Wednesday, September 30, 2015

wood base pincushion {a tutorial}

Recently I came across the most wonderful online shop called  Beyond Measure. The shop is described as "a place selling beautiful things for folk who make" and, to my delight, it really is true. It's full of unique, beautifully made items and sewing supplies I have not come across before. Not surprisingly, I fell completely in love with their wood base pincushions.

And then, as luck would have it, I was at the store and came across some adorable wooden dip bowls. Which got my wheels turning, of course. I bought a few of the bowls, scrapped the rest of my shopping plans, and rushed home like a maniac to try to make my own wood base pincushions :). I know I'm not the only one who does these things, right?

I won't lie. It took a while for me to finally figure out how to have as few puckers in the fabric as possible but once I was finished I could not help staring at my most adorable stack of pincushions and grinning. 

And then I thought some of you might like to make a pincushion, or two, as well. So, I sent an email to Grace (owner of Beyond Measure) and she very kindly gave me permission to share this tutorial with you (since my pincushions are 100% inspired by Grace's I wanted to make sure she was on board with me sharing my tutorial).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Please note, this tutorial shows how I made my pincushions. I'm in no way shape or form implying it's how Beyond Measure pincushions are made (because I have absolutely no idea how they make theirs) .

To make one pincushion, you will need:

one wooden base (mine is a 2 1/4" diameter dip bowl bought at World Market)
4.5" diameter fabric circle (you will need a bigger circle if your bowl is bigger than mine)
polyester fiberfill
sewing supplies
strong thread (I used 2 strands of embroidery thread)
glue (your choice, just make sure it's strong enough to hold fabric and wood base together)

 1. Use running stitch and about 3/8" seam allowance and stitch all the way around the perimeter of the fabric circle. Make sure to leave a 3" tail when you begin your stitches. Leave a 3" tail when you finish stitching as well.

2. Start gathering the fabric by pulling both tread ends at the same time. Go slow, make sure the fabric is spread out evenly. You're forming a little pouch of sorts.

3. Stuff the little "fabric pouch" with polyester fiberfill. Don't overfill it, try to see how much fiberfill can fit into your wooden base and go from there. Use your fingers to push and form the fiberfill inside the little pouch, try to make it as round as possible and do your best to eliminate puckers. Also, place it in your base from time to time to see if you need to pull on the tread more to make it smaller, or loosen the thread to make it bigger. The fiberfill pouch should fit snugly into the base. Once you have the size and shape you're going for, tie the thread ends together. Make a strong double or triple knot.

4. Apply glue to the inside of wood base about 1/4" from the top. Go all the way around, don't overdo it on glue, but do make sure there's enough of it.

5. Press squishy pincushion top gently but firmly into the base. Hold your hand over it for a little bit to make sure glue holds the top and let the glue dry.

6. Once the glue is dry (shouldn't take too long, mine was fine after about 20 min), add some pins to your pincushion and admire.

Hope you have tons of fun using your new super cute wood base pincushion. And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group or use #sotakhandmade if posting on Instagram. I love seeing all your amazing creations.



  1. Thank you SOOOOO much for this tutorial and sharing the idea with us. That's really adorable and I really love it. I will start searching for this little bowls here in Germany. :-)
    Greetings, Rike

  2. so a few months ago, I bought adorable little plastic bowls in bright colors intending to make pin cushions with them but having absolutely no plan. They are still sitting on my shelf & now I want to race right in there & make them up! thanks for the tutorial. This will be happening sooner rather than later...

  3. Thank you so much for sharing! This is a great pincushion because the wooden dip bowl provides some weight :) I hope I'll find a small wooden or plastic bowl :)

  4. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I have been an admirer of these pincushions from Beyond Measure, also. I was going to try and figure out how to make them myself, but now I don't have to! I can't wait to make one.

  5. Adorable! And you are not alone, I too have changed gears and gone home because I couldn't wait to get started on a project.

  6. These are lovely and would make a great gift. I checked out the Beyond Measure shop--it is great but sadly in the U.K. which makes shipping a pricey issue.

  7. You're not the only one who abandons all previous errands to start on something new right.this.minute., but you are certainly the only person I know who has things turn out so well. These little pin cushions are cute, and a great use of a smallish piece of fabric.

  8. I see a trip to World Market in my near future...

  9. Adorable, Svetlana! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  10. The little bowl pincushions are charming! Thank you for the instructions and great photos.

  11. I went to World Market today, grabbed four little bowls. And, that location just happens to be next-door to a Joann Fabrics, so I was able to grab some glue as well! Hopefully the stuff I chose will work... gonna go try it out now :)

    1. The glue is drying... I ended up with a little space under my cushion. I think next time I will go for a 5" circle instead of a 4.5" circle of fabric. I put some crushed walnut shells beneath it to give it a little lift... and now I have stuck a spool of thread on top, capped it with another bowl, and masking tapped it together to add pressure, just to make sure the fabric seals well to the side of the bowl so that no shells escape.... can't wait for the glue to cure! Once I see how this one turns out, I will experiment with one filled completely with shells, and a larger fabric square... and then I just might be going back to World Market to get more little bowls! Would you mind if I sold some? I have a feeling this could be come addicting, and I already have more pincushions than one reasonable person could ever use.

    2. okay, had much better results with the larger circle... I cut 5.25" this time... now I am totally addicted and already have another circle sitting here in front of me... They are so quick and easy!

    3. Hi Robyn, I'm so glad you're liking this tutorial and trying out bigger fabric and shells. Unfortunately though, this tutorial is not for items to be sold. It's for personal use only. I hope you understand. I don't want to cut into Grace's (the original designer) sales by making my tutorial available for making items to sell.


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