Introduction: Sew Useful: Handy Dandy Bottlecap Pincushion

Picture of Sew Useful: Handy Dandy Bottlecap Pincushion
A reuse/recycle project. With a velcro dot they live happily on the top or front of your sewing machine. They fit great into the crook of your thumb for use when pinning pieces or into an empty compartment of your embroidery thread box. A must have for any sewing kit or sewing basket. The cap keeps needles from getting lost, and pins from sticking you! Just the handiest thing you can ever make for free. Really! Everyone I've given them too wonders who they didn't have one all these years.

I use pearl cotton or the cheaper 'craft thread' you can find it next to the embroidery floss, and also can buy 24 or 36 skein bags of many colors for like $4-5 at Michaels, which is cheaper than the $1.35 a (bigger) skein costs otherwise. You can also use floss, but I don't as I like the look of the twisted ply pearl/craft thread.

You can decorate with trim or beads (I don't because I rather like them more grippable and beads hurt), but I wouldn't use beads on top, the pins might catch on them. What good is a pincushion if you can't put a pin in it?

Overall these take 30 min or less to make, time well spent and as much as I hate to say it, cute as a button!
 MATERIALS and SUPPLIES: (for one shown in this instructable)Scissors, craft thread, craft felt, fiberfill and a soda bottlecap.

Step 1: Cutting the Pieces

Picture of Cutting the Pieces

Hold a piece of scrap felt to the bottom of a bottlecap and trim to size, being sure to keep it even with the sides of the cap, not smaller. Round off circle as needed. Then cut a 3" square and round it into a circle. Cut a strip of felt about as wide as your cap is, and as long as it is around. Leave enough for a little overlap.

Step 2: Ball

Picture of Ball

Take the 3" circle and run a drawstring through the outside edge, draw into a little bag and stuff TIGHT. Use blunt chopstick to shove in more if needed. Tie off Securely.

What to stuff with? I recommend simple fiberfill. Stuffed extremely densely. I normally will stuff some in, close it up and tie it off enough to get my stuffing stick in and continue to stuff it once knotted. I stuff so much in the"crunch" when you poke pins in and are extremely dense.

What about what you see many selling, the tradtional Emery sand that keeps needles sharp and clean? (that little strawberry on the tomato pincushions is an emery).

I hate to disappointing many that seem to attached to this mineral, but unless you are using vintage pins you do not need a emery at all. Using emery on any pin or needle say after 1970 or so is a waste, as well as it could damage the plating of said pins and needles.

Modern pins and needles are:
1: plated and do not tarnish!
2: hardened steel and do not dull!

Just stick with fiberfill, if you stuff it full enough it is more than abrasive enough to not only HOLD the pins in but clean any magical dirt that might stick to chrome.

Step 3: Outside

Picture of Outside

Wrap rectangular piece around cap, leaving a little overhang to allow the end circle to fit in and pin the overlap, and then run a needle, if desired, into the side and through the bottom to keep it all togehter while working. (I don't need this anymore).

Start a knot on the inside bottom overlap and begin a simple whip stitch around the bottom connecting the bottom to the sides.

When you get back to where you started, go up the side seam.

Step 4: Stuff It!

Picture of Stuff It!

Remove cap, stuff ball in. really tightnow, just your nails and fingers, shove it in tight!
Replace cap into sleeve, snug it on.

Step 5: Sew Sides to Top

Picture of Sew Sides to Top

Take thread again, and continue sewing the top edge to the newly placed ball.

Buttonhole or whipstitch are good, but anything works.

Step 6: Decorate!

Picture of Decorate!

After sewing the top, take needle and go down and out at the middle at the side seam and start embroidery accents. I like the easy as pie chain stitch for beginners for it's simplicity.

When done decorating, go back in and bring thread out the bottom. No need to knot off. Clip!

You can decorate as little or as much as you want.

Step 7: DONE!

Picture of DONE!

Decorate as little or as much as you want!

Then.... Stick a pin in it's it's done!


EmilyHayes made it! (author)2017-01-05

Wow, great instructable! Easy to follow and easy to do! ( which is surprising, since this instructable is for hand-sewing, not a sewing machine, which I was using.)

Very cute and handy. Thanks, Jen!

verybigjen (author)EmilyHayes2017-01-05

But, try it by hand next time, it's easier i think than sewing a tiny shape with a huge machine.

EmilyHayes (author)verybigjen2017-01-19

You're right :/

verybigjen (author)EmilyHayes2017-01-05

Awesome! The more you make the better they get!

HelenaTroy (author)2016-04-24

that's a great Instructable - detailed and clear, thank you.

I suppose they could be made larger, using larger bottle or jar caps, for those of us whose vision makes us overlook smaller items sometimes.

verybigjen made it! (author)HelenaTroy2017-01-05

Yup! I often use the 3" flanged juice caps! Also tin cans like tuna and sardines!

Xenia123 (author)2015-11-24

The pictures describe really good and I think this must be very useful...nice looking work and I hope I come to try it. Thank you!

QT-PIE (author)2014-11-29

ADORABLE Sooo CUTE love them

mole1 (author)2013-03-27

This is wonderful! And no pins will stick out the bottom. Thanks for posting it!

cooleydooley (author)2012-05-04

Love it! I am going to do this with my Girl Scout troop! Great little pincushions :-)

cphenix (author)2011-09-23

This is soo good. I am bad @ sewing

nissarup (author)2008-12-17

How about adding a small magnet to the bottom? The whole thing will stick on the side of a sewing machine, and you can use it to gather spilled needles.

Thur (author)nissarup2011-01-13


nissarup (author)nissarup2008-12-21

I just made two with magnets in them. The first one was not as nice as the second one. Probably because it's been years since I last crafted anything with a needle. The magnet is nice though. When the pincushion is placed on something metal you can remove needles with one hand, instead of just lifting the whole thing.

headlessbubble (author)2009-03-11

great idea, I love the reuse of bottle caps!!

souichi (author)2008-12-18

you could just put cotton then stuff it in then cover with cloth how easy is that why decorate if it is that simple

jessandstavro (author)2008-12-12

I absolutely love this! It is just too cute. I plan on trying it out. Thanks! :) Jessica

Valche (author)2008-12-12

Cute! My girlfriend would probably love this if she sewed, haha.

Wimzy (author)2008-10-24

This could be a great way to make pattern weights also! Just fill it with something heavy!

verybigjen (author)Wimzy2008-10-24

How about pennies??? Little fill on top so you could stick pins in to use while sewing... you think?

thisxisxstephanie (author)2008-08-22

So cute! I'm going to make one this weekend :) Great instructable!

tangerine294 (author)2008-07-15

Brilliant =] thankyou so much.. i really needed one of these and this is perfect!

spacegirl94 (author)2008-07-10

this is sew cool!

Kitty X (author)2008-02-23

This is fun project to work on while travelling. I have made 6 of these so far. I had a ton of DMC pearl cotton that I got on sale at Michael's. My friends are always in need of safety pins (since they do not sew) so I gave them "safety pin cushions" with an assortment of different sizes.

verybigjen (author)Kitty X2008-02-23

addicitive little things aren't they? Thanks for your comments!

Dalya (author)2008-01-28

This is...AWESOME. Maybe some emery or some abrasive material inside would be awesome. I love this idea, instead of buying one, or using tons squares of fabric, I can just make an adorable bottlecap pincushion. GENIUS o__o! I just got into sewing, I'm still looking for a decent sewing machine. I love hand sewing it's totally comforting (yet time consuming). Thankie!

verybigjen (author)Dalya2008-01-29

no no no, don't use anything abrasive - read this on my pincushion blog:

ladymarmalade (author)2007-12-15

These are fab! I have made all my non-sewing girlfriends one as an early Xmas present - a girl always needs a few emergency pins! I embelished mine with hotfix crystals which look so pretty. Thanks so much ...

neanerbean (author)2007-11-11

I am going to use this for my girl scout troop

Dawn B. (author)2007-10-22

oops, I posted too soon: before I had read the directions. How clever you are to cover the bottle cap!

Dawn B. (author)2007-10-22

I saw these w/a bottle cap for the base. Where is your bottle cap? I think these are just the most adorable and what great gifts they would make ... oh, yeah, and seems like these would be a great "take along" project - you know, a craft to take w/you while you're waiting at socceer practice, or dr. office, etc. I love your colours and personal comments.

angelsandoutlaws (author)2007-07-26

I really love this! I have always wished for some sort of pincushion to be attached to my sewing machine - this will certainly be it! And would make cute gifts for sewing, cross-stitching, beading friends as beadbabe says. Thanks from me too, Jen.

beadbabe49 (author)2007-07-19

Wonderful tutorial! I'm making gifts for my beading friends and I've made 3 for myself already! thanks, jen!

verybigjen (author)beadbabe492007-07-19

thanks! be sure to give me a good rating!

And come on over and see my work and get access to more tutorials:

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