Tuesday 27 April 2010

A Jar for March - Pin Cushion Jar

Would you like to make this sweet little pin cushion jar. It's really easy to do, and would make a thoughtful gift.
You will need:-
  • a small jar. Mine is one of those little sample pots from jam that I saved from afternoon tea on a day out.
  • a small amount of stuffing/wadding
  • a small remnant of plain cotton fabric. You can use tea or coffee to dye it a nice vintage colour.
  • some ribbon or trim for the edge
  • thread - in this case I used strong thread for gathering and a single strand of red cotton for the bird embroidery.
  • some thick card - but not so thick that you can't cut it with scissors. I recycled mine from some packaging.
  • a compass - or a saucer roughly twice the size of your jar lid.
  • scissors, needle, and a glue gun

You will need two discs of card. One will be a template for your fabric. Make this one about twice the diameter of your jar lid. I did this and then when I cut the fabric out I added a quarter of an inch extra for gathering. The other disc is just fractionally smaller than the lid of your jar. This will be going into the pin cushion.
Cut out your circle of fabric and then transfer your chosen design being sure to place it in the centre. I used my favourite pen that disappears when you spray water onto it. My fabric was thin enough to see through so I could trace the bird from my paper. You can use this simple design or you can make your own .
Using a single strand of red cotton thread, I backstitched the birdy. I like the look of redwork.
Now, using a strong or doubled thread, use running stitch around the edges to gather the circle of fabric. Please do use a strong thread, as there is nothing worse than being in the finishing stages and the thread snapping!
Gather the fabric and stuff as firmly as you can whilst placing the disc of card on top of the stuffing before tightening the thread. Now this is a bit fiddly, and another pair of hands could come in useful here so if you have a friend handy - ask them to help. You can make the cushion without the disc of card, but it gives it a much better shape and a nicer finish, so give it a try.
Tie a secure knot to finish off this part .
Now it is time for the trusty glue gun. Glue the pad to the lid, and then glue on your trim around the edge of the lid to make it all look neat, sweet and complete.
Using this technique, you can make a whole family of jars, big and small. You can use a variety of fabrics, or embroider your own designs. I have a few of my own and I find them very useful as well as pretty. Let me know if you make one!


  1. Oh Doda!
    This is sew cute (sorry I couldn't resist).
    I love the bird, and I need a new pin holder...
    I wonder if I could use a bird votive holder that I have for the base.
    Might do that!
    I love the look of redwork, too!
    Have you any redwork patterns, or is it pretty easy to just draw some?
    I want to sew some redwork designs on my guest room pillow cases.

  2. Doda, that is just adorable! And your tutorial photos are excellent too! Hey, better late than never! :D

  3. Thanks for your nice comments! You make my day!

  4. Doda, your projects are always fabulous and I just LOVE this!! Thanks for the fabulous tutorial, I am going to help my Olivia make me one for Mothers' Day :) Wishing you a wonderful day ~ Tina xx

  5. sewtastic!
    love your crafty sewing skills miss!
    x x


Hi there, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Thanks for dropping by. I enjoy reading all your comments.