Fabric Scraps – A Pincushion


Hello everyone, most recently I made myself a proper pincushion. This post is an extension of a post I did a few weeks ago about using fabric scraps that you can read here. But this pincushion is very special to me because it is made of recycled materials and is inspired by a beautiful Russian pincushion I found online long ago.


Before I just used this plastic contain which proved to have its own issues, such as poking your fingers when you would reach in to take a pin, knocking over the container and spilling the pins everywhere, not being able to distinguish the sewing needles from the pins, etc. So I knew I had to change the arrangement I had.


And I knew that I wanted something different from the regular pincushion (a basket with a pillow tucked inside it or a tomato) with something to keep my scissors and thread in so that I can conveniently take them with me. With this in mind, when I found an image of a pincushion when searching the web for Russian textiles and it was perfect! So I modeled the one that I made after this image and it isn’t perfect but it works for me now and maybe in the future I can take what I learned from this project and apply it to a better version next time (though I don’t plan on making a new pincushion any time soon).


The first thing that I knew I had to find to make this pincushion was a box that had a sliding drawer. So I was on a search for the right kind of box for the structure and I found an empty matchbox! Not the sturdiest of boxes but it was the closest thing I could find to work and to its benefit it is the right size. I can fit my travel/hand sewing scissors that I mainly use for snipping threads and a few spools of thread in the box with no problem, which is all I need the box to hold.


I also used the fabric scraps that I had from a sewing and dyeing project that I did earlier in the summer to cover the box. I’m no expert on covering matchboxes with fabric so I took a while to mull over the best methods. I asked a few people what their thoughts were and then I set to work. First I made strips of fabric backed with interfacing so go around the edges of the sliding box, making sure to tuck under the raw edges so there would be no fraying. I also backed all the flat laying (none edging just stretch and cover) fabrics with the interfacing because after some glue tests I discovered that the fabric is translucent so whatever pattern that was on the match box would show through, which is an undesirable quality visually.


Once I had all my fabric pieces figured out I got to the covering of the actual box. I used glues because that was the easiest way to cover the box, and I used two different types of glue: spray glue and gorilla super glue. I used the first for gluing the fabric to the cardboard and the later glue for gluing down the fabric corners that would stick out and for the more immediate/ smaller corner gluing jobs that I needed to do.


I started the assemblage by covering the drawer box with the fabric. I started with the bottom, then glued the sides, then the corners, and then lastly I glued the strips I made to wrap around the sides and made sure the seams would be on the inside of the box when the whole thing is put together.


After the drawer was put together I started the actually pin cushion part. This was the intimidating part because how to you make a flush pillow on top of a box? I started with the pillow and I didn’t back this fabric scrap with interfacing because I wanted the thinnest fabric to stick the pins through for ease of use. I started with gluing the fabric to one side of the box then left enough slack fabric to create the pillow portion before gluing the other edge of the fabric to the parallel side of the box. I hope that makes sense… Moving along, I then stuffed the fabric arch gap with stuffing and then proceeded to try and glue the other two edges to the inside top of the box. I used the gorilla glue for this bit. And I have to say that this bit was the most complex and intimidating to do. After the pillow was done the rest was a piece of cake with covering the bottom half of the box like I did for the drawer.


I hope that brief attempt at a walk through of what I did to assemble the box makes sense. But on the whole I would say that is it a go by feel type of project. I am very happy with my pincushion and hope that it will serve me well for a long time. The only issue I would tell you to look out for is not layering the fabric too thick inside the main box or on the outside of the drawer box because then it makes sliding the drawer in and out very difficult and not very practical. You want an easy sliding drawer.


I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope that it may inspire you with some reusing and repurposing projects. Until next time!



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