Friday, January 27, 2012

Orphaned Teacup Pincushion Tutorial

I found this beautiful English compote dish in an antique shop in Washington, MO. I love love loved it and the poor little thing was all alone.

 I l
et the teacup inspire my fabric choice. I chose an elegant crushed velvet.
Next, make a newspaper circle pattern six inches larger in diameter than the top of the dish (or teacup if you found a fabulous vintage one).

I used an article about the St. Louis Cardinals WORLD CHAMPION baseball team as my pattern.  

After you have cut out the circle you will need to gather it into a bundle to hold the stuffing. I use Coats Upholstery thread because it is very strong and won’t break when you pull it tight.   And its made in the USA – I like that.

Use a long running stitch about ¼ inch from the edge of the circle. It need not be perfectly neat.

Pull your needle and gather the thread evenly until you have a small opening into which you will put your stuffing.

Do not cut your thread. I use a pin and make a figure eight with the thread to hold it out of the way until I’m ready to close my bundle. 

Now you need some soft, fluffy stuffing. I’ve tried cotton batting and it did NOT work…unless you’re okay with having a pincushion that you can’t stick pins in. No? I thought not. For my pincushion I chose a wonderfully fluffy Fairfield polyester fiberfill. 

It’s so fluffy it almost bursts out of the bag!

It’s 97% recycled AND made in the USA – did I mention I like that?

Do visit their website – they have lots of lovely patterns and ideas for beautiful toys and gifts.

 Now that your puff is stuffed…

Rethread your needle and pull the bundle closed. Take a few stitches back and forth across the opening to secure your thread. 

Now, pull out your handy dandy glue gun. Make a swirl of glue around the bottom of the cup and place the bundle carefully (it can be hot) into the cup. If you’re happy with your pincushion at this point and it looks perfect without any more frills – you’re all done!

I chose to add a little bow on top to echo the ribbon motif on the cup, and some white lace around the edge. Now its time to stick in some pretty pins and VOILA! These make a lovely gift for someone who sews, quilts or even a beautiful place to keep push pins for a bulletin board!

It looks very nice crowned with a beautiful handmade hat pin, don’t you think?

I’m going to make lots more wonderful teacup pincushions – how about you? And next time, better photos, I promise (I'm learning by doing)!


  1. Your lovely teacup find made the most perfect pincushion! Love the look you created, Linda!

  2. I've always been curious how to make these! So cute! I even saw this application recently with old cookie cutters :)