Tutorial: Tea cup pin cushion

21:45, Jun 13 2012

Lots of you have emailed me or commented to say that you felt affection for my tea cup pin cushions and asked for a tutorial. My mum showed me how to do this and I was really thrilled when I realised how very easy it was. So here's how it's done...


One tea cup, vintage, retro or any kind you'd like

A piece of material about 20cm (nothing stretchy)


Hot glue gun (with glue)


Needle and two strands of embroidery thread in any colour


Enough brocade or ric-rac to go around rim of cup

Button, rose or anything you'd like to stick on top

Step One:

Take your fabric (make sure it is ironed) and lie flat with the right side facing down. Draw a circle on the back about 19 cm in diameter. I traced around a side plate. Cut out circle.

Step Two: 

Using a needle and the thread strands and starting from the underside of the fabric, stitch 'in and out' all the way around the circle about 5mm from the edge. Hold both ends of your thread and draw the circle closed until you have a little pouch which will look just like a tiny shower cap.

Step Three:

Stuff your pouch until it is very firm, making sure you hold on to the knotted end of your thread to make sure it doesn't pull through the fabric.

Once your pouch is stuffed, draw the pouch as tightly closed as you can - I use embroidery thread as normal thread has broken at this stage in the past. Knot the end of your thread but don't cut it. For extra security, stitch through the drawn in sides of the pouch and then knot and cut the thread again.


Step Four:

Heat the glue gun until it's ready. You need to move reasonably fast at the gluing stage as the cold cup surface makes the glue harden quickly. Make a ring of glue about 1cm down on the inside of the cup and then press your pouch on and down, making sure it is level and holding in place. This is partly why it is important for your pouch to be firmly stuffed.



Step Five:

Once the pouch glue has dried completely, which will only take a few minutes, take your brocade or ric rac and measure around the rim of the cup and cut to length, make sure to include an overlap of about 1cm. The brocade or ric rac will be glued on to cover where the pouch meets the cup giving it a tidy finish (we're almost done). Starting at the place on the rim where the handle is, spread just a few centimetres of glue on and stick on your trim. Use pins to hold it in place while the glue dries. Repeat all the way around the cup making sure your trim is level. Overlap very slightly at the end and make sure you have no loose threads on your trim.

Step Six:

Take the button or fabric rose and glue onto the top, making sure no glue can be seen. Leave for 30 minutes or so until all the glue is dry and then remove the pins.

Sit back and admire the fruits of your labour.


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