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I used an empty mechanical pencil lead container to store needles in. I lucked out and had one that was a good size and had a magnet on the back to stick to the fridge. I always know where a needle is.
Use a small piece of styrofoam to keep your needles and small scissors in.
When we lived in Hawaii the salt air would make my needles and pins rust in the pincushion. To keep this from happening my husband soaked the pincushion in kerosene. Set it on some newspapers to let it dry out for several days.
I use the containers from 35mm film to store my yarn needles in. That way they are handy and I don't lose them anymore.
The small rigid plastic containers for mechanical pencil refills is perfect for storing sewing needles. This is a page about pencil lead tube for sewing needle storage.