Monday, August 1, 2011

Fav Craft Tutorial Contestant HeartFeltStuff on Etsy Cupcakes-R-Us

The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary.
Mary  Kurtz, "The Needlework Times", April 1978.

I've fallen in love with sewing.

It was only six months ago and, up until that point, the only thing I thought I *could* sew was an errant button. That is, until I discovered felt. Beautiful, vibrant, no-hems-necessary felt. And with all the glories of felt came the realisation that if I didn't have something (like, for example, a pin cushion), I could simply (and magically) make it!

So I sat down one Sunday afternoon and created this pin cushion using a plastic cup to make my pattern. It takes 30 - 45 minutes to hand sew, and it is oh-so-easy and quite a bit of fun too!

A little side note: As an ex-chef, I'm quite good at writing recipes, but this is my first sewing tutorial, and I hit a blank when I sat down to write it. I hope my photos will make up for the bits where my sewing lingo is lacking. :-)

The cupcake pincushion(eat at your peril) ;-)

  • 1 plastic or paper drinking cup (wider upper rim than base)
  • a small piece of felt material (approx. 20 x 20cm or 8 x 8 inches)
  • a small piece of cotton material (approx 15 x 15cm or 6 x 6 inches)
  • cotton thread to match your felt material
  • polyfill
  • a small piece of thin foam sheeting (approx. 20 x 20cm or 8 x 8 inches) (optional)
  • material scissors
  • needle
  • pencil or fabric pen
  • ruler

  • Base of cupcake (bottom): Use the base of the drinking cup to cut a circle out of the felt (use the pencil or fabric pen to draw the circle onto the felt first for a nice rounded finish).
  • Base of cupcake (sides): Decide how high you'd like the sides of your cupcake base to be by rolling the felt around the cup just above its base, making a mark with your pencil or fabric pen. Then use a ruler to draw a straight line on the material, and cut out a rectangle that will overlap slightly at its shortest points.
  • Base of cupcake (joining the bottom and sides): Hold the circular felt base against the corner edge of the rectangular felt piece. Use your matching cotton thread and needle to work a series of vertical straight stitches closely together around the shape. When you reach the join, overlap the sides of the rectangle (longest side inwards) and then sew upwards along the seam.
  • Base of cupcake (stuffing): I wanted the base of my pincushion to be nice and flat, so I used the base of the drinking cup to cut a few circles from foam that would fit into the cupcake base. But you can just as easily stuff it will polyfill!
  • Top of cupcake: Use the wider drinking rim of the cup to cut a circle out of your cotton material (use the pencil or fabric pen to draw the circle onto the felt first for a nice rounded finish). 
  • Before attaching the cotton top to the felt base, decide whether you would like your pincushion to have a centre topping (a cherry on top of the cake, so to speak). Mine has a flat felt heart because I find it useful to have a place for my needles, while the rest of the top is space enough for plain pins. Sew your preferred shape onto the centre of the cotton circle using a basic running stitch.
  • Hold the base of the cupcake and tuck the edges of the cotton material in as you go. Use a blanket stitch to join the two pieces of material together. 
  • About 5 - 10cm (2 - 4 inches) before the end, stuff the top with polyfill and then finish off the blanket stitch, knotting the last stitches and tucking the needle back into the polyfill centre (and then out again) before snipping the thread.
  • And there you have it -- your very own cupcake pincushion!

As a special "thanks for reading my tutorial", I'm offering a 20% discount off all items in my etsy shop --> HeartFeltStuff --> for the month of August.

Just use the code August2011 at checkout for the discount magic to happen!

Thankfully, my sewing skills have upscaled to include machine work, embroidery and materials other than felt, so I hope you'll find something there that you might want to purchase. And just so you know, I can create custom items and am convo friendly, so please feel free to contact me via etsy or e-mail <>

For my foodie blog (featuring gluten-free recipes), please visit my blog -->

Happy sewing everyone, and have a great August!

P.S. Thanks Patricia for your cool bloggy tutorial hosting adventure! You rock :-)

I want to thank Juanita for such a cute and fun tutorial. Good Luck!

Contestants with the most comments at the end of the month is the winner. No more than four comments allowed per viewer/person. Suggestions: Stop by their shop and favor their shop and/or an item. Share this post. If they have a blog follow them. Like their shop on Facebook. You could even follow me ;) These are just some suggestions.

Patricia aka Mamaw


  1. This is adorable! I love it!

  2. Gadorable! Totally not douchey at all :) Great guest post!

  3. These are darling, you are so crafty.

  4. Sweet! I'm a big wanna-be sewer (oh my goodness... that looks like sewer... like where the poo goes!! LOL No, I'm most definitely not a wannabe SEWER!) Ahem... I meant, I'd really like to be able to sew! Your cupcake pincushion is adorable! :-)

    Anyway, I'm stopping by to thank you for your comment on "A Hot Mess"! (I'm already a GFC follower of yours). I'm a little backlogged, but I'm trying to get back to everyone who commented!

    I also saw in your post that you used to be a chef. Maybe you could give me a bit of advice. My hubby is a total foodie and LOVES TO COOK, and our T-Fal pans are falling apart. I'd really like to get him a really quality set of cookware for our anniversary, but I have no idea what's good. Paula Deen? Rachael Ray? Emeril? Kitchen-Aid? I'm clueless!

    If you have a minute, I'd love it if you could give me a suggestion! You can email me directly at

    I'd be quite grateful! Thanks so much!

    Smiles, Jenn

  5. Ok, so Juanita, I think we could be good friends. Food and sewing - yeah. And you can pat yourself on the back. The tutorial is very good. Great pictures too.

  6. It looks cute. I really wish I can sew one like that... but unfortunately, I'm very terrible at sewing. :(

  7. Amazing non-douchy craftsmanship. You've got skills. Look almost good enough to eat.

  8. That is such an adorable piece! Prettier than an edible one :)

  9. What a lovely tutorial! This is ultra cute, but would definitely have to be guarded in my kitchen - everyone would try to eat it!

  10. Thanks for the cupcake tutorial! I am horrible at sewing and such, but you made something super crafty look super easy! AND so cutte!!


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