Tartlet Tins Needles & Pins: Mollie Makes Pincushions

Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-05 Issue 6 of Mollie Makes US Edition has arrived featuring another of my simple and fun projects. But this latest issue also features several of my very dear friends!Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-09 My local art buddy, weekly coffee pal, creative motivator, and extremely talented illustrator and designer, Nicky Ovitt, opens up her inspiring vintage Petaluma home and studio for a tour you’re going to love. She also shares a full page pattern design from her latest fabric collection for you to gift wrap with!Nicky-Ovitt-MM My New Orleans pal, contributor and designer of craft projects for major family, home & garden magazines, craft book author, lifestyle blogger, and a very special friend I’ve had the privilege of beach-weekending and CHA conferencing with, Suzonne Stirling, shares her adorable felt pinecone project. And Kerry Goulder, a beautiful soul I always look forward to visiting with at creative functions, also known as Kid Giddy, has a wonderful feature of her book in this issue, Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love: 18 Toy Patterns for the Storytelling Sewist. This is one magazine I’ll especially cherish.

Here’s my contribution:Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-10Tartlet Tins Needles & PinsHolden_pincushion.closer1

Custom tartlet pincushions are not only down-right adorable, but really quite practical. Organize your sewing nook’s pins and needles neatly by use, or craft sweet, personalized gifts for your favorite sewists.


  • Fluted tin tartlet size 2.5 – 3.5 inches
  • Colorful small-print cotton fabric
  • 8.5” x 11” Inkjet printable cotton fabric sheet
  • White craft felt
  • Beacon 527 Multi-Use Glue
  • Pillow stuffing, new or recycled
  • Washers or pennies for weights
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Buttons or other embellishments

Step 1: Using your computer, type desired word(s) using a display font sized to fit within the diameter of tartlet’s wide opening, allowing a 3/8-1/2-inch margin all around. Color the text to coordinate with your small-print fabric, and print centered in one half of a sheet of printable cotton. If making more than one pincushion, print a second text area centered in the other half of the sheet. To download a PDF file of the words I used in my project, click HERE.Holden_pincushion.step1Step 2: To create the decorative trim, cut or tear a one-inch strip of small-print fabric the length of the circumference of the tartlet opening, plus two inches. With an iron, press the strip in half lengthwise.Holden_pincushion.step2Step 3: Apply a light coating of glue around the upper inside wall of the tartlet. Use a cotton swab to spread the glue into the fluted areas. Press the folded trim into the upper portion of the tartlet keeping 3/16” of the folded area above the edge.Holden_pincushion.step3Step 4: Place trimmed tartlet upside down and centered over the text-printed fabric. Use a ruler and pencil to measure several one-inch marks around the circumference of the tart opening. Connect the marks by drawing one continuous line freehand, creating a cutting template. Use fabric scissors to trim out printed fabric along cut line.Holden_pincushion.step4Step 5: Similar to step 4, draw and trim out a shape of craft felt ¼-3/8” larger than tartlet opening.Holden_pincushion.step6Step 6: Place the text-printed shape centered over the felt round and embellish the surface with embroidery stitching, buttons or other embellishments, careful to keep all within ¾” of outer edge of felt shape.Holden_pincushion.step5Step 7: Use remaining embroidery thread or standard sewing thread to hand-stitch around the text-printed fabric, 3/8”-1/2” from outer edge, leaving long pulling thread sections at beginning and end of stitching. Tie ends loosely and cinch stitching to create a pocket and place pillow stuffing inside to desired denseness. Tighten stitching to desired shape, securely knot thread and tuck remaining lengths up and into the stuffing.Holden_pincushion.step7Step 8: Glue washers or pennies to the bottom of the tartlet tin to add additional weight to the final pincushion.Holden_pincushion.step8Step 9: Spread a generous amount of glue in the bottom and along the walls of the tartlet tin, and up onto the lower half of the fabric trim.Holden_pincushion.step9Step 10: Place stuffed cushion into the tartlet and press into shape. Allow to dry overnight before loading with pins or needles.Holden_pincushion.step10Holden_pincushion.opener3Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-04TIPS

  • Stitch through or around printed text to add dimension to the word(s).Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-06
  • Glue color-coordinating narrow ribbon around the tartlet, just below the top edge.Holden_pincushion.closer9
  • When attaching embellishments be careful to allow room on the surface of the cushion for pins and needles to come and go with ease.Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-03
  • Attach small purchased embellishments, jewelry charms, or buttons to your cushion, or craft your own like a tiny stack of safety-pinned fabric swatches, hand-stitched and tangled thread-nests with glued-in miniature plastic eggs, and tiny leaves cut from velvet ribbon.Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-02
  • Use additional empty tartlet tins to store safety-pins and loose buttons.Cathe-Holden-Pin-Cushion-08

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