DIY Craft Tutorial: How to Make a Tied and Knotted No-Sew Pincushion
Pincushions are small personal pin holders that can be handy to have and fun to make. This pretty little pincushion can be created with absolutely no sewing required. It is designed with fringe that is tied and knotted together to form the cushion.
There are many ways to decorate this cushion using no-sew embellishments. I've listed some ways to finish your pincushion below. Or you can add some simple embroidery stitches, as I did. I've included directions for these stitches in this tutorial too.
Basic Materials for Making a Tied and Knotted Pincushion
- 2 pieces of felt material, at least 8 inches by 8 inches square. These pieces of felt can be different colors, or you can use one larger piece of felt that you can cut two pieces from.
Under "Ways to Decorate Your Pincushion", I have ideas for picking fabric that adds to the decoration on this pincushion. My design includes a felt fringe that looks like petals, so you might want to choose colors that fit with a floral theme. Felt is a good material to use for this project because it is flexible and easy to tie into knots to form this cushion.
You will also need:
- fiber fill, cotton balls, or batting to stuff your pincushion
- a ruler
- a fine point marker
- sharp scissors
Directions for Making a Tied and Knotted No-Sew Pincushion
1. Take your two pieces of felt and decide which side is the top and bottom of your fabric. With felt material, the two sides will probably be about the same, but choose the surface that looks cleaner and smoother to be the top.
At the same time, choose which color you want to use for the top of your pincushion, and which will be the bottom.
2. Then place each of your fabric pieces face down on your work surface and cut out two 8 inch by 8 inch squares.
3. With your fabric still face down, mark a line 2 1/2 inches in from each side of your square, creating a 3 inch square in the center of your felt (see diagram above). Make these markings on the bottom sides of both your pieces of felt.
When done, you should have two pieces of felt, measuring 8 inches by 8 inches each, with your seaming grid marked on the bottom of each.
4. Next, put your bottom piece of fabric to the side and begin to decorate the top piece of your pincushion.
Ways to Decorate Your Pincushion with No Sewing Involved
- choose patterned felt fabric which features a multi-colored design. Felt comes in a number of geometric, floral, and other patterns which will give you many choices to create a fun and colorful pincushion.
- draw on your felt using glitter glue or fabric paint - this is an easy and quick way to add some decoration to your pincushion.
- tack on pieces of ribbon, lace, crochet trimming, or a lace doily to embellish the top of your cushion.
- glue on sequin, buttons, or beads for a pretty addition to your design.
These are some easy ways to add a little decoration to your no-sew pincushion. I wanted to expand my embroidery skills, so I added a few uniquely-sewn buttons and french knots to create a floral bouquet on the top of my cushion.
These stitches are quite easy and only require basic sewing skills. Here's how I created my floral design:
Materials for Embroidering a Simple Floral Bouquet
- your top piece of fabric for your pincushion
- a handful of small buttons - I used 7 white buttons of various sizes
- a few different colors of embroidery floss
- a fine point marker
- an embroidery needle and scissors
1. On the top of your felt fabric, in the middle of your 3 inch center, lay out your buttons on the shape of a flower bouquet. I made my design symmetrical, but it doesn't have to be.
2. Sliding each button to the side one by one, mark the placement for each button using your marker.
3. Now begin to sew on your buttons, following this procedure:
Thread your embroidery needle with the color of floss you wish to use with your buttons. I chose a green color so the stitches would look like stems of my flowers. Then place your button over it's marked spot on your felt with the button holes positioned in a diamond shape (see photo above).
Referring to the photo above, working from under your fabric, pull your thread through hole 1 and stitch it down through hole 2. Pull your thread back through your fabric at position 3, just outside the edge of your button. Bring your needle and thread back down through hole 2.
Now bring your needle back up through hole 1 and stitch through hole 4. Bring your needle back up through your fabric at position 5 and stitch it down again through hole 4.
Now bring your needle up again through hole 1. Stitch down through hole 6. Bring your needle up at position 7, and stitch down through hole 6 again. Take a few small stitches on the underside of your button to secure it.
Sew down all your buttons in place using this stitching order.
4. Next, use some simple stitches to create the stems for your flowers. I used the same green that I sewed on my buttons with.
5. Then, working with one color at a time, I added dots of color in my bouquet using french knots. A french knot is a very simple embroidery stitch that creates a bud-like knot. Following the video below, I wrapped my needle three times to make my knots.
6. Then I made a little bow for my bouquet using some thin ribbon and a table fork. I actually waited until my pincushion was completely finished to sew on my bow.
Assembling Your Tied and Knotted No-Sew Pincushion
1. Once you are finished decorating your top piece of felt, take both pieces of fabric (your top and bottom) and turn them over so your markings are visible.
2. Using sharp scissors, cut away the four 2 1/2 inch corners on each fabric piece.
3. Then divide the remaining 2/1/2 inch wide sides into 1/2 inch increments (see photo above). These increments will mark your fringe pieces.
4. Use your 1/2 inch markings as a guide to cut your fringe piece down to your 3 inch center square, as shown in the photo above. Cut the fringe on both your top and bottom pieces of felt.
5. Line up your two felt pieces back to back so that the front side is showing on both the top and bottom.
6. Now with your fringe pieces lined up, tie the top piece of fringe to the matching bottom piece of fringe. Tie each piece twice to form a tight knot. Begin working from the center of each side, out the the edges. Be sure that you are tying each fringe piece to the coordinating piece of fringe on your other cut felt.
7. Tie all your pieces of fringe on three sides of your cushion, leaving one side open.
8. When the three sides of your cushion is all tied and knotted, begin to stuff your cushion through the remaining open side. You can use fiber fill, cotton balls, batting, or steel wool to stuff your pincushion.
As you are stuffing use your finger or a pencil to make sure the corners of your pincushion are filled completely.
9. Now tie off the fringe on the remaining side of your pincushion.
10. (Optional) To finish your pincushion, take your scissors and trim each piece of fringe so that it looks like a flower petal. You can make these petals look as realistic as you want, or you can make them quite simple. You can just cut each piece into a basic tear drop shape by cutting one side at a time.
Working from the outside edge of your fringe toward the base, place your scissors at the top center of the piece of fringe. Cut down, curving along the sides, and leaving the tied base as the wide point of your tear drop. Continue to cut all your fringe pieces in this same manner.
11. Add any last embellishments, like a bow, and enjoy your new pincushion!
Copyright © 2016 by Donna Herron. All rights reserved.