Pincushions – you can never have enough of them, right? Here is a fun little project for a pincushion you can make yourself and embellish however you want – the sky’s the limit! There is only one seam you’ll need to make, which you can sew if you’d like, but hot glue works just fine too.
-Small embroidery hoop (all of the instructions here are for a 3-inch hoop…if you use a larger hoop, simply adjust the fabric measurements to fit your hoop)
-Heavy cardboard (You can use cardboard from a heavy cereal box, or glue two layers together for more stiffness if you like)
-Decorative fabric (I used a 9-inch square for the 3-inch hoop)
-Muslin or scrap fabric
-Crushed walnut shells (available at quilting stores in small bags or pet supply stores in larger quantities)
-Rubber non-slip drawer liner (white or color of your choice – available at home goods stores or hardware stores)
-Hot glue gun (cool melt glue is sufficient and easier on your fingers)
-OPTIONAL: Needle and heavy thread (embroidery thread or upholstery thread is fine, but sewing thread that is doubled will also work)
-Felt for flowers
How to assemble the pincushion:
-First you’ll want to make a little bag to contain the crushed walnut shells inside the pincushion. To do this, cut two circles of muslin or scrap fabric that are 3-1/2 inches across. Sew or hot glue the two circles together with a 1/4-inch seam around the edge, leaving a 2-inch opening.
-Turn the bag inside out and fill it with crushed walnut shells. I estimated how full I wanted the bag to be and adjusted the amount until I thought it would work. [NOTE: Don’t pack the walnut shells too tightly – leave a little bit of room for them to move around. If the shells are packed too solidly, your pins won’t be able to penetrate them later on. You can test this by holding the opening shut with your fingers and sticking pins into the bag before you sew or glue it closed. If the pins won’t go through the shells, remove a small amount and test it again. If your pins meet too little resistance, add more shells.]
-Sew (or hot glue) the opening of the bag so it is completely sealed. You can turn the seam towards the inside of the bag if you like, but I just glued it together without turning the fabric to the inside.
-Separate the outside and inside embroidery hoops. Trace the INSIDE of the smaller (inside) hoop onto your cardboard. Cut out the circle. Repeat this so you have two cardboard circles.
-Hot glue one of the cardboard circles inside the smaller (inside) hoop, positioning the cardboard circle so it is almost flush with the top rim of the hoop.
-Place the bag of walnut shells in the center of the cardboard. Now place a small handful of Poly-fil stuffing on top of the bag for a smooth top on your pincushion.
-Cut a 9-inch square of your decorative fabric. Center it over the stuffing/walnut shells/hoop. Press the outside hoop over the fabric, down onto the inside hoop. Straighten and stretch your fabric until you’re happy with it, then tighten the screw tightly. (You might need to add more stuffing or take some out until you get the smoothness you want.) Trim around the edge of the fabric, leaving about 1-1/2 inches around the outside hoop.
-Working in small sections, hot glue the excess fabric onto the cardboard circle in the back, pulling it towards the center as you go. Trim away any bulky fabric after the glue cools.
-Hot glue the second cardboard circle onto the back.
-Trace the outside hoop dimension onto the non-slip rubber drawer liner. Cut out the circle a little bit smaller than your traced line. Hot glue the rubber circle to the back of the pincushion.
-Now you can embellish your pincushion to your heart’s content! I made several sizes of wool felt flowers and leaves and stitched them to the center at the top (you can also use hot glue to attach the flowers). Glue decorative trim around the edge of the hoop for more interest.
And there you have it. I hope you have a great time making this fun little pincushion!