The pincushion how2do

A couple of LJers wanted to know how I made these.  How flattering!  I think they are cute, too. And they cost me nothing but a little time since I had everything on hand.
Here’s how I made them:

-Two pieces of cotton cloth
-coffee mug
-ballpoint pen

Take mug, upend it and draw around it on wrong side of one piece of fabric with ballpoint pen.  Then, freehand another line about a half an inch outside the mug line.  The freehand line is your cutting line; the mug line is your stitching line.  Put both pieces of fabric together and cut on the cutting line.

-thread that only kinda matches

I was too lazy to fire up the sewing machine, so I threaded the needle and backstitched (with itty bitty stitches) approx. 9/10 of the way around on the stitching line. Using scissors, trim seam allowance along stitching to about a quarter of an inch (except at the part left open for turning and stuffing), then clip from the edge almost to stitching line every 3/16 all the way around (again except at the part left open for turning and stuffing).

-polyfil stuffing

turn pincushion right side out – pull seam flat gently with fingers all the way around. Take a couple of double handfuls of polyfil and stuff pincushion firmly (you can leave it a little less firm in the center).  For years I didn’t know how to stuff things well with polyfil -it would always lump up; in case you don’t know- here’s how: Take little tiny pinches or wisps of polyfil and stuff it in many many layers.  It takes a while – can be done while watching tv.

When firmly stuffed, turn edges of opening to the inside and close with ladder stitch.

-pearl cotton
– 2 buttons

To make the more flowerlike green pincushion, thread a needle with some contrasting pearl cotton and start in the center by sewing through. Each time you make a section, stitch thru the center of the pincushion pulling firmly.  First I halved it, then quartered, halved and quartered again to make eight sections.  I then used a fabric covered button kit to cover the buttons then using the pearl cotton (I didn’t tie it off yet) to sew thru the center ,sew thru button, sew thru center again, sew thru button sew thru center again, pull everything nice and tight and fasten off, hiding cut end under button.  Roll the pincushion around a little bit to plump it up. Voila!

To make the purple one, thread a needle with some contrasting pearl cotton and start in the center by sewing thru. Then wrap – not stitch – the pearl cotton around firmly (but not too firmly or you’ll make wrinkles) to make the sections. First I halved it, then quartered, halved and quartered again to make eight sections, finishing with a stitch in the center.  Attach buttons, and yer done.

If you do use this how2do to make a pincushion, please take a picture of it and send it to me (helenkosings AT comcast DOT net).



  1. Wow, my mitten friend, I’ve been needing to make a new pincushion and I have some great fabric for it. Thanks for the idea! Sorry I’ve been out of touch, life gets crazy (in a good way this time) and then I just jump completely off the blogging/e-mailing rails! I am still diligently working on your mittens, although the superbowl ever so slightly interrupted the progress. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Hi Helen

    You signed up for the PIF exchange on my blog a few months back. Could you email me your addy as I’m planning on sending out the gifts in the next few weeks. You will find my email in the sidebar, 3rd heading down under ‘Contact Craftybernie’.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Take care….Bernie

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