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Easy Square Pillow Pincushion with Button

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Be Green

Do you keep every scrap of fabric you’ve ever had, even the small pieces you think you’ll never use? You may want to consider therapy. Or perhaps you could just make a couple of these cute pillow pincushions.

Take those small scraps of fabric you have laying around and make a new and unique pincushion. Our instructions are easy to follow with lots of pictures, and we provide you with a printout of the necessary patterns. Notice how we've centered the bird and flower on two of our samples? This is called "fussy cutting" – which has nothing to do with whining. It means centering your pattern piece directly over a design within your fabric that you want to feature.

Click to Enlarge

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

  • Scrap fabric for Pincushion FRONT: one piece that is 4½" wide x 4½" high
  • Scrap fabric for Pincushion BACK: one piece that is 5½" wide x 4½" high (this will be cut in half widthwise) OR two pieces of scrap fabric that are each 2 ¾" wide x 4 ½" high
  • All purpose thread
  • Thread to match Pincushion BACK fabric
  • Contrasting thread for sewing button(s)
  • Poly-fill batting to stuff the pincushion (you can also use small scraps of fabric)
  • Button(s)
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. Download and print out Pincushion FRONT and Pincushion BACK pattern pieces and cut around outside lines. Download PDF Pattern
  2. Pin the Pincushion FRONT pattern to the scrap fabric you are using for the front of the pincushion, and pin the two Pincushion BACK patterns to the scrap fabric(s) you are using for the back of the pincushion.
  3. Cut around the outer edges of all three pattern pieces.

At Your Sewing Machine and Ironing Board


  1. Pin the two Pincushion BACKS right sides together along the 4½" edge.
  2. You are going to create a two mini seams with a gap in the middle. Starting at the top edge, sew a ½" seam allowance for 1½" inches along the seam, back-tacking 3-4 stitches at the beginning and end of this seam. Then leave a 1½" gap in the center. Finally, sew a ½" seam allowance for the remaining 1½" inches to the bottom edge, making sure again back-tack 3-4 stitches at the beginning and end of this seam.
  3. Press this newly sewn seam open, revealing the 1½" opening at the center of the seam.
  4. With right sides together, pin the Pincushion FRONT to the new Pincushion BACK you just created above, and sew a ½" seam allowance around all four edges.
  5. Trim all four corners of the seam allowances.
  6. Using the 1½" opening on the Pincushion BACK, turn the Pincushion right side out, making sure to push out each corner to be as square as possible (the ball head of a pin or the end of a knitting needle is good for this). You will now have an empty Pincushion approximately 3½" x 3½".
  7. Stuff the Pincushion to the desired fullness with poly-fill batting or scraps of fabric, using the 1½" opening on the Pincushion BACK. Be sure to fill out each corner as fully as possible. Make sure your filling is a consistent thickness and density throughout the pincushion.
  8. Using your hand sewing needle and the thread that matches the Pincushion BACK fabric, sew the 1½" opening on the seam closed with a slipstitch.
  9. To jazz things up, you can sew a button through the Pincushion for a quilted effect. The photos below show you the step-by-step method.

Hints and Tips

As noted in the supply list above, small scraps of fabric can be used for stuffing in place of poly-fill batting. This is a good option if you don't have extra poly-fill batting at home or you do not want to buy a full bag of poly-fill batting just for this small pincushion. It's also another good way to use up some of those little scraps you're hoarding.

Since the Pincushion is small, you can use this project as an opportunity to get creative and test out some of those techniques you've been wanting to try. For example, before cutting the Pincushion FRONT and BACK pattern pieces, topstitch your fabric in a contrasting color of thread sew – use a straight stitch or even a decorative stitch. You could also add trims, appliqué or layer several scraps and stitch together.

Make one for you and one for a friend .... or two for you and one for a friend.

Other machines suitable for this project include the Bernina bernette 82e and the Pfaff hobby 1142.


Comments (3)

Sewandsewon said:
Sewandsewon's picture

I just found this and it's YES!!!!!!! and they are going to make Christmas and Hanukkah gifts.  

Teresa S said:
Teresa S's picture
This is an awesome way to use up your scraps and a great little gift!smilies/smiley.gif