Welcome to a new feature here at Michele Made Me which I am calling MY TINY BRAIN WAVE. On occasion, semi-regulary, when the mood strikes and the stars align, I will be posting ideas that I’ve come up with that are NOT A CRAFT (gasp) but rather a clever idea (in my opinion) that might help with crafting in some way.
So today in my Tiny Brain Wave #1, I will show you how to make a fabric tube turner from stuff you have at home. Now if you are not familiar with the so-called tube turner, it is a tool that one uses to take a tube of fabric that is wrong-side out and efficiently flip it good-side out. Now I suppose I could have gone out and bought myself an actual fancy-shmancy tube turner. But why, I ask you, should I spend the money when I can make one in about a minute flat from stuff I have right here?
What motivated this Tiny Brain Wave?
Recently I worked up a sweat in both the making of tiny little straps for a softie I made, and also in the making of a narrow sash for my son’s Halloween costume. The whole time while struggling with these fabric tubes I was cursing internally: For the love of Pete, there’s gotta be a better way to flip this flippin’ thing over!!!
And so, I came up with this…
Tutorial: Fabric Tube Turner
You will need:
- A large-ish plastic container of some kind
- Your trusty exacto knife
- A writing implement (I used a sharpie)
- A ruler
1. Clean your plastic container.
2. Using your exacto knife, cut off the top of the container.
3. Draw straight lines down one of the sides of your container with the help of a ruler.
4. Cut off the lined side of the container.
5. Cut a narrow strip off the side as shown in #5 below. Mine is about 1/4 inch wide. The width will depend on the width of your fabric tube. The wider the fabric tube, the wider the strip.
6. Make a 2 inch slit in the end of your plastic strip. As shown, the slit should be 1/8 inch wide at the strip end and become narrower until it is just the width of your exacto blade.
YOUR FABRIC TUBE TURNER IS COMPLETE! Now to use it…
7. Make your fabric tube a few inches longer than intended. Cut off a few inches of fabric along the length as shown by the arrow in photo #7. So, right now your fabric tube is wrong-side out.
8. Slide your tube turner into your fabric tube.
9. Stick the cut end of your fabric tube into the slit on the tube turner and pull it firmly into the narrow end of the slit so that it stays in place.
10. Gather up the fabric tube toward the slit end of the tube turner.
11. Gently work and pull the fabric tube over the slit end of the tube turner. This will take a moment of your time. Be patient. Now, while pulling on the exposed end of your tube turner, simultaneously pull on the fabric tube keeping it between your fingers.
12. Pull the fabric tube all the way through.
It is now good-side-out. And works SO much faster than the alternative! Yippee! I love labour-saving devices!
Note: If the fabric tube that you are trying to flip over is really long, you can easily make a long fabric tube-turner by taping (with good quality packing tape) several lengths of plastic together, with the slit at one end as I’ve shown you.
So, that’s it. My tiny brain wave. I hope this is useful to you! Let me know if you give it a go.
Now you have yourself a fabulous day!