Monday, March 19, 2012

DIY Custom Pin Cushion

I have been needing a pin cushion for a very, very long time. 
You see, my current method was to remove the pins from their little cup, use them in the object to be sewn and then set them on the table as I pull them out while sewing. 
This results in many, many pins making their way to our carpeted floor where my sweet husband then finds himself trying to navigate a minefield of spikes.
I'm sure you can imagine that he objects to this way of life. My deal is that pin cushions are either boring or expensive. I've been wanting to make one for a while so that it can be cute + cheap, but hadn't gotten around to it. I was finally inspired to get moving by an adorable line of pin cushions from my favorite antique store. They were beyond cute. In fact, when I have the extra cash, I still want to buy one. Hers were like mine, only they had a little loop for hanging + a hand painted image. I'm not a very good artist. Mine have no images. THAT is why I'm still going to buy hers :) 
The process was actually really easy and because I couldn't decide which I liked better, I made mine double sided. Feel free to do the same!
(1) Cut it. The fabric I used also came from the same antique shop. It's vintage and fantastic. I love it because the previous owner actually had started to make a dress from it. The bodice is completely done and I plan to use the fabric to finish it. I have no idea why she didn't! I used a remnant piece from it, though. Mine is about 6 inches by 5 inches. Remember to leave room for seam allowance. I folded mine in half, but you can always cut out two identical pieces.
(2) Stitch it. Place the 'right' or pretty sides together and pin all around. Run it through your sewing machine or stitch by hand. Remember to leave an opening at the corner! Flip it right side out (using that open corner!)
(3) Stuff it. I hate buying fluff. I think it's overpriced. I go to goodwill and get the cheapest (decorative- can't bring myself to use a bed pillow) pillow they have, run it through a washing machine and use THAT stuffing. You won't need much for this, by the way. Just a bit. I had to get stuffing for a costume this week (my traveling dance team is going to an after-school program Thursday evening) & a family pillow I'm working on. This was the extra. After your cushion is nice and fluffy, blind stitch it closed.
(4) Embellish it. Technically you should use a sturdy material such as canvas for this project. I didn't have any and I really liked this fabric, so I embellished using some extra burlap from an old bag. I'll stick the pins into that part of the cushion. You could also use an old grocery store tote bag. Anything nice and sturdy. I cut out a heart + rectangle shape and treated them with fray check. Burlap is very much prone to fraying. I left the heart as is and hot glued it on. I used a stencil and a sharpie to monogram the rectangle with an 'A'. Then I used Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Paint in Rose Quartz over top with a small brush. I allowed it to dry fully and again, hot glued it on.
This would make a fun gift for the seamstress in your life. It doesn't technically require a sewing machine or even a lot of sewing skills, so anyone can do it. You may not hear a lot from me this week, I wasn't able to do my posts in advance. Generally I do everything over the weekend, but I came down with a nasty illness this weekend that kept me from getting anything done. I can only guarantee three posts at the most. I'll try to get a fourth one in there, but I'm still unable to really move around. In other news, it is GORGEOUS outside! I hope you're able to enjoy the beautiful weather. I wish you all the best, and as always, thanks for reading! 

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