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DSC_0099Making your own pincushion(s) is both an easy and satisfying sewing project. It can be as simple or multifaceted as you like and totally unique to you. At the end you have a functional and useful accessory for your making – and trust me, you will use it a lot. The gold nugget in this project is the steel wool. Stuffing your pincushion with at least 50% steel wool (I use more, closer to an 80/20 ratio) means not only are your pins neatly stored and easily accessible while you work but the steel wool keeps them sharp. No blunt pins for this sewer!


  • Fabric of your choice (I usually raid my scrap basket for the pretties pieces)
  • Steel wool
  • Stuffing (cotton wool works well if you don’t have any)
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Fabric marker/tailors chalk
Apologies I forgot to include the steel wool in this image but I did use it!

Apologies I forgot to include the steel wool in this image but I did use it!


  • Cut fabric into desired shape (circle, square, rectangle etc) x2. I am doing a simple rectangle for this tutorial – 6″ x 4.5″.
  • With right sides together pin outer edges of your front and back pieces together, leaving a gap to insert the filling (mine is marked with fabric marker).
  • Sew your seams, joining front to back – remember to leave a gap! – and then trim and finish seams with zigzag/overlocker/pinking shears.
  • Turn your pincushion case right side out, iron if desired/require
  • Stuff the case with a mixture of stuffing and steel wool – or one or the other – through the gap in the seam that you left. I like to over-stuff mine so they’re nice and plump and firm.
  • Using a basic tailors stitch/invisible stitch hand sew up the gap so the case is tightly closed.

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Ta-da! A quick, easy and basic sewing project complete with a very useful product as a result. Once you’ve got the basics down this is a great project to get creative with, add ribbon or buttons as embellishments, give it a french seam, do different segments to your case – anything you desire.