Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays – Safely Disposing Old Rotary Blades and Needles

April 21, 2015

Hi everyone!  It’s another Tuesday, and we’re here with our latest tip for you!

We hope you enjoyed Michelle’s tutorial last week with step-by-step pictures explaining how to create a DIY drop-in sewing table. That’s a project that many of us have dreamed about doing, and Michelle proved that it can be a reality.

Today, we have a simple tip for you. But sometimes it’s the simple tips that I love best.  (Remember the head-slapping tip about  re-threading your sewing machine after pausing to wind the bobbin???)

So, my question for you today is…. what do you do with all those old sewing machine needles and rotary cutters?


You can’t just toss them in the trash!

That’s just begging for trouble when your true love goes to take out the garbage (well, o.k., we may have just touched on a personal dream of mine, that my true love will someday take out the trash).

BUT… if he were to take out the trash, I would want to protect him from the dangers of the horrible sharp thingys that have migrated out of my sewing room. I already owe him big for the time he found my missing self-threading needle (with his foot).

Anyway, back to our discussion of the importance of guarding against the dangers in our sewing rooms….

Enter the lowly chewing gum container.  Now better known as my high-tech Sharps Disposal System.

how to dispose of rotary cutting blades and needles safely

The perfect rotary cutting blade disposal system

What once held little cubes of minty-freshness has now been re-purposed into a cute little trashcan for all the sharp tools of my trade. *** UPDATE**** Annette, a Late Night Quilter friend, commented on this post with an important piece of information.  She recycles her rotary blades at LP Sharp Company!  I will definitely be checking that out.

My sister-in-law, Myles, was kind enough to make me some “Sharps” stickers with her fancy Cricut machine, so no one grabs my can of blades thinking that they’ll get a sweet treat. (By the way, I want one of those Cricut machines soooo badly!  Did you know that the Cricut machine can cut fabric too? Do any of you have one?)

needles and sharps container watermark

Keep your sewing room safe, and dispose of your sharps carefully

Now it’s time to link up all your fabulous posts about tips, tricks and tutorials. Did you see last week’s link by ChrissieD about Reverse Applique? Look how sweet her project was:


Thank you bloggers for linking up, your advice makes the sewing world go round!



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  • Reply mumbird3 April 21, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Yours is cute…mine is an old prescription bottle with a wide opening. I have taken off the label so you can see inside and since it was originally intended for drugs the top is childproof (and sometimes adult proof too!) as well!

    • Reply Kimberly April 30, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      That’s what I use too! I take of the prescription label and I can fit blades as well as old pins and needles.

  • Reply sfredett April 21, 2015 at 5:43 am

    See, your solution is cute and fun. Mine is to just drop the needles in an empty soda can. Though with the rotary blades, I wrap them in masking tape (or duct tape if its handier) then they can go in the trash. My grampa made me do that with all his old blades (razor, hack saw, etc) and it just became a habit…. Speaking of which, it’s probably time to change out the rotary blade! 😀

  • Reply RuthB April 21, 2015 at 6:19 am

    I’ve been wrappigng them in cardboard – much prefer your solution!

    • Reply AnnetteS April 21, 2015 at 8:24 am

      I dispose of needles in a needle case pack, which I mark “used”. When the pack is full, I move on to the next one. I recycle blades through L P Sharp Company at He has the best prices for new blades or resharpened blades, your choice.

      • Reply Terri Ann April 21, 2015 at 9:00 am

        Great tip Annette! I hate the idea of throwing them out cause in a plastic container it’s protected in the trash bag but what happens when it gets to the dump? I don’t like the idea of a stranger getting hurt with my sharps so they just collect at home with nowhere to go. I’m going to have to check out that site!

  • Reply Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts April 21, 2015 at 7:06 am

    What a cute idea! And yes, I have a cricut and didn’t know I could cut fabric! Gonna have to check that out. 🙂

  • Reply made by ChrissieD April 21, 2015 at 7:24 am

    I keep the cases needles and rotary cutter blades come in and mark them ‘used’. When the case is full I tape it closed and throw it away. Thanks for featuring my Reverse Applique tute, I’ve given you a shout out here on my facebook page– Chris 😀

  • Reply quiltingjetgirl April 21, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Since I use Olfa blades, I just keep an old yellow plastic container that used to hold blades in it and mark it “used” for my old blades. When it is full, I can safely toss it and use the one I just emptied for the next batch of dull blades. For needles, I do tend to just tuck them into objects like Sarah mentioned above. But having a cute container like yours is much more fashionable. 🙂

  • Reply Chelsea Huckins April 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I usually just wrap mine is painters tape, yours is WAY cuter. Also probably much more safe! Thanks for the tip.

  • Reply Kate Yates April 21, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Good Idea! I have no strategy. I am keeping mine in a little box, with no plans for disposal. I’ll have to start doing this!

  • Reply lori landenburger April 21, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    A quilter friend of mine uses her old needles as pins to hold heavy quilts onto her design wall while she ponders quilting motifs. Brilliant as they can hold alot of weight and not bend and are easy to see!

  • Reply Rachel @ Quiltineering April 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Great idea! I usually just keep my last blade or needle container and fill it with the used sharps. When its full, I just toss it and move onto the next one!

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