I wrote up this article for my doll club’s newsletter, so I thought I might as well put it up here too.
-cups, glasses, anything with an opening to put a pin cushion in or a shaft to put a pin cushion around.
-wool for stuffing
I have had fun making pin cushions by recycling chipped and broken decorative glasses. I have used crystal and pressed glass, wine glasses, ice cream glasses and parfait glasses. I have been using ones that I found at my parentsâ€™ house when we were clearing out, and now I keep an eye out for anything special at Yard Sales.
The first one I made was inspired by my daughter. When we picked her up at the end of her first year at college, she handed me a broken wine glass – just a stem with some jagged glass of the bowl. She said to me â€œI kept it for you mom. I knew youâ€™d want to do something with it!â€ She knows me so well!
My pin cushions have all been essentially the same- a fabric ball sitting in or on top of and enclosing part of the recycled object. I looked at other peoplesâ€™ work on the internet and this is the most common design. I have used wool fabrics for mine. I like wool for several reasons- firstly, I have a ton of it, secondly it has a nice â€œcountryâ€ look, and thirdly it seems to hold up well to sticking pins in it all the time. I have not had such good luck when I have used tightly woven cottons, velvets or velveteen’s. The fabric seems to disintegrate sooner then Iâ€™d like.
CAUTION- MATH AHEAD! Two easy shapes for making the pin cushions are triangles (or diamonds which are just 2 triangles put together) and a half circle which make a strawberry shape. You need to know the measurement for the circumference of the ball you will make. If you are making an â€œover a stemâ€ pincushion, that measuement can be approximate. If you are making an â€œin a glassâ€ make-do, you will need to measure the top edge of your glass.
To figure out what size to cut your shapes- For Triangles- the pin cushion will be 4 triangles around. Divide your circumference measurement by 4. That measurement is the size of each of the 3 sides of your triangle. For strawberry- The circumference measurement is the length of the curved edge of the half circle. Donâ€™t forget to add seam allowance to your pattern pieces.
Putting the pin cushion together-
for all pincushions- Sew up the seams. Stuff firmly. Decorate with embroidery or appliques if youâ€™d like. I put some cut-out leaves around some of mine to make them look like flowers. I also stitch a small second pincushion on the top as a place to hold my needles. It looks like a cherry on top!
When I used the broken glass, I wrapped the broken top of the glass with some quilt batting so I would not cut myself and the sharp edges would not cut the fabric. When doing an â€œover a stemâ€ make-do, you will have to leave the bottom open enough to fit in your base. The ball or strawbery is gather up around the base with strong (nylon) thread and tied as firmly as possible. You can put a ribbon or something to hide your stitches.
To attach the â€œin a glassâ€ make-dos, I used Goop glue and pushed the pin cushion into the opening as firmly as possible. I then clamped it by using many rubber bands and string to hold everything in place until the glue
Update 7/09- this post has been getting a lot of traffic lately-Â Thanks for visiting! I have written up and am selling a pattern for a make-do pin cushion here on Etsy.