Sewing Pretty Little Pincushions: The Keepsake Pincushion Tutorial

In Part 3 we have a special treat! Donna Kinley is joining us to share a treasured keepsake pincushion tutorial. Follow along as she demonstrates how to turn something special into a life-long treasured keepsake!

Let’s take a look at creating a pin cushion using a sentimental keepsake as the starting point.  When my daughter was in high school, she made a small pottery vase in art class and gave it to me as a gift.  I wanted to find a special way to use it so that I would see it often and decided to create a place for my hand-sewing needles with it.  I love the way it turned out. 

This type of pincushion would make a great gift for a friend, or to pass down from one generation to the next.  You probably have a number of items that could be used for this type of pincushion.  

You might have a small piece of pottery, a special inspirational mug, or a sentimental teacup.  Antique glass could work, or you could use a seashell from a memorable vacation. 

Maybe you have some vintage ceramic pieces that might work.  Your item just needs to have some sort of opening in which to build the pincushion. 

For this demonstration, the focus will be mainly on this cute little antique ceramic piece. 

You will also need:

  • Some fiber-fill type stuffing or fabric scraps
  • A small bar or piece of soap – partially used hotel soaps, travel size bars, or small decorative soaps work well.
  • Some wool felt or quilt batting – 1/8 inch thick wool felt works well.
  • A small piece of fabric – to make this even more sentimental, use a piece from something that belonged to someone special such as her quilting fabric, a scarf, or part of a pillowcase or piece of clothing.

Some other items you’ll want to have on hand are: craft scissors, straight pins, an orange stick or similar tool, hand sewing needle, thread, and thread snips.

You may wonder what the soap is for. It will help protect the tips of the needles from getting dulled by hitting the bottom of a hard container.  We’ll wrap the soap in felt to create the pincushion. Wool felt is great because it is so easy to mold into shape with some gentle pressure and kneading. 

Using the shape that works best for your project, create the pincushion by layering the felt until it fits the container you have chosen. After covering it with fabric, place the pincushion into your container, using the orange stick to help position it, if needed.  You could add a bead of glue around the edges of the pincushion to help hold it to the container if it tends to slide around.  Now you’re ready to add your needles. A piece of knotted thread in each needle will make them less likely to get lost down inside of the pincushion.

Look around at the items you may have and then follow along to create your own Keepsake Pincushion!


Make a few for gift giving (and a keepsake for yourself) while enjoying a stroll down memory lane as you create this fun project.

1 Comment


October 19, 2021

What a creative idea!

Leave a comment