I am excited to share a fun Holiday inspired peppermint pincushion! This would make a great gift for all your stitchy friends!
This sewing project uses the English Paper Piecing technique. A paper pattern is cut for the individual shapes that help maintain and stabilize the individual shapes as you stitch the pieces together. If this technique is new to you here is a great and quick tutorial.
Related: Felt Stitched Ornaments
The hand stitching makes for a great carry-along project. So, whether you are waiting at the doctor’s or dentist’s office you can enjoy your time by working on your pincushion.
Time to Select Your Fabrics and Gather Supplies and Tools For The PinCushion
These should make several pincushions!
- 1/8 yard of two fabrics for the swirl top
- 1/8 yard of fabric for the side
- one fat quarter or a 1/4 yard of fabric for the bottom circle
- fiberfill stuffing
- DIY button covers or your favorite buttons
- 2/3 yard of trim (optional)
- freezer paper (optional)
- hand needle
- sewing machine
- straight pins
Step-By-Step Instructions for the Peppermint Pincushion
1. Begin by copying the swirl template. My template measures about 2 5/8 inches from top to tip and about 1 3/8 inches wide at the widest point. You can increase or reduce the size of the template on your printer and adjust fabric requirements.
2. Once you have the swirl copied, trace 12 swirls onto the paper side of the freezer paper and cut out on the drawn line. I like to use freezer paper and press my template onto the wrong side of my fabric, then baste. Note: the freezer paper keeps everything nice and neat, but if you would rather make your swirls out of scraps of paper, that works too!
3. Press 6 freezer paper swirls onto the wrong side of your first fabric (I used the red stripe fabric) and 6 freezer paper swirls onto the wrong side of your contrasting fabric (my text fabric). Cut the fabric around the swirl template leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Wrap the seam allowance around to the back side of the template and baste in place. Repeat for all 12 swirls.
4. Using your hand needle and thread, stitch the swirls together, alternating a stripe swirl and a contrasting swirl. Take care to match the ends and ease in the fullness in the middle. English Paper Piecing on a curve can be a bit tricky. Note: it is easier to stitch with the concave piece facing you.
5. When you have finished stitching all 12 swirls into a circle, press your pincushion top well. Note: the very center will have a small area where the points come together that is not completely stitched. This area should not be any larger than your button, but you can take a few small stitches to pull that area closed. Remember it will be covered by the button.
6. Now it is time to take the papers out of your pincushion top. First, snip all of the basting stitches, and then gently pull the papers out. Remove any stray threads. Make sure you keep the seam allowance around the circumference of the circle pressed under.
7. To make the bottom template of the pincushion, I simply traced around the edge of the top. You can measure the radius (center) and use a pencil compass to trace a circle, but I took a much easier approach and just traced around the circumference of the circle onto a piece of computer paper. Cut out your bottom circle template and trace or pin it to the wrong side of the bottom fabric. Cut the bottom circle out on the drawn line.
8. For the side strip, I cut a piece of fabric 1 1/2 inches wide by about 17 3/4 inches long. To find the length for the side piece, measure across the center of your pincushion top. Now multiply that measurement by 3.14. Next, add .5 inches for your seam allowance. You can round this to the nearest 1/4 inch. It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit since you will ease in any fullness.
9. Take your side strip and using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, stitch the two short ends together (right sides facing) – to make a circle.
10. Pin the side circle with the right sides facing to the top of the pincushion. Ease in any fullness.
11. Using your sewing machine stitch around the entire top using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and the end.
12. If you would like to add a trim to the top of the pincushion, add it now before the bottom is attached. Note: Another option for the trim is to sandwich it between the layers of the top and side before you sew them together. This would work for ball fringe or ricrac trim.
13. Pin the bottom circle of the pincushion to the top and side unit. This will be pinned and stitched in the same manner as the top. ***The only difference is, you want to leave a 2-inch opening to turn the pincushion right side out!***
14. Stuff your pincushion full with fiberfill and stitch the opening closed with a hand needle and thread.
15. Add a button to the top center and one on the bottom center. Pull the buttons tight to create a puffy little peppermint pincushion!
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More Sewing Projects
- Stitch On – Embroidered Needle Book is a quick project even beginnings can put together.
- Cross Stitch Letters are a great way to teach kids to sew!
- How to Make a Fabric Corner Bookmark – Fun & Easy! is a great way to use up scraps of fabric and it also makes a really cute gift.
- Handmade Felt Ornaments, Gift Tags, and Bunting felt is super easy and inexpensive to work with.
- Framed Holiday Hand Embroidery is a quick and easy handmade gift that is fun to make and receive.
- DIY Gifts To Sew For Christmas with just a little planning you can give a homemade gift for everyone on your list.
What did you think of the English Paper Piecing technique for making your peppermint pincushion? Did you stick with the peppermint theme or try something different? I would love to hear what you used.