Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to Make Your Own Foam Pin Anchors for Quilt Basting

I recently became aware of a product that is designed to make it safe and easy for a person to use straight pins for basting a quilt instead of thread or safety pins.  This method saves time over basting with a needle and thread, and foam-capped pins are far easier to remove as you go than safety pins, which can be a bit fiddly to unclasp.
Quilt in progress, pin-basted using my home-made anchors
 These little guys are super useful, and I realized that I had the tools and materials already available in my apartment to create my own version for almost no money.  Plus, as an added bonus, this may be the easiest tutorial I ever share! If you do not have the materials to make your own foam anchors, you can purchase them quite easily here

  • dense foam about 1/2" thick (I use the edge-remnant pieces from a set of interlocking foam floor tiles, but there are tons of sources of dense foam in the world!) 
  • scissors
Foam floor tiles that came with extra bits on the sides
Here's what you do:

This foam cuts easily with scissors.  Simply snip into bits about 1/4" square, or whatever size you want!
A small amount of foam will make A LOT of little perfect sized pieces
As you pin your quilt layers together, simply slide a piece of foam onto the end of each pin.  The foam grabs the pin nicely and will stay on there until you remove it as long as your quilt doesn't get too much rough handling.  This method may work best for small to medium sized quilts.
As you quilt, simply pull the foam piece and pin apart and toss into containers.  Much easier than undoing a safety pin!
And that's all there is to it!


  1. This seems like it would work brilliantly for all sewing projects. And the bright pink helpfully highlights where the pins are for those of us who wander away and come back. Definitely an easy tutorial (even I can do it), thanks!

  2. You are so sharp. I agree with Sasha that the bright color contrasting with your work is especially helpful.

  3. This is an awesome idea. But this girl is broke and I have a lot of pencil eraser caps, so I thought I'd give them a try.


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