Thursday, June 23, 2011

Teacup Pincushion Tutorial

About two years ago I picked up a teacup, sans saucer, for a quarter. It was lovely, but lonely.

For a quarter, though, I knew I could do something with it. The idea of turning it into a pincushion was in the back of my mind, but since I didn't know exactly how I would do that, I shoved both the teacup and the idea out of sight. For two years.

Finally, in need of a project and sick of my procrastination, I came up with an idea and put it into action. And thus you have:


  • Teacup
  • 6-8" diameter circle of coordinating cotton fabric (7" is good for an average/medium teacup)
  • Stuffing
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Adhesive (I used Fabri-Tac, but you could use hot glue, or probably even Superglue)
  • Vintage button (preferably without a shank!)


1. Gathering

Run gathering stitches around the perimeter of the circle, about 1/4" from the edge. If you're using a machine, just follow the edge of your presser foot. You can also stitch by hand if you prefer.

2. Constructing

Pull up the gathering stitches, leaving enough of an opening to stuff your cushion. Smoosh (that's the technical term) stuffing into your cushion, filling it as much as possible. Check the outside to make sure you don't have any lumps! Your cushion will not close completely (see picture below). Tie your gathering stitches to secure.

3. Embellishing

Adding a simple vintage button to your pincushion is an easy way to dress it up! Using a long needle, come up through the center of your pincushion -- use doubled thread for extra strength and less work.

While sewing the button on, squeeze the cushion in the center. Pull your thread snugly.

Tie off your button thread on the edge of your pincushion fabric to secure.

4. Adhering

Run a bead of glue around the edge of your teacup, about 1/4"-1/2" from the lip (you don't want the glue to be visible).

Give your cushion one final look-over to make sure the gathering stitches are spread evenly and there are no lumps. Place it in the teacup and press down. Let it dry.

5. Enjoying

This part is pretty self explanatory!

6. Gifting

And this part is optional! But you may end up at the Gifting step sooner than you'd imagine, since this pincushion bears a strong resemblance to potato chips -- bet you can't [have] just one!



  1. How creative and it's so cute! Now I wish I had a spare teacup so that I could make one.

  2. This is lovely. This method also works well for tiny flowerpots or eggcups - I have several dotted around the house.

  3. Lovely idea! I was wondering what to give a dear friend for her birthday, and now I know! Thank you for sharing!

  4. That is so cute! I think any teacup would be proud to be repurposed this way.

  5. Hello Shannon,
    What a delightful creative idea!! I love the tea cup. I know that it has been a while since I have commented but we have been reading all of your posts. Glad to see that you are all doing well. Your little one is so cute and growing. We still hope that we get to meet you someday.
    Mrs. Hope and Lauren

  6. This is so cute! I was just at the antique shop with my daughter and we saw some of these that were sooo expensive. I am going to put these on my Christmas list for teacher gifts. Thanks! Kathleen

  7. Hello Shannon, I loved this idea so much - I hope you don't mind - I added it to a tea cup post I have! With links back to your post to the tutorial. What a lovely idea and tutorial! For your reference, here's my post:

  8. Love your sense of humor too!


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