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DIY Pincushions That Will Up Your Sewing Game

There are standard tomato pincushions, but if you want something really different check out this collection of awesome DIY pincushions!

Over 20 Fun & Unique DIY Pincushions

When I was young, my mom was a big sewer. She’s been sewing all her life. I remember a thimble collection that she had displayed on her wall that always intrigued me.

My mom also had one of those tomato pincushions . . . that always disappeared because we would play with it. We may have even lost it once or twice, or maybe even dumped all her pins all over the floor. I’d like to make it up to her though – with a cute, unique DIY pincushion!

A woman as special as my mother definitely deserves something unique. In my quest for “different” pincushions, I found several that you will fall in love with – I know because I did.

How to Fill Your Pincushion

If you’re going to make it, and push pins in it, you’re going to need something to fill it. Before we dive into the projects, I wanted to go over the common materials used to fill pincushions.

Take a peek at the list below. You can consider the pros and cons of each material and then alter the tutorial to fit your needs if it doesn’t use the material you desire.

Poly Fill/ Cushion Filling

  • Pros: Easy to find, inexpensive, and easy to fill all the areas of the pincushion (especially if the cushion is a shape).
  • Cons: Very light, which means it’s easy to knock off of a table, and you can’t use it to weigh fabric down.

Ground Walnut Shells

  • Pros: Not too expensive and easy to find at the pet store (cat litter section) or online. Adds weight to the cushion.
  • Cons: Not great for people that have a nut allergy!


  • Pros: It’s readily available, free (I’ve never seen anyone charge for it), and smells great (at least to me).
  • Cons: Some wood has chemicals in it, so probably best to grind up a branch yourself or get sawdust from a woodworker who works with untreated lumber.


  • Pros: No smell, inexpensive, and adds some weight for the base. Great for combining with other materials.
  • Cons: Doesn’t provide as much weight as some other options, so you might want to use in conjunction. Honestly that’s hardly a con!

Fabric Pieces

  • Pros: Perfect for using up fabric scraps! Instead of throwing them away, this is a great (free) use for them.
  • Cons: Very, very lightweight and can be hard to evenly fill a small sewn item. Definitely use in conjunction with other materials.

Steel Wool

  • Pros: Sharpens needles and pins and is easy to find, inexpensive. You can place a piece at the top of a DIY pincushion that uses other filler materials.
  • Cons: Hard to bend and form into shapes. You’ll also want to use fine steel wool, so not all sizes work for this purpose.

Now that you know what to use as fill, let’s dive into some crafts! If you’d like to see the great homemade pincushions I found, just scroll down. Which is your favorite?

DIY Pincushions

Pincushions are a necessity when sewing, but that doesn't mean they can't look cute, right? Here are 20+ adorable handmade pincushions for you to try.

I hope you enjoyed these ideas for DIY pincushions! For more ideas I think you’re going to love, check out these posts:

karen roark

Saturday 21st of June 2014

Hey Amy - thanks for reblogging my pincushion ring! It was one of my favorites - glad you liked it too! :) k