Introduction: SewUseful, Easy and Practical a Pin Cushion Made Using Just 1 Square of Fabric.

Picture of SewUseful, Easy and Practical a Pin Cushion Made Using Just 1 Square of Fabric.

SewUseful, easy and practical, a pin cushion in lovely lilac woollen fabric made using just 1 square of fabric.

Why ever didnt you get one before, or make one even, really i should have done this years ago, as i dropped my pin-pot so regularly! Too regulalry for a mum with young children... oops.

to save bad language and prickled feets, buy this one today, made by the amazing raggyrat lady, catherine l owen.
Fabric can often come in squares or near square-shape and i have found a way to make a pincushion from 1 piece of fabric, the aforementioned square.

If yours isnt square, just cut it so it is before you begin. Or pop along here and buy this actual famous pincushion and get rid of your plastic pot ASAP

ah, ok - it sold -

Step 1: Get a Square of Fabric ...

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Or cut a square from a nice piece of cloth. Mine looks to be about 8 inches each side, but i was feeling so excited and inspired i remembered to take most of the pictures but forgot to get my tape measure out!

You can see my edges are a little uneven, but i used a generous seam allowance to prevent fraying fabric, this just means i sewed 'well away' from the edge of the cloth.

Step 2: Fold and Pin Your Fabric

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Fold in half making a rectangle, not a triangle, and pin across both short sides.

This fabric was the same on both sides, but if yours has a right side, and a wrong side, then the right sides go together when you fold.

Step 3: Sew the Short Sides

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Sew right along one short side where you have pinned.

On the other side, sew 2 thirds on the edge together, leaving the middle third unsewn. you can just about see the peach coloured thread with the gap on the left hand side.

This gap will be the opening through which you turn the pin cushion right-sides out, later.

Step 4: Open Up the Pocket You Have Made ...

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Get your fingers into the long opening and you have a long pocket. You can see how im going to squash it in the photo, like opening a packet and closing it with the edges together.

The work is resting between a fabric covered box i made to hold my sewing tools, and that pin-pot which is soon to be empty! i can tell you how to make the box another time if you are interested, i used recycled card from inside posh bars of chocolate.

Step 5: Pin the Edges Together

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After you have squashed the unsewn edges together get some pins again and pin as shown in the picture, then sew right along this top edge, as you have already left a small opening for turning.

Step 6: Making a Box Shape

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Ok, so you could use this envelope shape as your cushion, but you can see after pinning and sewing it is rather flat, to to give it some height, and make the cushion more 3D squash the sewing as shown in the picture. This reminds me of all the origami i used to make as a child, or making a hanky all pretty.

Basically, each corner has been pinned and you can come in as far as you like, making a shallower or deeper box. Experiment with moving the pin in each corner. I used the pins here for their height as well, helping me get them the same on each corner.

Now sew across the corners where the pins are, one by one.

Step 7: Snipping the Corners Off

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Snip the corners off, well its more like trimming really, dont go too close to your sewing line if your fabric frays a lot like mine. And be sure not to snip off your sewn corner or you will make a nice new hole.

Now you are ready to turn the whole thing right side out thru that wee hole we left on purpose, earlier.

Step 8: Outsides in ...

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Turning inside out is the best bit. Now you can see what shape your finnished pin cushion will be, and here the opening throught which you can stuff your item very firmly.

Step 9: Stuffing ...

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I use acrylic fibrefill but you could use wool or kapock or fabric scraps, or even fluff from you jumper, but that would take a long time to collect.

Perhaps im wrong - stuffing items might be the best bit as it is also very exciting seeing things take on shape.

Stuff your cushion very firmly as this helps to grip the pins so they wont fall out, like in that ancient plastic pot.

Step 10: Closing ...

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I usw ladder stitch to close things so you cant see the stiches very well. It involves sewing in and out on one side of the opening then going in and out on the other ... the threads stretch across like ladder rungs, but pull them tight as you go. I have tried to take a nice close up picture to show you this stich.

I have knotted my thread to sew double strands for strength.

Make a few short stiches in one place to finnish off. You could stop here if you like and admire your finnished cushion. Then stab it with lots of pins.

Step 11: Adding Buttons

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Another option is to add buttons to the middle and pull tighter and tighter as you sew thru them. Its a bit difficult, you need a long strong needle and patience as you try to sew thu both buttons one on top and one under neath. Try not to sew into any of you nice fingers or use bad language.

It might be worth a try as it makes the pin cushion look groovy and also makes it firmer for pin gripping. I got these buttons from an old cardigan. It was a bit hard tophotograph the actually sewing of the buttons but i promise i didnt swear when i couldnt match up the buttons holes...

Step 12: Add Pins

Picture of Add Pins

Liberate pins from container, and make pretty patterns if you like, or use the cushion the other way up.


nancyCpants (author)2016-04-30

I love that cushion. how did you make your organizer box? I like that too ;)

JocelynL8 (author)2016-04-20

Loved it! I altered the pattern a bit and didn't cut the corners to make it box like so it looks like a square pillow, it went awesome! Your instructions were very easy to follow and I did it all in less than an hour. <3

Craftielady (author)2013-03-10

I Love this and just whipped one up and it's sooo cute, now I have to get some polyfil to stuff it and I'll post pictures.

mali baig1 (author)2012-06-23

Plus can you plz post a tutorial regarding how to make that box.. the one thats in the background... loved your work!!

mali baig1 (author)2012-06-23

this is just awesome.... i'm going to make one and gift it to a friend of mine... this is just love!!! <3

whY incision (author)2011-05-01

Oooh this is darling. I bet I could use the same method to make a nice big one out of upholstery fabric for a floor pillow to lounge on as I fiddle with my crafts.

viviluk (author)2008-03-06

i like that box, how do you make that?

elisabethjean (author)2008-02-22

so cute! i can't count the number of times i've spilled my pins, and i don't want my 16 month old to find the strays! i'm going make one right away!

raggyrat (author)elisabethjean2008-02-24

have you made one? love to see a pic of possible, i have twins and at 23 months they now hand back the strays, oops, mind you they can also say sharp and are wary of my flying needle! a pin cushion doesnt prevent me dropping singular pins ! xxxx

crochetlady19 (author)2008-01-04

I loved reading your instructions. Great sense of humor!

HaloJocelyn (author)2007-07-30

Love it! Ive been wanting a new pin cushion for months ( I HATE my tomato) and I whip one out that I love in minutes! Thanks a lot for sharing!

Why are they always tomatoes? I don't get it...

raggyrat (author)HaloJocelyn2007-07-31

you are welsome i'd love to see a pic if you take one, i would be happy to blog it :-)

threecheersfornick (author)2007-07-29

Nice! I'm a gonna make a big one to use as a proper cushion (like for sitting on).

wow, what a great idea, i wonder how big one would come out of you 'folded' a square of bed sheet ? cheers xxx

newckie (author)2007-07-05

Hmmm......fluff from a jumper you say, I agree, it will take too long to collect enough.......... I will use my moulting cat's fur. Great work raggyrat !

raggyrat (author)newckie2007-07-05

thanks newckie, dont forgt to give me a 'plus' and ill send you some of my ferret fur to add to your collection xxxxx

littlebitsys (author)2007-07-05

Great job, I really like your instructions, very easy to read and makes it look like "hey, I can do that!" : )

raggyrat (author)littlebitsys2007-07-05

thank you littlebitsys, please give me a plus up at the top there, i love your comment as i was trying very hard to show the work clearly XXXX

schnitzle (author)2007-06-19

Simple and lovely! I really like this pincushion, it's really different, yet easy to do. The mice are adorable too!!

raggyrat (author)schnitzle2007-06-19

Thank you dear schnitzle, are you going to try one?

Mitten (author)2007-06-07

Do I smell a dead mouse pincushion? *coughCANIDAcough*

raggyrat (author)Mitten2007-06-08

Er, no ... those mice are synthetic fabric, handsewn, and have not at any time had any pins stuck in them. Not sure what you said at the end there, when you were coughing?

canida (author)raggyrat2007-06-08

Could you tell us how to make them? They're cute!

raggyrat (author)canida2007-06-10

oooh, you work with real mice dont you? :-)glad you like my wee plushies ...

canida (author)raggyrat2007-06-10

They're great! I used to work in transgenic mouse labs, and have a real soft spot for the little guys. I'd love to make mine some synthetic friends!

raggyrat (author)canida2007-06-11

not reccomended - i have seen what pet rats and mice do to thier plush pals ... incedentally, i used to date a laboratory techinician ... but i smelt a rat ... (groan)!

canida (author)raggyrat2007-06-11

These guys would just be nearby and decorative! Not toys, as they do tend to shred anything soft for bedding. ;)

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