decorating with thimbles

Decorating with Thimbles in a Modern Way

My mother, who sewed her own wedding dress, is getting a laugh from heaven today.

Can you hear it?

Despite all of her attempts (and there were many) to teach me any type of sewing because it would be a handy skill to master, I never really took to it. I still have dang it had a stubborn streak and very little patience for detail-oriented work. I definitely have not had the need to pick up a thimble in my adult life, but there’s still time.

Therefore, the fact that I’m writing about decorating with thimbles today would be a wee bit laughable to her.

The moral of this story? Mom is always right.

Would someone tell that to my kids, please?

decorating with thimbles

I inherited my mom’s thimble collection.

It’s not a big collection, by any means, but it is sentimental to me.

There are thimbles that belonged to my grandmother and great-grandmother.

There are thimbles that were gifts for special occasions like my mom’s 30th birthday.

There are thimbles that my mom collected when she traveled.

There are thimbles that still have the tape inside them to customize the thimble’s fit. DNA could probably be extracted from that tape.

decorating with thimbles

The touristy thimbles don’t do much for me.

It is the handcrafted or hand-painted thimbles that strike me as miniature works of art.

Art is meant to be displayed, right? That’s why I’m decorating with thimbles in one corner of my home.

How could I not?

First, I own these thimbles. If I’m going to keep them and not use them, I should at least display them.

Second, thimbles are an excellent example of something practical that is also beautiful. I need to show these babies off!

There are plenty of ways to display a thimble collection, but most people seem to use the standard, wood display case. Coincidentally, I have one of these cases.

I painted my display case to help the thimbles pop though.

decorating with thimbles in a modern way

Before I wrote this post, I wanted to see if other people were decorating with thimbles.

Was this a trend I was missing out on?

You know, since I’m super trendy and all.

I’ve heard ‘grandma chic‘ is a design thing now, so I was curious to see if thimbles were going mainstream.

About that…

decorating with thimbles

I’ve determined I’m WAY early on this decorating with thimbles trend. Or is it way too late?

Either way, it doesn’t matter. I love what I love. These thimbles inject a little bit of heart and soul into my home and that makes my sentimental heart happy.

There is one other benefit of decorating with practical items. Should I ever find myself in the middle of a hand stitching crisis (it could happen), just imagine the front of my thimble display case with a big sticker that reads, “In case of sewing emergency, break glass.”

P.S. There is an entire fascinating history to the humble thimble. I dive deep for these blog posts! Apparently, the Romans did not use thimbles. Who knew? The thimble’s use can be tracked starting in China then along the Silk Road to Europe. The manufacturing of thimbles evolved as advances in metallurgy evolved. If you want to learn more, you can read the research of Magdalena and William Isbister here.

P.P.S. Thimbles are not an expensive item to collect. Seemingly thousands of styles are available on eBay for under $20 each.

Also, there is someone on Etsy who makes miniature nativity scenes INSIDE of a thimble! Say what? I’m blown away by that idea.

Thanks for being here today. If you collect anything or have a sentimental display in your home, I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment. In the meantime, here are some other posts to tickle your fancy.

The Gift of Handmade

Waistband Hack for Jeans (It’s not pretty, but I do use a needle and thread for this hack!)

Collecting: Playing Cards

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  • Sandy Smith

    I love your thimble collection and the stories behind it. Having your moms collection is very meaningful. My mother always used a thimble. However I never could get used to using one. Maybe that’s why my fingers get tender when I sew by hand. I’m really not a seamstress but enjoy sewing once in a blue moon.

    I collect little spoons from different places I’ve been and those other people bring me from their trips. I have over 100. I doubt my boys will want them so when I pass on they will probably go to Good Will or some other place. (Maybe they’ll put them in the garbage-who knows. Anyway it is fun to look at them once in a while and think about the person that gave them to me. Cleaning them is not my favorite thing to do .

  • Donna mclaughlin

    Beautiful story and photo. Where did you find your display for your thimbles? I acquired a collection and am researching the thimbles. I like your more modern style. Take care. 🪡

    • annisa

      Hi! This was just always what my mom kept her thimbles in. I think they still sell them on Amazon. I just painted mine so it wasn’t wood. Hope that helps.

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