How to Make Square Corners

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Getting a crisp corner isn’t hard if you know the perfect storm of techniques – pivoting in the right place while sewing the seams, trimming, and pushing/pulling out the corner.

The focus of this post is tools you can use to push or pull out corner, the third element to making a perfect square corner.

If you want to see tips on knowing where to pivot and trimming different types of corners including inward and outward square corners, acute and obtuse corners, and corners with added layers check out Stitching and Cutting Corners Correctly.

Tools to Push or Pull Out Corners

Scissors

For years, scissors were (and sometimes still are) my go-to tool for pushing out corners to get the square, crisp corner.

While the closed end of scissors gets the job done, it isn’t without risks.

Scissors are tools to use to turn corners.
Don’t use scissors with a very sharp point.

If the end of the scissors is too pointy, it could poke a hole in your fabric no matter how careful you are.

This got me thinking about what else could be used because several project posts I’ve written have corners that need to be pushed out.

Tools to Buy

If you do a quick search online for “tools to push out corners in sewing” several options will show up, many under $10. Some even serve more than one purpose.

Tools you can buy to turn corners

There are three tools I ‘ve purchased over the years that can be used to push out corners:

  • The top tool is The Purple Thang. It’s a multi-purpose tool that can be used to push, pull, poke, measure, and perform any number of sewing jobs.
  • The middle tool is Alex Anderson’s 4-in-1 Essential Sewing Tool. In addition to the turner, it has a seam ripper, stiletto, and presser.
  • The bottom tool is the Crystal Point Turner by Lee. (I purchased this at a quilt show years ago and haven’t had any luck finding this tool online and in stock.)

Other similar tools (not pictured) that you can buy online and have great reviews are:

Items Around Your House

If you don’t want to spend money on a specialty tool, you may have one of the following items around your house.

Tools around the house to turn corners.
  1. The end of a brush/seam ripper tool
  2. A crochet hook
  3. A paintbrush
  4. Pin
  5. Needle and thread
  6. Pencil eraser

Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 6 make good tools to push out corners because they have a rounded end that is small enough to fit in a corner.

Numbers 4 and 5 are good tools to use to pull out the corner.

Number 4, the pin, can be used when the corner is acute.

Video – How to Use a Pin to Pull Out a Corner

Timestamps for video:

  • 0:12 – general information
  • 1:55 – trimming corners and turning right side out
  • 2:42 – push out a corner
  • 3:08 – using a pin to pull out an acute (less than 90 degrees) corner

Video – Using Needle and Thread to Pull Out a Corner

When you use a needle and thread to turn a corner, you get perfect results every time.

Tip: Before you can use this method, you need to know how to tie a knot in thread.

Projects with Corners

Now that you have some options for turning and getting perfect corners, check out some of these projects on The Ruffled Purse®:

Try the thread turning technique as well as different tools to see which one works best for you.

Who knows…you may find yourself using more than one tool/technique depending on the project.

Let’s Connect

My main goals are to support, empower, and inspire you to discover the joy of sewing.

Need help or have questions on this project, pattern, or tutorial? Send me an email at nicki@theruffledpurse.com and we can work together to get it figured out!

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More Sewing Education

Looking for more sewing education? Here are a few other posts you may like:

Pinterest image for turning corners

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2 Comments

  1. My favorite corner pusher is a bone folder – from my paper crafts supply of tools. I have almost all of the options you have shown and a few more, but my bone folder makes the best pointed corners.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Betsey! I had never heard of a bone folder and had to look it up. When I saw the picture of it, my heart jumped. I’m pretty sure I have one in a box of miscellaneous sewing things my mom gave me and didn’t know what it was. Now I need to see if I can find it! I can see why it is you’re favorite!

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