A pincushion is one of those practical items that you'll find in any good sewing kit, but it's also something that can look pretty cute, too. This tutorial will show you how to create your own pincushion from scratch, with a few scraps of co-ordinating fabric and felt. Click through for the full how-to.
- Soft toy stuffing material.
- Square of 25cm (10 in.) fabric (choose something with a bit of stretch).
- Square of 6cm (2.5 in) felt.
- Sewing pins.
- Bead or button.
- Sewing thread.
- Thick waxed thread.
- Two needles in two different sizes for the different thread.
1. Prepare the Circle
First select your materials and choose your colour palette. I used grey and yellow, which is a sophisticated and chic look in design and interiors right now. Pick a fabric with a delicate pattern in your main colour and choose a matching thread.
You also need a thicker waxed thread and a piece of felt in the contrasting colour. As a final detail, I used a delicate filigree bead in grey for the decoration. You could use a nice matching button.
Draw a circle of 20cm (8 in.) on the piece of fabric. Use our printable template below, or trace around any circular item you have at home. If you print the template on an A4 sheet, the big circle will be 20cm (8 in.) in diameter and the small circle (for the piece of felt) will be around 4.5cm (1.8 in) in diameter.
You can alter these dimensions depending on how big or small you want your pincushion to be. Just keep in mind that the final size of your pincushion will be about half the size of your initial circle.
Now cut around the circle on your fabric, following the guidelines.
2. Pin, Sew and Gather the Circle
Place the circle on your working surface with the 'correct' side of the fabric facing downwards. Fold inside about 1cm (0.5 in.) around the perimeter of your circle and pin in place.
Now sew the fold down with a running stitch (also known as tacking). This stitch is made by passing your needle in and out of the fabric, ensuring that the surface stitches are equal in length. Use the thinner thread for this step and get a fairly long piece. Sew all around the perimeter of your circle and once you reach the starting point, don't knot or cut your thread.
This is the magic moment! Pull your thread gently and be careful not to break it. You fabric will start gathering towards the centre, forming a cocoon shape. Do not pull it completely shut; leave an opening.
3. Stuff and Close the Circle
Now take some soft stuffing material and push it into your mini cushion. Be generous with the filling. Stuff the pincushion as much as you can; we want it to be extra fluffy.
When the pincushion is full, pull the thread and close it for good this time. Knot several times to secure and cut the thread.
4. Wrap and Pop a Bead on Top
Now it's time to wrap your pincushion. Thread a needle with a long piece of the thicker thread in the contrasting colour. Now from the centre of your cushion, pass the thread from the bottom going upwards. Wrap it around the cushion and pass it again from the bottom upwards, pulling it tight.
Repeat this about seven times, wrapping the thread around the cushion and effectively dividing it into segments. Pull the thread tight each time. Be careful not to pass the needle through the exact same point to avoid creating a hole in the fabric. When you've completed wrapping the thread around the sphere, knot to secure the thread.
Sew your bead or button securely to the centre top of the pincushion.
5. Attach the Felt Circle
You're almost there. You just need to make a felt base for the pincushion to make it stable and neat. Use the smaller circle in the template provided to trace a circle on to the piece of felt. Cut it out carefully.
Place the felt circle on the lower part of the pincushion. Sew around the circle in a half stitch, attaching the felt circle to the fabric.
That's it. You've just made a beautiful pincushion that's almost too nice to stash away in your sewing basket. Nice job!
In this tutorial, you've learnt how to make a simple pincushion by pinning, sewing and stuffing a circle of fabric, and embellishing it by winding a piece of thread around the sphere to divide it into segments.
Now you can try making pincushions in different fabrics, and you could also make an extra-large pincushion. They make fantastic gifts for crafty friends!
Tell us how you get on with your pincushion in the comments section below.