Fixperts - Alena's Needle Threader

Fixperts - Alena's Needle Threader

This needle threader was designed for our FixPartner, Alena, as part of the Fixperts.org project. Alena is partially-sighted and found it impossible to thread a needle.

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The design of Alena's needle threader has been adapted to make it easier to do at home, without the use of machines. It focuses on using simple off-the-shelf items to create an aid that makes threading a needle simpler for both those with and without visual impairments.

Fixperts is a social project that encourages people to use the power of fixing to solve everyday problems. Founded by James Carrigan and Daniel Charny in 2012, this open knowledge sharing platform keeps on growing, with designers from all around the world improving the way things work for others and sharing the results online. Explore the Fixfilms on fixperts.org.

YOU WILL NEED:
  • Cork block
  • Sugru
  • Staple
STEP ONE
STEP ONE

To start, create the part of the threader that will hold the needle in place. Using brightly coloured Sugru, make the rest for the needle by forming a flat round disc. To ensure a perfect fit, use your needle to create the groove.
STEP TWO
STEP TWO

This rest will sit at the front of the device in the centre of the cork block. Rub a small amount of Sugru into the area where you will attach the disc to ensure it will bond with the cork.
STEP THREE
STEP THREE

Gently push the rest into the Sugru on the cork block, so not to damage the shape of the disc. Try to pull it away to see how well it is sticking. It should not come off easily, if it does, wiggle the disc into place until a firm grip is achieved.
STEP FOUR
STEP FOUR

Whilst the Sugru is still pliable, form the hook for the thread using a single standard sized staple. Keep one end of the staple at its original 90 degree position. Using your fingers, fold down the other side towards the 90 degree angle, until flat and almost meeting the middle - this will form your hook.
STEP FIVE
STEP FIVE

Push the staple into the Sugru rest (90 degree angle first) so that the hook is facing outwards and upwards. Align the straight part of the staple with the groove you have made and push the hook into the Sugru until you cannot see this bended section. The folded part of the staple (the hook) should have an open gap between the end of the hook and the groove. This is where you will loop on the thread. The hook will now set into place as the Sugru dries. Leave to dry overnight.
STEP SIX
STEP SIX

Using a different brightly coloured Sugru, create the legs of your needle threader. There are several options for shapes. The main goal is to ensure that the feet hold the cork block at around a 30 degree angle, backwards. This image shows triangular feet that exploit the geometry of the shape to suspend the device in a perfect position for use.
STEP SEVEN
STEP SEVEN

You can play with different shapes until you are happy with the aesthetic. Block geometric forms meet the function, but can differ as they suit your needs. Roll the Sugru until smooth and use your hands to compress it into its final shape.
STEP EIGHT
STEP EIGHT

As when attached the needle rest on the front, use a little amount of the Sugru to bind your feet to the back of the cork block. Try out the positioning of the feet before rubbing in the Sugru into the cork. The feet can be as close or as far apart from each other as you wish. You may opt to have one larger foot. Now leave these to dry overnight in a position that will not weaken the Sugru. The weight of the cork block may help the two bind.
How To Use : Step One
How To Use : Step One

To use the needle threader, first slide your needle onto the hook - point facing up.
How To Use : Step Two
How To Use : Step Two

Next loop your thread on to the hook. Ensure it rests in front of the needle so that it closer to the hook.
How To Use : Step Three
How To Use : Step Three

Now slide the needle off the hook, whilst holding one end of the thread. As the needle is removed it catches the thread and is threaded.

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