Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pincushion tutorial

I love making pincushions.  Sometimes when I'm tired from looking at quilts that I've been working on for awhile, I'll take a break and make a pincushion using the scraps at hand.  I went wild and made quite a few so I would like to share them with you.

I like to use unusual containers for my pincushions.  I've been collecting milk glass for quite some time and have built quite a collection.  I would buy them wherever I see them; in a thrift store while we were on the road, garage sale round town and gifts from family and friends.

You'll need some fabric, crushed walnut shell (I got mine from a pet supply store), strong thread and sewing needle, hot glue, and a container of your choice with an opening between 3-5 inches wide.

This is how I make my pincushions.  I cut a circle of fabric at least twice the diameter of the opening of the container.  Let's say your container has a 4 inches opening.  You have to cut an 8-inch circle.    Using a sewing needle with strong thread, I sew running stitches around the circle of  fabric, 1/8 inch from the edge.  Fold in the raw edge is optional.  Pull the thread to make a pouch.

Fill 2/3 full with crushed walnut shell and stuff the rest with polyester stuffing.  Put in enough stuffing to make a firm ball, not too tight that you have a hard time pushing a pin in. 

  Sew the opening close completely.

Hot glue the cushion to the inside of the container.  Be careful of the hot glue.
Below are samples of different containers.

If your container has a straight side like these, add 1/2 inch to the diameter of the fabric circle.

If you want a ruffle;  cut a piece of matching fabric 2 1/2 x 42 inch.  Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise.  With the same strong thread, make a running stitch 1/8 inch from the raw edge.   When you reach the end of the strip, pull the thread and evenly distribute the fabric along the line and secure the end by tying a knot.  Start by gluing the ruffle to the container, overlap the end.  Trim off the excess.   Position the pin cushion on top of the ruffle, then glue it on.

These are great gifts for your sewing buddies.  Have fun making them.  Hope this tutorial is helpful.  Come back and share some pictures of your own creations.  You can send me an email to

Have a great day!!


  1. Thanks for sharing. Your pin cushions are so funny and beautiful and easy to make. I love them. I must give it a try!!!!

    1. Glad that you'll give it a try. They are fun to make. :)

  2. What a great tutorial! Love those fancy dishes. Your pincushions are so pretty!

  3. Visiting from Let's Bee Social. Nice tutorial. I love pincushions!

    1. Thanks Skootchover. Glad you stopped by.

  4. Great idea; I see a use for old sugar basins and dessert bowls. Thanks for sharing your tutorial.