Pincushions can be so quick and easy to sew, especially when using felt. Learn how to make a pincushion out of felt with this simple square design that features wool blend applique on the front.
Making a pincushion by hand is so easy when you choose felt fabric because there are no edges to hem. This fun little mushroom house design took me less than a few hours to whip up.
Little applique designs like these can make incredibly cute little gifts for friends and family who love to sew. An ideal handmade gift too for a sewing beginner.
How to Make a Pincushion Out of Felt: Easy Square Design With Applique
This easy to make, square pincushion with its felt applique pattern is a very cute make. I’ve used a quirky mushroom house design taken from the small template of my Mini Mushroom Pattern but you can use any little pattern that you like.
The square pincushion is perfect as a beginner felt project and great to work up as a quick DIY gift.
What You Need to Make These:
- Small felt pieces in your chosen colors
- Embroidery floss or threads
- Sewing needle
- Sewing pins
- A temporary fabric marking tool
- Fiber fill toy stuffing
- Optional accessories: beads, buttons, ribbon
- A mushroom pattern
There are simple mushroom and toadstool drawings online that you can use to make your own little applique pattern with or draw your own. Look for mushroom outline in any search engine.
A square felt pincushion is one of the very easiest and quickest designs for you to sew. It is worth spending time on the front design which you can match to your favorite colors and themes.
Pincushion Pattern Pieces Needed and Felt Colors
You can use any applique pattern you like if you don’t want to use my mushroom pattern. I suggest picking a mini applique design that will fit onto a background no larger than 4 inches square.
For this mushroom pattern, you’ll need two 4 inch squares of felt for the front and back of the pincushion. Light blue is a great choice of color for the squares in this design.
You’ll need a mushroom outline (one A from my pattern – the small template) in a cream or pale brown. A mushroom cap (B) in red, the spots (C, D, E, F and G) in white and H and I (the door and door window) also in red and white.
Step 1: Cut All the Pincushion Pattern Pieces
A 4 inch square is just large enough to add some applique on the front and about as big as you’d probably want a finished pincushion to be. This size happened to work perfectly with my own design.
You’ll need to cut 2 squares in the same color felt for the front an back. You may have a 4 inch quilting square that you can trace around. It is also very easy to mark out your own square template using cardboard.
Once you have your square template and your printed pattern pieces cut out, it is an easy job to trace around them with a water soluble marker onto the felt. Trace and cut out all your felt pieces so they are ready to assemble.
Step 2: Start Assembling Your Applique to the Pincushion Front
Lay out one of the felt squares in front of you. This will be your pincushion front.
Take a mushroom outline (A from my pattern) and position in the middle of the square. Add a red mushroom cap (B) on top of this design.
You can pin these pieces in place with very fine pins (I like dressmakers pins) or use a fabric glue such as Sewline to keep these in place while you stitch. Another option is to tack them in place with a couple of large stitches.
Step 3: Sew Around the Mushroom Cap
Blanket stitch is a great choice of stitch for applique patterns. I used it around the red mushroom cap in a matching embroidery floss. I used 2 strands of floss for this small pincushion unless otherwise stated.
You can choose any stitch you like, whip stitch is also popular for applique. Running stitch close to the edge would work great if you’re a beginner.
Step 4: Sew the Stalk and Door in Place
Once the cap is sewn down, sew the door (H) in place. I used a tiny running stitch for the red door. Then sew around the stalk with a matching color thread.
Step 5: Sew on the Small White Parts and Finish the Pincushion Front
Now you can move onto white thread and sew on all the small parts with the door’s window (I) and all the spots for the mushroom cap. I used running stitch for the spots and a large crossed shape stitch over the window.
Note that you will need to cut the spots to fit around the edge of the mushroom cap, unless you cut out the spots from the colored design on my printed pattern.
Finish all the decoration you want on the front of your pincushion. You can add some light embroidery with soft floss but too many beads and or buttons are simply not practical on a pincushion design.
Step 6: Add a Ribbon Loop to the Pincushion Design
When you’ve finished the front of your pincushion, you can add on a ribbon loop or some cord. Ribbon loops are useful on pincushions and gives you the option of being able to hang them up.
It is easy to add a loop of ribbon by sewing it to the back of your front piece. You can sew the ribbon to the blue felt without sewing through to the front.
It is exactly the same method used to sew ribbon loops on when making felt ornaments.
Step 7: Pin or Tack the Front of the Pincushion to the Back
Place the front pincushion square on to the back piece, lining up the sides and corners as best you can.
Pin or tack the pieces in place ready for sewing around the edges.
Step 8: Start to Sew Around the Felt Pincushion Sides
Decide what stitch you want to use and the color of embroidery floss before you sew around the sides. Blanket stitch looks great and will be fairly secure for keeping the stuffing inside when you fill it. Backstitch is very secure although this does not look quite some neat on the reverse.
I chose a darker blue floss and used 4 strands for a thicker blanket stitch around the edges. Note I don’t start at a corner because corner stitches on blanket stitch are a little trickier to start with.
You can start where you prefer. I recommend sewing no more than three-quarters of the way around before stopping.
Step 9: Start to Fill the Felt Pincushion With Stuffing
Now you have an opening which allows you to start to fill the square pincushion up with stuffing. Try to push it carefully into the top corners to make sure they are padded out then work from the top down.
Finish stuffing and sewing your plush felt pincushion design. This basic and simple square is an easy and quick pattern that can work with many mini applique designs.
Here’s how my design turned out. I love that this one is big enough to hold many pins and that I can also hang it up when not in use.
Have fun making up your own little applique pincushions. If you enjoyed this toadstool fairy home theme and are ready for a larger challenge, you’ll also love my mushroom home applique which is large enough to sew on the front of a cushion or use as part of a quilt.
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