Elegant Victorian Pincushion :
A Quick and Easy Gift Idea

Linda Gibbs 2007

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Did you enjoy nuts over the holidays? Do you keep them on hand frequently for family and friends? Nuts of any kind are a healthy snack. I purchase various nuts in round containers. They used to be made of light metal but now if you peel off the paper, they are a heavy cardboard. If you are into recycling, as I am, this is a great item to use in the creation of Victorian pincushions.

We all have fabrics, lace, trims, buttons, beads - items that we just can't bring ourselves to toss (even when it is just little "snippets"). Well, this project is a great way to utilize some of your little tidbits of goodies.

This is also a GREAT fast, easy gift for any occasion. Valentines, Easter, Birthday, Special Friend. Guaranteed to be loved by the recipient!

Supply List:

  • Round nut can (various sizes available)
  • 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive**
  • Cardboard
  • Fabric scraps
  • Scissors
  • Cloth tape measure
  • Glue gun/glue sticks
  • Lace
  • Trim
  • Beads
  • Natural fiber (inside pincushion top)


Removing the label is optional (some are glued all the way around, some may be easily removed).

1. You will place your can on cardboard and draw around the bottom of the can with pencil. Cut out 2 cardboard circles. One will be used for the top of pincushion the other for the bottom.

2. Using spray adhesive lightly spray the bottom cardboard circle. Place the cardboard on wrong side of fabric.

3. Cut fabric, leaving 3/8" border around cardboard. Lightly spray along the edge of back of cardboard and with thumb, gently press the fabric around edge and to back of cardboard. Clip and trim to form a smooth fit. Set aside

4. Measure around the can using the cloth tape measure. Allow for a 1/4" of the fabric to be turned under on both top and bottom of the can as well as an overlap so the raw edges will be concealed.

5. Apply fabric to side of can - slowly smooth down, folding raw edges under on side top and bottom.

6. Using a glue gun, add fabric covered cardboard circle to the bottom of the can.

7. Prepare the top of the pincushion by cutting graduated circles of natural fiber, lightly spray adhesive on the cardboard circle and stack the natural fiber circles to form a domed top.

8. Cut fabric for top in circle, allowing enough to cover your natural fiber and be wrapped to the back of cardboard. Lightly spray the natural fiber; lay the wrong side of the fabric on top of the prepared circle and pull down neatly, the fabric will adhere to natural fiber.

9. As with the bottom cardboard, lightly spray the edge of the back of cardboard and with thumb, gently wrap the edge of fabric over cardboard. Use the glue gun to adhere the domed circle to the top of the can.

10. You are now ready to embellish your pincushion.

Grab your treasure box - buttons, charms, that old earring you can't find the mate to - add it to your pincushion. The flowers in the photo are tiny scraps of fabric - transformed into yo-yo flowers (beads on top). Let your imagination go wild! Bless your family and friends with a pincushion they'll treasure! Create an heirloom keepsake!

This is also a great project for a mini-crazy quilt with those tiny little pieces of fabric you hate to throw away.

In the picture the flowers are yo-yo's of velvet with beaded centers.

Cut any size circle out of velvet. Do a running stitch around the edge and pull gathering the edge. Seed beads have been added to the edges and to the centers of the flowers.

You can also stuff your yo-yo's with a little fiber fill and create a puffed flower. Many times I gather tiny little yo-yo's, stuff them and use as a flower center.

**Note: Always use spray adhesive outside. I would suggest you experiment with using the spray adhesive so you feel comfortable using it and understand how it works before you put fabric on container.

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