DIY Pin Cushion made with Linen

Handmade Pin Cushion with Embroidery

When the calendar for the Int’l Bloggers Club said linen, I knew exactly the little piece of linen I wanted to use. I scored a vintage piece of linen at a garage sale its not quite large enough to create a linen bag, so I have it stashed to make some sewing notions out of it.  The Internation Bloggers Club gave me the incentive to start, so today’s post is how to make a DIY Pin Cushion with embroidery.

The pincushion has two parts, the linen embroidered top and a fabric covered jar bottom.  This way you can use the pin cushion as a small sewing kit.  So handy if you don’t sew often, or if you’re like me and live in a three-story, where you want a few sewing goodies stored together while you craft something in front of the TV.

Empty jar for making a linen covered sewing kit

The container is a leftover hair treatment jar that I washed out.  You can use any plastic jar that is a size that you like.  I suggest getting the jar first so you can decide the size of embroidery pattern you need to make for the top.

Small jar with lid

Small piece of linen

Clip art, carbon paper

Embroidery needle, small scissors, small embroidery hoop

Embroidery cotton

Hot glue gun, glue

Scrap of pretty fabric

Mod Podge, small brush

Adding Embroidery to the Pin Cushion

For the pattern, I didn’t use an actual embroidery pattern but clipart,  Linen is such a vintage fabric that I chose to embroider it with a  vintage sewing machine pattern.    Here is the link so you can purchase the same or (not an affiliate link).  You can also find free clipart and use that instead, I suggest a sewing machine, needle, and thread, a dressmaker frame outline, or scissors.

Once you have your pattern trace it onto your linen using carbon paper.  To do this sandwich a piece of carbon paper between the linen and the clipart.  Trace the outline.

Transferring the pattern for embroidery using clipart

To embroider the vintage sewing machine you will need 4 colours of embroidery thread, blue, soft pink, soft green, and grey.

Outline all the lines on the sewing machine using a simple back stitch.  There is a little bit of satin stitch on the heart shape, and the simple leaves are a single lazy daisy stitch.  It embroiders very quickly, I did mine while watching a movie.

The picture shows you the placement of the colours and stitches.

Attaching fabric to the top of a handmade sewing kit.

Pin Cushion Top

Center the top of the jar you’re using over the embroidered sewing machine motif, draw a circle two inches wider than the jar top and cut out.

Make a small rolled seam all around the edge of the circle.  You want to do this as neatly as possible but you will be covering it with lace, so you don’t need to be too fussy with the stitches, just make sure the edge is finished well.

Apply glue to the top and push on some polyester stuffing.    Press in place.

Iron the embroidered linen to remove any wrinkles.  Starting at one side attach a portion of linen to the top.  Then attach a little on the opposite side.  Continue adhering the fabric to the lid until its fully covered and attached all the way around.

Attaching the top on a DIY pin cushion.

My first plan was to crochet a simple border around the edge of the pincushion linen top, but it didn’t look right once I placed it on the bottom portion.   I removed the thin crocheted edge and replace it with a one-inch wide length of cotton lace.

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Handmade Pin cushion with pretty embroidery.

Pin Cushion Bottom

The bottom of the jar is just fabric wrapped around the plain jar.  The bottom of my jar is round with a flat bottom and a smaller neck.    I could have used mod podge and strips of fabric to cover it, but I wanted a softer look to match the linen top.

A feminine pin cushion or sewing kit with embroidery.

Start by making a fabric circle. To find the size, measure your jar, start at the top rim, around the bottom of the jar, then up the other side to the top of the second rim.  (12″), add an inch (13″) Fold your fabric in half so you have a folded edge.  Using a string or pipe cleaner and a piece of chalk. Attach the chalk to one end.  Measure back half the measurement of the jar (6.5″). Place one end of the string in the center and make an arch using the chalk to draw a circle.

Using chalk to draw a circle onto fabric.

Cut out the fabric,  fold it in quarters, find the center point and mark it with chalk. Place your container over the center mark and confirm your cut fabric circle is large enough.

Using mod podge paint the bottom and the outside rim of your jar.

Its a challenge to neatly wrap the fabric around the spherical and flat shape of the bottom of the jar.  This is how I did it.

Fold one side of the fabric up and over the jar.  Make sure the bottom and top are attached with the mod podge.  Repeat on the other side.  You will have two excess flaps of fabric.

How to cover a DIY pin cushion in fabric.

Make sure to coat the inside ridge of the jar with mod podge.  Starting at one side fold little pleats as close to the same size as possible, fold each pleat over the top before creating the next pleat.  Repeat until the fabric is tight against the jar.   You may find that there is excess fabric on the inside of the jar, or that it’s not perfectly smooth.  We will fix that soon.

Repeat with the other side.

Once you have all the fabric folded around the jar, work on the inside, clipping off any excess fabric.  Take off an edge that needs trimming, apply more mod podge between the folds and reattach.   I had to fix two spots.

Trimming fabric on DIY pin cushion

I thought the extra length of the linen would completely cover the seam where the pieces fit together but the edge stuck out to much instead of flowing down the jar.  Leaving the top on it own was something I considered because the top portion was actually really cute.   The problem was I wanted a little sewing organizer that I could take with me to hold the thread, a needle, and maybe some pins as well.   To finish the little sewing container I removed the crochet edge and replaced it with a small length 1-inch wide ribbon.

A DIY pin cushion or sewing kit made with an embroidery top.

To add the ribbon I put the jar together and with a hot glue gun, I glued along the outer edge making sure the top of the ribbon adhered well, and that the ribbon laid downwards nice and straight.

An easy embroidery craft idea, a DIY pin cushion

International Bloggers Posts all about Linen/Silk

Enjoy the creativity of my blogging friends.  Our styles are widely different and I love seeing what they create on the same topics as I do.  Enjoy!

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  1. So very pretty, Leanna! I love the embroidered sewing machine and the sweet soft colours that you chose!! Makes me want to did our my embroidery thread and get sewing!!

    1. Thank you Sam. Embroidery is one of my favorite crafts, it’s like painting with no cleanup, especially if you keep the stitches simple. Glad to hear you like it.

  2. Julie Briones says:

    So stinking adorable! LOVE the embroidery transfer… smart lady! Hope you share on Homestyle Gathering!

    1. Will do Julie. It’s been a rough week this week, but I will pop over. Hugs lea

  3. That’s beautiful Leanna. I really love your idea of using a jar for the pincushion. Having storage for sewing bits and bobs together with the pincushion just makes so much sense and when the whole thing looks this good, it’s extra special. As Marie said, it’s a really special idea for a gift and something that the receiver can use for many, many years

    1. Thank you Michelle. I “try” and keep my craft stuff neatly organized and enjoy hand sewing in the living room. This little jar should keep it all neatly together for me.

    1. Hi Susan. I like how it turned out. I need to make a needle envelope as well. I recently popped over to Super Mom No Cape for your tutorial as well. Love it.

  4. Leanne you have created a pin cushion that should always be on the dresser to be shown off. It really is more a work of art than a plain pin cushion. Now be careful when sticking those pins in there. 😉

    1. Thank you for the kind feedback Mary. As I am sure you know I enjoy doing needle crafts so this pretty little sewing notion will be nice to have.

  5. It’s beautiful Leanna, really a piece of art! I’d display it and never store it. Everything was just meant to go together for this, you’ve really created something special! Love it!

    1. What a sweet and kind comment Katrin. I have a couple more little sewing notions to create using the linen. Such a fantastic topic. I enjoy the Int’l bloggers very much.

  6. Such a pretty pin cushion, Leanna. Love that you recycled a jar so it has storage for notions inside. The adorable embroidered vintage sewing machine on crisp white linen and the eyelet lace adds that beautiful feminine touch! This would make a wonderful Mother’s Day or Bridal Shower gift 🙂

    1. This is easy enough for a teenager to create on their own and homemade gifts are always the most thoughtful. Thanks for the idea.

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