One of the stickiest parts of punch needle is threading. It’s tedious enough for me to have entertained the idea of buying several punch needle tools and threading them by color so that they would not need rethreading often. This really isn’t a viable option, fiscally or otherwise, but after losing three threaders and wondering if there is a combo sock/threader heaven, I drove the drive we all hate to JoAnns to buy needle threaders just so I could continue with my punching project.
Five dollars for two of them! Are you kidding me… for two pieces of wire attached to two pieces of tin foil. But what were my choices because you can’t thread the tool without a threader. Fortunately I had a coupon, but unfortunately when I got home I realized neither threader was long enough for my upgraded punch needle tool. AAARRRGGGHHH!
So I cleaned up my mess, put everything away for a day or so, and when it was convenient I was back at JoAnns returning the threaders (which they did without question even though the packaging was open). Instead I bought wire; 28 gauge, “tarnish resistant” wire to be exact, for only $2 because I had a coupon AND an idea.
In my constant effort to improve by improvising, I figured out a way to make my own threader, and with 40 yards of wire, I can now make, say, about a hundred of them. I’m calculating that to 2-cents a piece. I have added large “charming” accoutrements to the ends making them “loss-resistant” as well. This was very important to me, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Grab twice the length of wire you want your threader to be, then add an inch or so more for good measure. Put both ends together and thread BOTH through a needle that is ONLY BIG ENOUGH for both of them to go through – in other words, little or no wiggle room. (A thin tapestry needle is a good choice because it’s strong and won’t bend.) Pull hard. I even used pliers. This will instantly bring the two wires together at a tip in the middle. This will be the tip of the threader. Then attach the open ends to your chosen large charm (which in this case is cut from an old drapery tie-back I found at a yardsale…I knew I’d find a use for it someday!!!) It was all one piece, ribbon included, and I simply put those end wires through two of the beads, made a knot, and then pulled back to hide the ends and knot in the middle of the charm. Voila! An alternative is to simply put the loose ends between tape or adhere them permanently by gluing them between two pennies (use Liquid Nails LN601).
The gauge of wire is strong enough to be handled like any other threader, but as with any other threader my suggestion would be to hold it near the tip while threading the punch needle tool. Grabbing it from the middle might put a kink in it that could make subsequent threading more difficult.
The store-bought threaders were straight only when they were brand new. After a few uses they became curved, so I am not concerned my handmades start out curved. They work perfectly, and I’ve decided to put one fancy threader in each of my kits. This will be a nice Thank-You gift for anyone who buys my patterns, and as usual I liked making them. Just like punch needle, there’s not a lot of intellect required but rather dexterity and patience. If I can do this, you can too.
So naturally at the very moment I complete my own better mousetrap (the threader), my husband comes out of the bathroom holding a funny looking wire thing that he found on the white rug asking: “What is this?” AAARRRGGGHHH!