Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cupcake Pincushion/Box Tutorial


It's a pincushion and a box! It can hold your spool of thread, embroidery floss, seam ripper, or whatever fits in the container you choose. And it looks like a  cupcake! You can make it any size you choose, from small to large.

To get started you need a plastic container of the size you want.(Mine held salsa.) If it doesn't have a lid, you can cut a cardboard circle to fit. You also need a styrofoam half ball (the white styrofoam is best although I used what I had), batting scraps, fabric, ribbon trim, tacky style glue, light cardboard such as from a cereal box, thread, needle, scissors.
1. Spread glue on the outside of the container. Wrap batting around it and trim it to fit. (If the label is not printed on, remove it first.)
2. Turn the lid upside down and glue the sytrofoam ball inside the lid. You may need to trim the bottom edge slightly to make it fit well. 
3. Cut a circle of batting the size of the bottom of the lid and glue it on. This is also a good time to cut a circle of fabric to go on the bottom of this top piece. Add 1" seam allowance all around . Set the fabric piece aside. You will use it in a later step.
4. Cut a circle of batting to fit over the ball and trim to fit. Also cut a circle of your top fabric with a 1" seam allowance all around.
5. Sew a running stitch (gathering stitch) around the perimeter of the circle. Place over the ball and pull to gather. Adjust the gathers evenly around the circle. Secure with a knot, then sew snugly to the batting on the bottom, pulling the raw edges well past the edge of the bottom.
6. Cut a cardboard circle the same size as the bottom of the lid. Run a line of glue around the edge and turn the seam allowance to the back over the glue.
7. Sew this piece to the bottom of the lid. It is helpful to run a line of glue about 1/2" inside the edge to help hold the disc in place while you sew. 
8. Cut a strip of fabric for the box. It should overhang about 1" at top and bottom to give you plenty of room to work. Sew it together along the side to make it fit snugly. (Do not stitch in the 1" allowance at top and bottom since you might trim this.)
9. Finish the bottom just as you did the bottom of the lid, except the cardboard circle should be the size of the bottom of your box (instead of the lid). (NOTE: if your container is clear, cut a circle of batting to fit over the bottom so that you don't see the gathered fabric edge through the bottom! Wish I had done that!)
10. Turn the top excess fabric over and trim to about 1/2".
11. Run a line of glue around the top edge and cover the turned down fabric with a piece of ribbon. Turn the raw edge under and sew  together. (I also needed to sew around the bottom edge of my ribbon to make it fit snugly against the base.)
12. Make a hinge for the lid by sewing about 2" of the bottom edge of the lid to the top edge of the box. (Of course, the size of your box will determine how much of a hinge you need.) You can also choose to make your lid more secure by adding hook and loop tape or a button closure.
13. Make a cherry by cutting a circle (mine was about 3" across, but if you have a larger container you need a larger circle). Make a running stitch all around the edge, gather, stuff with polyester or cotton batting, and pull the gathering stitches tight. Sew to the top. 
 That's it! You could choose to add rick-rack or cording as icing on the top. Or add a round button in place of the cloth cherry on top. Use your imagination. I can envision a chocolate version with two rows of white rick-rack across the top. Have fun with it!


  1. Linda, what a wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much. When I am feeling well enough to do some stitching I am definitely going to try this.

  2. Linda that's the cutest idea! I don't make pincushions very often but that one would be so fun to make and have. :) blessings, marlene

  3. Thank you for that great tutorial. By the way......I hopped over from Stray Stiches
    Hugs Gunda

  4. Thanks for the great tutorial Linda. When I get a chance, I'm going to try making one. Hugs, Christine

  5. What a novel idea! Thanks so much!

  6. Fabulous! This could be just what I need - I challenged my quilt group to each make a pincushion to swap at our annual Christmas party this year and I have been looking for one that is novel. Thanks for the tutorial!

  7. What a cute little pincushion and great tutorial!

    Lana sent me over to visit. I was asking if anyone knew about San Antonio as I'm going there with my daughter in July. She said you'd know all the must-visit places! Are you interested in sharing your wisdom with a first-time visitor to Texas from Canada? We are soooo excited!

  8. Cute project and tutorial...I'll have to try it sometime.

    oh and I just wanted to thank you for the lovely comment on Stash Manicure. :o)

  9. Thanks for the tute! I have a niece that is startin to show an interest in sewing and I think a large one of these stuffed with goodies will make the perfect present!

  10. How cute is that?! Would make a great guild or party gift, too! Thanks for sharing!

  11. What a fabulous idea! This is ingenious, thanks for sharing. I just learned about your site from Madame Samm, and am enjoying your blog!!!!
    (I'm also in Texas, and not too far from you (relatively speaking).

  12. What a wonderful idea and so very cute...the imagination runs wild with ideas on how to "frost" this cupcake. Thanks!!

  13. Ola Linda tudo bem?
    Amei o tutorial, vou fazer com certeza.

    Já virei tua seguidora.


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