Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Stylish Hat Pincushion: a Tutorial

I hosted a pincushion swap and found so many cute pincushions online and quite a few nice tutorials. I didn't see anything like this one so I thought I would share mine with you.

This was the original, it was Mr. Rainbow Creek's Grandma Bs' pincushion. I adopted it after she passed away and I found it in her sewing box.

Here is one that I made, it doesn't have quite the same character as the original but it turned out pretty cute, and I added a few of my own embellishments.

To make this pincushion you will need: Craft glue and/or hot glue gun. 1 tuna can, 1 fat quarter of fabric, 1 8"X8" square fusible fleece, polyfill stuffing, 8"X8" muslin square, 1 piece of corrugated cardboard at least 8"X8". Optional embellishments: coordinating baby rick rack, 4"X24" strip of tulle, 3/4" wide ribbon for hat band, 1/4" wide ribbon for hanging loop, ribbon roses.
Trace an 8" diameter circle onto cardboard, score along the marked circle with rotary cutter or utility knife and then cut out circle with scissors.

Cut a 10"X10" square from the fabric.

Now you will want to cut the fabric square into an approx 10" circle. Fold the square into a triangle and then fold in half several times to make a cone shape.

Cut off the top triangle part of the cone and open the fabric up. Voila! You should have a 10" circle.

Using this same method make 1 8" circle for the hat top and one 8" circle from the muslin square.

Don't worry if you missed and somehow end up with a flat side like I did, it will work out fine.

Now you will want to make a big Yo Yo from the circle.

If you happen to have a sewing machine handy you can make this a lot easier by quickly running a gathering stitch around the outside edge of the circle using a long stitch length.

If you want to do it by hand run a basting stitch all the way around and leave the ends long enough to pull to gather.

Insert the cardboard circle into the yo-yo and gently pull the threads to tightly cover the cardboard. Put a bead of glue along the edge of fabric and press it tightly to hold.

Take a big handful of polyfill stuffing and make a tight ball. Wrap the ball of fiberfill with the muslin circle.

Use craft glue or hot glue gun to secure the ball of stuffing in tuna can, keeping the top as smooth as possible.

If you are using rick rack embellishment glue it to the outside edge of the hat brim.

Cut a circle of fusible fleece to fit the 8" circle and fuse it to wrong side of fabric.
Gather the circle by hand or machine basting stitch.
Cover the tuna can with the circle and pull it as tight as possible without breaking your thread. Work the gathers around the can so they lay evenly. Glue into place on bottom of can.

Glue the hat top to the cardboard circle with hot glue gun or craft glue. Push down hard to make a good tight seam.

Embellish with tulle and ribbon hat band.
Take a gathering stitch through center of the tulle strip and pull it tight around the bottom edge of the hat, tie a knot to hold in place.
Glue ribbon hat band in place, leaving enough loose ribbon on each end to tie a knot and leave a streamer. Glue ribbon roses in place.

Make a hanging loop from the 1/4 inch wide ribbon and glue into place on bottom of hat.

I tied a ribbon to a pair of thread snipper scissors and glued a piece of velcro to the hat and the bow to attach the scissors.

Here is my adorable Summer Strawberry hat pincushion. Cute enough to hang on the wall of your sewing room or use everyday to hold you pins and needles close by!

Are you going to try making this pincushion? Please comment and leave me a link for your pics if you do! I would love to see how yours turns out and how you choose to embellish it!
And of course, if you have any questions feel free to ask.



  1. I'm certainly going to try this, especially since I was the recipient of this beautiful creation. Guess it's tuna fish sandwiches for lunch!!! lol

  2. Have fun! I hope you will post a pic on your blog so I can see how it turns out.

  3. This is really neat! And the tutorial is fantastic, thanks for all the photos. Really anyone could do this.

  4. When I saw the photo, I immediately thought "old CDs". I have a stack of them that I don't want to throw away and have been looking for a cool craft where I can use them. Thanks.

  5. Es precioso seguro que lo hago, un beso

  6. I did this today. And it turned out very well. I didn't have any tuna cans so I just used a cardboard tube I made for the top portion of the hat. That worked very well. I also made the entire thing (mine was smaller than the directions called for) on top of a small box so it could be used to store additional items. Thanks for the directions!

  7. What a wonderful tutorial, i intend to use it.

  8. Hola!! Una muy buena idea. Gracias

  9. I have made one of these and am working on another. I did have to use a larger piece of fabric to cover the hat 'brim' as it was too small. Still, I am very thankful for your directions and guidance to make this. It is a fun pattern and so cute!!

  10. So nice to hear from you, glad you enjoyed my little tutorial! I haven't made one of these in a while, I think I might have to do a few now too for some Spring gift swaps.

  11. marie jo
    très beau, dans le même genre d'idée j'ai utilisé un bouchon de bouteille de lait donc mon chapeau est plus petit mais le principe reste le même amitié

  12. Thanks a lot for the tutorial. I made one too and it was real fun and quick as well. If you want to have a look at it, visit the post on my blog:

    Really great idea!

  13. Thank you for sharing this with us. I love the hat.

  14. Hi everyone, just to tell you, if you use steel wool (that you use for washing pots) to fill this pincushion (firmly packed), then your pins will stay sharp forever!!! I never have a problem with blunt pins!!! Hope this will help you all. Have a great day!!


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