Easy DIY Pin Cushion Tutorial

Easy DIY Pin Cushion Tutorial

Pin cushions are a useful and thoughtful gift for quilters, and they make a nice addition to your sewing space! They’re also a cute, fun DIY project. Today, we’re sharing an easy pin cushion tutorial that’s a quick last-minute gift or a fun project for any skill level.

Pin Cushion Supplies

Make a Pin Cushion

1.To make the pin cushion, you’ll need a bowl or plate that is about twice the width of your planter pot opening.

2. Trace around the circular object onto the wrong side of your fabric.

3. Now, you’ll cut out the circle you marked on your fabric. We did this with our favorite Sweet Snips scissors!

4. Next, take a needle and thread and stitch with a long running stitch around the outside edge of the circle about a quarter-inch in from the edge.

You may need to gather the fabric as you go to ensure you have enough thread to complete the stitching.

5. Be sure to go all the way around the circle with relatively even stitches. Just do your best. It’s okay if they aren’t perfect! Then, gently pull the thread to gather the fabric and create a small opening.

6. Fill the cushion with poly-fil or stuffing until it’s the fullest it can be and still close it, periodically testing the cushion by closing and reopening the opening.

7. Once you’re satisfied, stitch the opening closed in several directions and knot the thread to secure it.

Your cushion is all done and ready for the final step!

8. Finally, add your cushion to your planter pot (some other options would be to use your favorite mug or an antique tea cup)! You can use a few dots of hot glue if needed to secure the cushion in place. Now you have a beautiful and functional pin cushion that you made yourself!

It’s time to add your pins and needles! Thanks to your new pin cushion, you’ll always keep track of your prickliest notions, and you can rest easy knowing they’re close at hand in a cute little pincushion!

Giveaway! – CLOSED

Update: Congratulations to Marian Simons our giveaway winner!

And now for a giveaway! Here’s your chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop! To enter, leave a comment below telling us what you plan to turn into a pin cushion or how you like to store your pins and needles!

  • Leave a comment on THIS post to enter
  • The giveaway ends on November 25, 2023, at 11:59 CST
  • One winner will be chosen at random on November 26, 2023
  • Open to all – both US and international
  • We will notify the winner by email and update this post

Share with FQS!

This easy pin cushion is a fun way to use up some of your scrap stash! Share your planter pot pin cushions with us on Facebook and Instagram and tag @fatquartershop so we can see and share your work!

Happy sewing!

Stay connected to Fat Quarter Shop!


        1. My daughter bought me a variety of tea cups, tea pots, sugar bowls. I’m planning on making several pin cushions out of them.

        1. I have this cute antique ceramic black and white dog planter I’ve been wanting to make into a pin cushion. ❤️

    1. I have the little planter that i got flowers in when my son was born
      I put small scissors in it now, but I think a pincushion would be perfect,!

    2. I found a cute little bunny votive candle holder (at least that’s my guess!) at the thrift store. It will make a really cute pincushion! Thanks for the inspiration!

  1. I have one of those little jars that looks like a thimble I am gonna use that. Although those little jars you did are so cute!

    1. I am going to use a white square vase that was my grandmother’s. That way I will have a functional pin cushion and keep her close to me. Thanks for a wonderful idea.

  2. I’ve added these cat pots to my Amazon cart. I think they’re the cutest thing and plan to make these pincushions for the ladies in my Featherweight group for Christmas.

    1. I have a small vintage flower pot in the figure of a swan that will be a terrific choice for a great little pin cushion!!

  3. Adorable! I’m going to use my grandma’s tea cup. I’ve had it for decades and this would be the perfect use for it!

      1. Plan to use a coffee cup my son gave me. Love the cat one. Would be good for my quilt quild Christmas exchange

  4. I have a couple of cute little antique pots that I’ve been saving – these would be perfect to make into pin cushions. Thanks for the great idea and instructions!

    1. I’d love to make these little pincushion for my daughter in law ‘s new craft room. She loves cats, she and my son have 3 cats

  5. Those cat pots are the sweetest! I thought to turn the glass yogurt jars into a pin cushion by using a contrasting fabric for the base. At least I will give it a go! Thank you for this how-to!

  6. I have some clear baby food jars that I can fill with buttons and add the pin cushion on top. These will make cute Christmas gifts!

  7. I love reusing old mason jars and unmatched tea cups and saucers. They make great pin cushions where you can hide notions underneath.

  8. I have a “friendship” mug that I’m going to use for a pin cushion.
    I’ll send it to my Bestie in Kentucky! 🙂

    1. Oh, so cute. Great pincushion for any kind of gift. I ordered the cute cat planters just now. Simple project but fabulous!

  9. I have made several out of some of the cutest things, I have a lil chicken that my granddaughter gave me with a succulent and have since potted up. I think I’ll use her lil chicken! Maybe someday she’ll discover it and see what I did, claim that chicken and become a sewer. I remember how special my grandmothers tomato pincushion was to me as a young woman. These kitties are adorable.

    1. Tea cups! I have a few and they would make adorable pincushions! 💕
      Most of my pins are in a small plastic box that clips shut. I have a few on a magnetic bracelet that is close by and handy when I only need a couple of pins.

  10. I like to store my pins in a closable box for easy transportation. I have my old pincushion that maybe some day I will retire.

  11. I have two antique reproduction teacups that would make absolutely perfect pin cushions! Thsnk you for the tutorial and the great idea!

  12. I would like to turn a small antique tea cup into a pin cushion. Seeing how you did this with the cat pot, it looks fairly simple to adjust the design.

  13. What a cute idea! I would want to use the cat flower pots – perfect for my cat rescuing daughter and she can place it right next to her sewing machine!!

  14. I have some Lori Holt mugs. I’ll be using one of them with some of her fabric. I also like the cat planters used in this tutorial. I’m a cat person 😻 I may have to get some.

    1. These kitties are so so cute! And I’ve enjoyed reading the comments to see what others are going to make. Sew fun! I would like to make a pin cushion out of an old child’s teacup. Very cute and special to me.

  15. I have a lil chicken that my granddaughter gave me with a succulent and have since potted up. I think I’ll use her lil chicken! Maybe someday she’ll discover it and see what I did, claim that chicken and become a quilter. I remember how special my grandmothers tomato pincushion was to me as a young woman. These kitties are adorable.

  16. Neat project. I have a special cup that’s a gift from a friend. It’s too small for coffee. This would be a great way to display it and use it. Thanks.

  17. I have a collection of small items I want to make a pincushion from. The most unique being an antique glass eye cup. Also tea cups, votive candle holders and small milk glass bowls.

  18. Egg cups make fun and whimsical pin cushions. I have one that a friend made me and I love it. You can put aquarium or planter rocks in the base to weight the cup so it doesn’t tip over so easily.

  19. I use magnetic pin cushions for the most part. But do love novelty pin cushions and have a few of those too. I would love to make this DIY pin cushion as a gift for a sewing friend.

  20. I have a vintage purple cow planter that has an oddly shaped opening so I’m going to use the basic idea from the instructions to make the pin cushion. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do it so this tutorial really helped!

  21. I have a small pink flamingo planter that will be perfect for this. We are having a gift exchange at our guild Christmas party and this with a few accessories will be perfect. Thanks for the idea.

  22. I have a milk glass dish that was my mother’s before she passed away. I need to use stronger glue as the last one came unglued.

  23. GREAT IDEA! You can do this with ANYTHING, but I like having several pincushions – since I have various types (and lengths) of pins. It is also good to have a small one like this just for your hand needles. It used to take me so long JUST to find a needle in my stuffed sewing room. It is good to add a little weight at the bottom (buttons that another names is a good idea, or glass beads, for instance). THANKS for the idea!

  24. I will use a coffee mug that was my Mom’s…she taught me to sew when I was 10, and I’ve been sewing for 65 years!! This mug will always remind me of her.

  25. I’m turning a milk glass bowl into a pin cushion. It has a lace rim with holes large enough to put a small scissor and w seam ripper and any other small sewing tool. I’ve made one before my friend has always loved it. This year she will have her own.

  26. I have some vintage tea cup abs saucers think would make super cute on cushions! Can’t wait to try it myself, thank you for this tutorial.

  27. I have some vintage tea cup and saucers I think would make super cute pin cushions! Can’t wait to try it myself, thank you for this tutorial.

  28. I have some small painted cups that would be perfect! I do love cats, so might need to make a cute kitty also!

  29. Love the cute little cat pots, so I will be ordering some of those. Plan to make one for myself to keep next to my machine and others to gift to my quilty friends.

  30. I have a small green flower pot that belonged to my mother. Turning it into a pin cushion would be so cute. Thanks for the idea.

  31. I had to get the same kitty planters & will use a couple for pincushion gifts & some to plant for my daughter. I have different magnetic pincushions for different pin sizes & projects. Thanks for the cute idea!

  32. I like the magnetic ones for pins & my pincushion for needles & safety pins. I like this mug cushion tutorial.

  33. My daughter and I bought small tea pots with a concave lid we made the pin cushion in that lid and put a spool of thread a small pair of scissors thimble and needle threader in side makes a cute display item beside being functional

  34. Using tiny pots for pin cushions is brilliant idea! I liked the tea cup suggestion, too. I have both and plan to give this a try.
    Thank you!

  35. I have a vintage sugar bowl that I bought at a thrift store. It is so lovely, but I rarely use a sugar bowl, so I will turn it into a pincushion and send to my freind for Christmas.

  36. I collect vintage Shawnee pottery. Was made in Ohio from 1940’s thru the 60’s. I have several little pots with fairies. Can’t wait to turn into pincushions!

  37. I just found an adorable mini gingerbread boy ceramic pot about this size. It would be cute to make this with him and cute headed pins sticking out of his head

  38. I have a cute little jam jar that is only 2″ high and 3 1/2″ wide that a friend gave me. I have always thought it would make a cute pincushion; now I know how to make it.

  39. I have a glass trinket box that belonged to my grandmother that would be perfect. She sewed, so I know she’d approve!

  40. I have a teacup that is a family heirloom. I think it would make a great pincushion, and I intend to make one, using the instructions given above!

  41. I use different homemade pin cushions with segments marked for different quilting needles by size; same for Applique needles, same for sharps & same for X-STITCH needles. I just received one, already marked & made from FQS for sewing machine needles & LOVE IT! THANKS FQS STAFF!

  42. I have picked up several teacups with saucers I am planning to use for pincushions. My roommate and I look in Goodwill and thrift shops for these, to keep the cost as low as possible, since we are planning to sell them at the local farmers market, once I am back on my feet (I just had knee replacement surgery, so going to the farmers markets is out of the question for now.)

  43. I plan on using a couple of my mason jars. I’m going to turn the lids into the pincushions and fill the jars up with safety pins in one and buttons in the other one😊

  44. I’ve made several pincushions using this method. One of my favorites was in a little squirrel planter. I used some tiny squirrel fabric and gave it to my best stitching friend.

  45. I recently found some vintage pastel egg cups that I think would be adorable with a bright print fabric insert.

  46. I have a milk glass footed dish which I want to use for a pincushion….it has milk glass loops around the bowl which I will use to hold scissors…thanks for the tutorial…. I needed that!

  47. I often see the cutest little planters at landscaping stores, but don’t grow small indoor plants so couldn’t think of a use for one. Now I have!! They would make the cutest gifts and so quick to make. I definitely want to make some for gifts this holiday season. Thank you!!

  48. I have been having fun making pin cushions but hadn’t thought of planter pots. I have used shot glasses from thrift stores because there are fun ones.

  49. I plan to make my kitty pincushion for my granddaughter who is just learning to do hand sewing. She’s currently working on a small kitty needlepoint and blue is her favorite color so this pincushion will be just the thing to keep her needles handy.

  50. I have some teeny tiny terracotta pots that I have no idea what to do with … until now. Thank you for the inspiration. Photos to follow when I’m done – likely tomorrow as it’s Sunday today and that means church and sister visiting.

  51. I plan on using fabric from my mom’s stash to make the pincushion in a small glass bowl that she always used to serve desserts in. I loss my mom 2 years ago.

  52. I like to store my pins in a wrist pin cushion to keep them close when working on projects. I also like the magnetic pin bowls.

  53. I use pin magnetic pin cushions. I display handmade ladies that my daughter made me. Now I’m excited to trying this project in tea cups.

  54. I’ve used glass or ceramic yogurt containers, votive candle holders, even small creamers and flower pots are just a few items I search for at the thrift stores. The search is part of the fun of creating this one of a kind item!

  55. I have a mini owl planter that I use as a pen holder and a mini porcupine planter that I bought to put a succulent in. Today they become pin cushions for my sewing room!

  56. This is the cutest project! My granddaughter (12) is just beginning to sew and loves cats so it is perfect for her. I went to Amazon and bought them already! Thanks for your inspiration!

  57. I have a quilty mug that I absolutely love (it’s small), they will be PERFECT for this project! I want to make one for sister as well. She’ll love it. Such a cute idea! Thanks for the tutorial. 💕

  58. A wonderful idea for a quick Xmas gift for our Quilty friends.
    I have never tried this way of making a pin cushion but will be this xmas. thank FQS

  59. I have several tea cups left to me by my mother. She was a collector. I was looking for a project to use them. This is perfect!

  60. I have a little doggie planter that has my 3 pups collars wrapped around it and glued in place. I lost all 3 seniors within 18 months. Have decided I would like this sitting in my sewing room where I am at for all of my stress release from work. So I will make a pin cushion out of it…thank you for such an inspiration! 🩷🩷🩷

  61. I have a cute “cottage” pot scrubber holder that I’ve intended to make into a pin cushion for ages and ages. Your post has inspired me to get that project quickly completed!

  62. Lovely idea! Thanks. I have some lovely ‘not fit for purpose’ mugs that I can’t bring myself to throw out. I’m going to do this and give them a new purpose!

  63. I have a small white bowl and a small jar that looks like a thimble, I am going to make pin cushions with them. I like a pin cushion more the magnetic bowls. Thank you for tutorial.

  64. This is so cute! I have a tiny handmade pot that I bought when we we to Maine on vacation. I bought it for my air plant, but it would be so pretty as a pin cushion. 🪡

  65. I think a demitas cup would be cute. I love little pincushions. I have them everywhere! What a cute, and easy, idea!

  66. I am currently using a Zirkel pinholder, but those little cats are just too cute. I may need to expand my pin storage.

  67. What a great idea! I have several little pots I’ve since re homed the plants that came in them to use. Thank you for sharing.

  68. I have an old 4″ ceramic high heeled slipper knick knack my mother used as a mold for crocheted slippers. I think it would be perfect for this. It is white with blue trim and flowers.

  69. I have two pincushions that I like to use when loading up my binding needles on, but otherwise I use magnetic pin holders and also have two wooden pin holders my husband made.
    These are so super cute, love those sweet holders.

  70. I bought a set of 3 owl planters a few months back and this is a perfect way for me to use and display❣️🦉🦉🦉

  71. Love this idea. Found lots of succulent pots on Amazon’s now just need to decide which one. Want a black and white pot with Kaffe fabric. 😀

  72. I have a small elephant planter that I’m planning on using. I have put lizard litter in the bottom and now need to put a top on it. So this will be perfect for it. Thanks for showing me how.

  73. I bought a few planters from a flower shop that was going out of business and have been giving these as gifts. So, I have many different kinds.

  74. I have several Elephant coffee mugs that I think would make great pin cushions. Thanks, as usual for this Great idea.

  75. I would like to make a pin cushion out if one of my Grandma’s fancy antique tea cups. They are really pretty yet I don’t like to use them as I am afraid of breaking them! They would look so cute in my sewing space! Thank you FQS for all your inspiration!

  76. I would use one of my grandmother’s tea cups and one of my mother’s tea cups. I never bought my own china, and these would keep my memories in front of me every day.

  77. Such a cute idea! Thanks for the instructions. I have 3 handmade pin cushions in my sewing area – one by my cutting mat, one by my sewing machine and the third one by my iron. That way I never have to go searching for pins or a place to put my pins. A couple of basic needles are in each one too.

  78. I have the new aqua magnetic pin cushion and love it, but these little cats are so cute. I think I need to make them!!

  79. I recently purchased a vintage puppy planter at an antique mall with a plan to use it for this very purpose. I already have a vintage sheep planter with a pin cushion in it. Thanks for the tutorial and the many blessings you’ve shared for years now.

  80. I plan to use a chipped china coffee cup to make my next pin cushion. Thanks for the tutorial, I didn’t realize how easy it was to make one of these pin cushions!

  81. Thank you for this fun and practical project idea! I have a small cactus cup that I use for pins, but it would be perfect to turn into a pin cushion!

  82. I have small animal shape planters my mom had on the kitchen window sill with cacti in them, This is a wonderful use for them because I did not inherit my mom’s green thumb. Her cacti thrived many years,

  83. I have a wonderful small, old Red Hen planter that will make a beautiful pin cushion. What a great tutorial. Thanks!

  84. I love your pin cushions. What fun! I have found I keep my pins in good shape by using the natural wool ball pincushions.

  85. I gave a lovely floral tea cup that belonged to my mother-in-law. She was also a quilter and I inherited her stash.

  86. I have the perfect Mary Engelbreit cup for a pin cushion for my Mary Engelbreit themed sewing room. Thank you for sharing your cute and useful ideas! ♥️

  87. I’ve got some old tea cups that this would work perfectly for. Good way to get them out of the cabinet and be seen!

  88. I have an antique crystal dessert cup that was my grandmother’s, that I’ve been saving for just this purpose. Thank you, Kimberly, for this tutorial. I can’t wait to use a scrap of my Lori Holt Chicken Salad project to make this. 😋

  89. I love making and collecting pincushions. A small but heavy votive candle holder is what I use for pin cushions. The key word being ‘heavy’. I love your cat cup. On my list to purchase.
    Thanks for the tutorial and ideas.

  90. So far I store mine on a magnetic holder, but this is super cute! It would be fun to find a vintage piece to create a cushion with.

  91. I have many antique salt cellars that I would use to make the pin cushions. They would be wonderful small stocking stuffers.

  92. love this, Quilter friend shared with me yesterday …… going to make these as a gift for our quilt retreat…..now to go shopping for containers….thanks for all that you share with us. it is most loved.

  93. I love pin cushions. I have a cute boxer (old planter?) that I hope to turn into a pin cushion based on your tutorial! Thanks!

  94. I’m going to use this technique with an antique ceramic squirrel I’ve had since I was young. The original puff long ago fell apart. It’s now over 50 years old and I love it, and now know exactly how to renew my little Squirrel to enjoy it on my sewing table. Thank you!

  95. I have some antique egg cups shaped like birds that would be so cute as a pin holder. I also have some small pots that my children painted in school years ago that would be awesome.

  96. What a clever idea! I think I will scout out small containers at the dollar store to see what would be a good fit for a pincushion. Thanks for the inspiration.

  97. How cute is this? What a great idea. Thank you FQS for always coming up with fun projects. I will surely be making some pin cushions soon!

  98. I have a dinosaur planter that absolutely failed to keep my plant alive 😉 so now I can turn it into a pin cushion with some fun fabric, thanks!

  99. I would like to make some holiday pin cushions using mini Santa face mugs. They are the perfect size for sitting next to a stitching chair!

  100. I have made pin cushions with 4 oz Mason jars. Use the lid for the pin cushion and you can add pins in the jar. Another with a small terracotta plant saucer/base. And another with a cup and saucer.

  101. I have a pincushion that is attached to a bag sitting on my sewing machine cabinet. It was a gift when I joined a quilt guild.

    The pincushion in the tutorial would be a good item for selling at quilt shows. Thanks.

  102. I have a gold filigree vanity tray with matching glass trinket holders from my grandmother; going to use one of the trinket holders for my pin cushion. I like to use crushed walnuts in my pin cushions. I’ve made a stand-alone pin cushion, but have always wanted to make one to fit this trinket holder. Thanks for this tutorial!

  103. I recently bought a small planter that had a persons face on it. The pins will then become the hair. I plan to make one for me and one for my daughter.

  104. I have a lovely teaspoon that was my grandmother’s. I plan to use a scrap of red velvet and sew a few seed beads on, and a bit of green ribbon. My hope is it will look like a strawberry.

  105. I have several cute containers I have been collecting to make pin cushions … thanks for this little push to going on this project. Will have to get some going for Christmas gifts. Thanks again for the inspiration!💕

  106. Such a cute idea. I’d use a cute flower pot or planter, but I like tge idea of a teacup! We’ll gave to see what’s at the thrift store! Great idea for the Guild gift exchange!

  107. I store my pins in a magnet tray. But I like the cats pin cushions. I thought about putting them in flower pot pin cushions.

  108. I have a cute blue La Fermiere yogurt pot that I wasn’t sure what to do with – think I have found my use for it. Thanks!

  109. I currently use a pin cushion that doesn’t have a hard bottom and am always sticking myself! I love this project and will make gifts for my sisters and friends once I make one for me. Thanks so much!

  110. I plan to scour my cupboards or a thrift shop for a few little cups or containers. these would be great for our quilt guild giveaways!

  111. Such a cute idea. Thanks FQS! I collect antique/vintage children’s cups. I’m going to use a couple of those, and probably other small cups and pots I have.

  112. So cute! I have a vintage teacup & saucer that I wanted to make into a pincushion, but I may get some of these pots instead. I mostly keep my pins in those magnetic dishes b/c there are so many. I also use a will pincushion for small projects. The needles I am using I keep on a magnetic needle minder.

  113. I have an antique tea cup with the slightest crack so no longer good to drink out of but it would make the sweetest pincushion.

  114. I have just made a pin cushion out of a Mason Jar I wasn’t using. It is perfect on my shelf. I used your directions as well adding a ribbon around the top. My second attempt was to convert an old antique Lamb flower pot/ornament. It had been collecting dust so now it is a useful reminder the family member who gave it to me.

  115. I have many pin cushions that were made for me, antique tomato style that my antique collecting aunt gave to me, and magnetic dishes. I use them all for different types of pins and needles.

  116. I have some pretty tea cups given to me by my neighbor. I will make pincushions out of them & give some to my stitchy friends!

  117. I have a few small old fashioned pickup trucks to make into pin cushions. I also have 2 clear skulls to make pin cushions for my diehard biker sisters that stitch together all the time. I plan to fill the portion under the pin cushion with green & white pebbles. I love making these.

  118. I bought a lidded sugar bowl (on sale because the creamer had broken) from the Titanic Museum in Branson Missouri. I bought it with the intention of making a pin cushion but never got around to it. With the help of this instruction I’ll get it done!

  119. I am going to make two. One will be made out of a Santa egg cup and one will be made out of an owl egg cup to go with my Owl Quilt from FQS.

  120. I’m going to upcycle terra cotta pots that La Fermiere yogurt comes in. Possibly using wool or embroidered cotton with motifs that are meaningful to those who receive them.

  121. I have several mini mason jars that used to be candles. They would be perfect to turn into pin cushions. I just wish my friends sewed so that I would have someone to give them to.

  122. I’m going to make some small pincushions with left over HSTs.

    I like FQS’s idea also. I’m going to hunt for small cute plant pots or bowls to make some.

  123. I love the cats and will order some for pincushions. After reading the comments I’m thinking about what I already have that could be used.

  124. I have several Oui Yogurt small glass jars that would make a perfect pin cushion. Also, napkins rings could be used like the gold & silver ones & use velvet for the pin top. Very elegant!

  125. So Cute! A link to the planters would be appreciated as I collect cats. I have already gone through several pages of cat planters on Amazon and have not found them.

    1. Hi Marie! They are linked on the supply list, but it looks like the exact ones we used are not showing anymore only the three other types. My guess is that they sold out. Hopefully they’ll be back soon!

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