How to make a sashiko thimble

tools tutorials May 21, 2020

Recently I bought a sashiko thimble to assist with sewing projects that require a little more oomph because of the thickness of the fabrics. When you are sewing patches on jeans or mending your clothes, you need to pass the needle through at least 2 layers of thick cloth, and this can get very hard on the hands.

Unlike conventional western style thimbles that sit on the tip of your finger, a sashiko thimble (also known as a coin thimble because the metal versions have a round coin like shape) sits comfortably in the palm of your hand with a ring that you slip over your middle finger.

At first, this style of thimble feels a little awkward to use, but when you get comfortable with the sashiko way of holding the needle, wearing the thimble makes a lot of sense.

Looking at the leather version, I marvelled at its simplicity. Then I realized that I could make one at home. All I needed was a little bit of leather (2.5 x 2.5 inches) and some elastic, or string, to tie it together. Its so simple - my admiration for Japanese design and aesthetics continues.

So here’s how you make one:

- small piece of leather (I have a collection of leather in my craft supplies, and you could easily use the leather from an old shoe that has been loved so much it can no longer be worn)

- a short piece of elastic or string.


- Sharp scissors

- Needle

Step 1.

Download the template here

Using the template design trace around the design onto the leather and cut out the shape. I found using sharp scissors worked well for this)

Step 2.

Using the sharp points of a pair of scissors, make two small holes

Step 3.

Using a needle, thread the elastic (or string if you don't have any elastic) through the two holes and tie the ends together.

Step 4.

Admire your new sashiko thimble, before starting your next sewing project. (Amazingly, this one is more comfortable than the one I bought, because it has been made to fit my fingers!)