will teach me. Crazy!! Learning to sew (by machine) has been a goal of mine for years. Maybe now. Thanks for the post.

  • i migth be missing something, but i’m confused about how the tie works. do the ties come out both sides? if so, doesn’t one get rolled up with the needles? or, if it only comes out of one end, how do you tie it? i feel like this is a silly question but i don’t get it.

  • Becky, I made one like this a few years back (out of a pirate bandanna, arrr!)
    and I attached the tie on one end only, and I folded the length of twill in half before I sewed it on, so now when it is rolled up I have two ends to tie.

  • I grew up with these they were made of wonderful fat printed linens from the 30’s for my mother and grand mother and they were called ” Le dodo des aiguilles ” I am so glad to see you post…Thank you !

  • Perfect: My knitter-baby’s 27th birthday’s next weekend! YES! Plenty of time to whip up this dream of a gift! Thanks!

  • Just made this, and I love it! I made a few bigger pockets for notions and whatnot. It turned out great and I love the canvas with white linen bias tape. So simple, and natural!

  • This is definitely a nice upgrade from the plastic bag most of my needles reside in right now. Thank you Susan for the link to Purl Bee’s storage for circular needles. Now I need to make the time to create both!

  • I just made one of these beauties in a lovely deep aqua with brown bias tape trim and brown stitching. It was soooo easy and will accompany well with a coordinating knitting bag I’ll make with thrift store wooden handles and a lovely deep aqua, brown and gold print.

  • I love how simple this project is! I use a very similar cloth pocket organizer for paintbrushes, it’s a fabulous idea for knitting needles!

  • Oh – and if you leave some extra cloth at the top (make it really tall) then you can fold it over before rolling the bundle closed – keeps everything all tucked into place! :)

  • I made this yesterday, and I can’t figure out if I’m doing the math wrong or not, but I kept coming out .5 inch short. The fabric is 21.5, as it says. If it’s supposed to have 14 pockets at 1.5 inches each, plus .5 on each side, that’s (1.5 x 14) + 1, which is 22… Am I doing something wrong, or should the fabric be 22″ wide? I measured and remeasured the marks for the pockets so I don’t think it’s that… Has anyone else had this problem? That said, I just cheated a little on the outer-most pockets, and the whole thing still looks amazing if I do say so myself!

  • Did this using some cute floral upholstery leftovers. Easy, quick and wicked cute!

  • Where did you get your beautiful collection of wooden needles, I’m curious to know :)

    This is such a great tutorial. As a knitter, I have all my needs in this gorgeous silk screened bucket. But I am very organized and this would be just the ticket for me!

  • I love this tutorial. One of my first sewing projects. I linked this tutorial on my blog. (madebytori.blogspot.com)

  • Love this clean simplicity. I made something similar years ago for paint brushes and still use it. However I agree with KAT & CHARLOTTE ~ it should measure 22″ across and if you make it a bit longer to the top can fold over and stop the needles falling out.

  • Am about to sew this for my knitting needles. Love its practical earthly look. I keep my double pointed needles and crochet hooks in a plastic tubular travel toothbrush holder. I pushed a wad of sponge into each end to protect the points.

  • I don’t have a sewing machine and don’t sew, but would love one of these for my knitting needles. Maybe someone would want to make these and sell them on ravelry.com?

  • For circular needles, use an old cd case! I have a zippered one that works fabulously. using your rubber tips (the ones that keep yarn from sliding off the needles) keeps the needles in the cd holders in the case

  • I just finished making this and it came out great! It took me about 3 hours. I made a few changes-instead of twill tape, I used some dark green wide ribbon. For the 21.5” ends, I edged them in dark purple ribbon. Finally, I used more purple ribbon for the tie. Since I don’t have number stamps, I numbered the pockets in roman numerals. It was a fun project, not too challenging but not so easy that it was boring, the materials weren’t expensive (I probably spent $10 on fabric & already had the stamps), and it’s really useful. Thanks for posting these instructions!

  • I found this pattern some time ago and I finally made it. I am so impressed with it and absolutely love it! I bought the painters cloth for less than $6 and have enough left over to make several of these cases. I did zigzag the edges all the way around first and then trimmed the loose threads. I was surprised it actually gave the edges a finished look that is in keeping with the overall look. For the tie I used some 3/8 inch brown grosgrain ribbon I had on hand.
    Thanks so much for a great pattern. Now I want one for my circular needles. Thank you again.

  • I’m going to try this. Thinking about adding a second layer at the bottom to reinforce where the needle points hit–as added insurance. Also will make another set of pockets so I can have short and long regular needles and sock and regular dpn spaces, and will make smaller pockets at the left and wider pockets where the 9s, 10s, 11s will fit. I have an old one where the pockets are all the same size and it’s too crowded on the right side so those needles get individual pockets. That one has a top flap to fold over to keep the needles from sliding out the top–something else I might do…

  • Just made one of these yesterday. What a easy, quick, fun little project! Thanks so much for the instructions!!

  • Thanks for posting this tutorial. My daughter and daughter-in-law have just taken an interest in knitting so I have made them one each for a birthday present. I used brightly coloured cotton drill fabric and it looks great. I was concerned I may not be great with the stitching for the needle pockets so I used invisible thread – it worked a treat. Would love to add photos but cannot see how to do that. Thanks again

  • I made three of these for Christmas gifts, two years ago. I used brightly printed canvas lined with muslin which gave them finished edges. They were a huge hit! I’ve been asked to adapt the pattern for hairdressing combs, this year. Thanks “sew much” for posting this pattern!