DIYdiy projects

diy wednesdays: tin can pincushion

by the curiosity shoppe

we’re always on the lookout for fun materials we can use in our diy projects. this time we found it right under our noses (actually it was right under our cats’ noses). after giving them a special treat of wet food the other day, we decided to repurpose the empty can into a handy little pincushion. all it took was some poly-fil, a strip of decorative paper, and some leftover linen from our appliqué pillow project. super simple, super cheap, and our cats are already begging us to make another one. click here for the full instructions or just click “read more” below.

have fun!
derek & lauren

Tin Can Pincushion

Here’s what you’ll need:
-1 small tin can
-1 piece of fabric, approx. 8” x 8”
-handful of poly-fil
-small piece of gift wrap or other decorative paper
-double-stick tape
-hot glue
-blade and straight edge for cutting paper

1. carefully remove label from outside of can.

2. trace label onto your piece of decorative paper, adding 1/2″ to the length for overlap.

3. attach to can with one small strip of double-stick tape, and overlap ends with a second piece of tape.

4. place a handful of poly-fil in the center of your fabric square, gathering the ends to create a loose ball shape.

5. line the inside rim of the can with hot glue and insert the fabric/poly-fil ball, with raw edges going into the bottom of the can.

6. tuck in fabric until it is taut. insert pins.

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    • anne marie

      there isn’t a print button for these. you can print the full post or you can just cut and paste the steps into a text doc.


  • I made one of these in grade school some 30+ years ago and never forgot about it. I’ve been looking for the basic steps on how to do it and here it was. Thanks so much!!!

  • Been looking for this kind of pincushion for a long time I am going to make some for Christmas there are a lot of sewers in the family Thank you

  • Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • Another idea- make your circle and pull it tight and tie closed. Next cut a piece of cardboard in a 3-4″ circle. Cover one side with co-ordinating fabric. Use pre gathered lace and place in circle about where the ball would fit. Center the ball open ends down on the cardboard. Glue in places on top of the gathering. voila a ladie’s hat. You can also glue a dowel or long stick to the center of the hat on the back side and use it as a handle.

  • I made something similar years ago but add a speaker magnet to the bottom of the can…. while you are machining , remove pins and just throw them at the cushion, never lose another pin again! :)

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