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The Design Process: Needle Minders

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The Design Process: Needle Minders

Good news: The ginger jar needle minders are back in stock! Shop them here. They are also available in our Needlepoint Essential Bag which has 8 items. 

Before I get started, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all. In my first launch, I sold out completely in less than 48 hours (this is insane to me and I still cannot believe it). I ordered 100 minders thinking I would maybe sell them all in 2 years...but definitely not 2 days. We're hoping to always have them in stock, but if you ever see this blog and they're not in stock, please sign up for my mailing list to be notified when they are restocked! 

 

I can't thank you all enough - from the people who purchased, to the people who shared my products, to the people who even just liked my photos - thank you, thank you, thank you. If you don't know, I run this small business all by myself, so it means so much to me when you choose to support me in any way that you can. My friend Jessica Tongel Designs shared a graphic on her Instagram the other day and I think it's an amazing reminder as we go into the holiday season. Even just liking a post can help a small business owner grow, and I'm so appreciate for any way that you can support me. Thank you.

 

With that being said, I wanted to share the design process of my needle minders. 

As I’ve mentioned before on Instagram, I’m always interested in the design process. I love learning how other creators and designers find inspiration and how they see a product through from concept to physical product. Other than designing needlepoint canvases and small art projects, this was the first product that I was able to design from concept to physical product. Here’s how I created my needle minder.

The Issue:

Recently, I’ve been trying to expand my product offering on my website. I’ve always loved the practicality of needle minders, but could never find one that I loved or fit my taste. I looked at purchasing some needle minders for my shop created by other designers, but again was struggling to find one that fit my aesthetic or ones that I loved. So, I sat down, and thought “If I could make my dream needle minder, what would it be?”. The answer? A ginger jar.

 

The Design:

I have a Ginger Jar design that I illustrated on my iPad several years ago (the image above). I have sold it as a sticker and art print on Redbubble, so I used that for inspiration for my needle minder. Because a minder is so small, I knew I would have to simplify the design to make it work. I went through SO many renditions of simplified sketches – so many that it would make your head turn. I have attached a few of the ideas below, but I cannot count how many there were.

 

Finding the Factory:

While I was working on simplifying the design, I was reaching out to companies and factories that could produce these for me. It was a bit difficult because there aren’t many companies that make needle minders, but after weeks of searching and taking to companies, I finally found the perfect one. I'm proud to say these were made in the USA! 

Unfortunately I won’t be giving my factory information out because they aren’t taking new customers, but I’m more than happy to create custom needle minders for needlepoint artists and stores. Shoot me an email for more information.

Below are some of the simplified sketches I had created. These were just iPhone shots I sent to my sister of my iPad, so I apologize for the low quality. I didn't love any of the sketches so I continued to create renditions until I created something that felt right!

 

Finalizing the Design:

After I had simplified several sketches, I nailed it down to the 2 below. I actually had my Instagram followers vote & let me know which design they preferred without them knowing what the designs were for. After their feedback, I decided on the final design. I sent it over to the company and they sent me a proof (the larger photo on the bottom). 

 

The Physical Product:

Several weeks later – my design was delivered! I am beyond ecstatic with how these turned out. I tried to find a good balance of something that looked professional but also hand-drawn. I’m obsessed with symmetry (you’ll see that if you buy my canvases), but I actually chose not to have this design perfect symmetric because I felt it takes away from the hand-drawn design.

The magnets are incredibly strong (yet safe) and it’s the perfect size – big enough but not too big. I’m so incredibly proud of how they turned out and I am really excited to see how you enjoy these. Below is a picture of the proof (top right corner) with the final product. 

 

The Packaging:

Along with the design of the physical needle minder, I wanted to create cool packaging. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I’ve been trying to add some special touches to my packaging – stickers, tissue paper, and several other branded touches.

I decided to design a cardstock packaging. Each needle minder will come shipped on this cardstock – with the front of the minder on the front of the card and the magnet of the minder on the back. I have a few versions of the cardstock that says "Needle Minders" at the top, but the overall design is the same. 

I think I finally covered all of the details – but as always, if you have any further questions please feel free to comment or email me at MorganJuliaDesigns@gmail.com for more information. I cannot wait to see these minders on some of your canvases!

As a reminder, my designs are copyrighted, so I ask that you please do not download any of the images below. While I trust all of my readers, there are some people who stumble across my site with not the best intentions, and I will pursue legal action if I find out that my designs have been used without proper permission. If you would like to use my designs, please shoot me an email and we can legally work something out! Thank you!

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