Saturday, October 17, 2009
I've made several pincushions from thrift store teacups and creamers. These are cheap and cheerful presents and they aren't that complicated.
Here's how I do it.
You'll need a teacup or creamer. Look for older ones, the patina of age adds to the charm.
Use a saucer or a small plate to trace a circle of fabric. Cut it out.
Turn under a scant hem and sew a running stitch around the circle using strong thread. When you've completed the circle, pull up the threads. You now have a cup-shaped circle.
Stuff with circle tightly with fiber stuffing. I've heard that fiber fill encourages pins to rust, but I've not experienced this as yet. Emery is the traditional filling for pincushions, but it isn't that easy to find, so live on the edge and use fiber stuffing.
Keep stuffing, and as you go, try to flatten the cushion into a sort of domed pancake. This takes a little while. Just keep going and you'll soon get a pleasing shape. Keep testing it for fit in the cup. You want the dome to rest about 1/8 of an inch from the top. Ideally, it should be large enough so that it will sit into the cup snugly. It's a bit of trial and error, since all cups are different.
You will need to weight the tea cup (or other vessel) so that it doesn't tip over. I use decorator sand, which you can find in the candle/floral aisle at Michael's. I used about 1/4 cup of sand, just pour it in.
Once you have your cup weighted, and your dome ready, it is time to put the two together.
I use Aleene's Thick Tacky glue. Run a bead of glue around the cup rim and some around the stuffed dome. Then, then gently set the dome into the cup.
Let it dry for at least an hour. Then, you can do the embellishing.
I like to run some kind of trim (like ric rack) to cover the space where the dome and cup meet. I have also used some ribbon embroidered flowers, or some yo yos to add visual interest. I think the accessories look better glued on closer to the handle, but play around with your design until you like it.
When the glue has dried, I add three fancy pins from my collection. Et voila! A lovely little gift which gives an old teacup new life.
P.S. If you use a cup and saucer, glue the two together. The saucer is a great place to store a spool or two of thread, a timble and a little pair of scissors.
Have fun with these. But, I warn you, they are kind of addictive!