When I was teaching at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion a couple of weeks ago, I needed some straight pins for a project I was demonstrating. Our lovely machine educator in the room, Darlene, handed me this sweet little pin cushion that she had brought with her. It was so adorable and perfect for traveling.
Upon closer examination of this pincushion, that had been given to Darlene by her by a friend, I noticed that it was simply made from a plastic bottle top. The bottle top had two holes drilled in the top and a piece of elastic was used for the ring portion. I knew that when I got home, I wanted to try to make my own version of this darling little pin cushion.
I still had some leftover blank rings from the DIY Cabochon Jewelry that I had made as Christmas gifts this year, so I decided to use those as the base for my pin cushion. These pin cushions would make such a sweet gift for the seamstresses / quilters / sewists in your life. Or just make one for yourself......they make the most perfect little travel pin cushion!
Pin Cushion Ring
1 plastic bottle top
1 3" x 3" circle of fabric
Ribbon or Trim (4" - 5")
1 blank ring base
Fiberfill or other stuffing (just a small amount)
Strong craft glue (i.e. E6000)
Hand sewing needle
Gather up your supplies. You can find blank rings at your local craft store (i.e. Michael's, Joann's, Hobby Lobby, ect). I like the adjustable kind because you don't have to worry about whether or not the rings are going to fit.
Also, choose any size or type of plastic bottle top that you like. It can be big or small.....it doesn't really matter.
Cut out a circle from your fabric. I used the top of one of my storage containers as a guide. It measured approximately 3" x 3". If you make a larger circle, you will have a larger, more rounded pin cushion top. If you cut a smaller circle, then your pin cushion top will lay more flat within the plastic bottle top. It's entirely up to you how large or small you would like your pin cushion, but 3" worked well for the standard top.
Do a basic running stitch around the entire edge of the fabric circle with your hand sewing needle and thread. Pull the thread a little to begin gathering the circle.
Fill the circle with a small amount of fiberfill or other stuffing of your choice. Once you have stuffed the circle, pull the threads even tighter to close the top of the pin cushion. Sew back and forth a few times and knot your thread to secure.
Grab your strong craft glue (I like E6000) and apply a liberal amount to the inside of the plastic bottle top and the bottom of the pin cushion. Stick the pin cushion inside the bottle cap and continue pressing until it fits inside well.
Measure your ribbon or trim so that it is a little bit longer than the circumference of the bottle top. Fold under the two ends towards the wrong side of the trim and glue in place. Then apply your strong craft glue to the outside of the plastic bottle top. Wrap the trim around the bottle top, making sure to line up the trim with the edge of the top. Apply a little more glue where the trim overlaps to secure in place.
Apply glue to the blank ring and press in place on the bottom of the bottle top. Make sure you apply a good amount of glue to the ring, but not too much, because you don't want to see the glue coming out from the ring top. You want it to look neat and tidy.
After your pin cushion is dry, add some pins and you're ready to go!
PS: I found some other great tutorials for different variations on this idea that I thought you might like to check out. This one from Prudent Baby and this one from Riley Blake Designs uses a metal bottle cap and here is one that uses elastic as the ring base.