Let’s Make a Pincushion Ring!

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Every good sewist needs supplies. I needed an adorable and convenient place for my wayward pins.

Capacity: 1 million pins

When I was on my first ever quilt shop hop this spring, I saw a great little product I knew I would use. A pincushion ring! It looked easy enough to make, so I filed the idea away in my brain, spent my $5 on pie instead, and went on my merry way. I made my very own pincushion ring the next day at home with some scraps.

I am always sticking pins in my mouth to hold them while pinning my sewing projects. Idiot! I’ve actually almost swallowed one. The magnetic pin holder I use is fabulous for storage because I can just vaguely nudge my pins in the general vicinity of the thing, and whammo! they get sucked right in. Or, if I drop pins on the ground, I can just run my magnetic holder over the floor, and voila! The pins come running. So much better than finding them with my feet. Pins like to hide in the carpet, and I like to run my sewing machine barefoot.

But the pincushion ring! Now here is a thing of beauty. When I am sewing a very fiddly bit, say, a princess seam, I don’t even have to look up from my machine. I just pull out the pins as I go, and tuck them right onto my ring finger. So convenient, so tidy! And that baby can hold about a million pins.

I worked out all the details, so here’s how to Make a Pincushion Ring.

1. Find a scrap of fabric, about 3 x3 inches; a bit of 1/4″ elastic; a plastic pop bottle cap; some fabric glue; a needle and thread; some batting; and something sharp for poking.

Just some suggestions.

2. Take the bottle cap. This is the base of the ring. Mark the placement of the holes where the elastic will go through. Put them closer to the center to keep the ring snug.

Mark and poke the holes for the elastic

3. Poke holes with a sharp implement. I stole an awl from husband’s tool box. I put the cap on top of my self-healing rotary cutter mat, just in case I poke through too fast. (Not usually possible!) Try to wiggle the awl around to get the holes wider. I think the 1/4″ elastic is a good sturdiness to keep the ring in place, but you can try elastic cord if you cannot get the holes large enough.

4. Install the elastic. (A.) Thread the elastic onto a needle and push it through the holes.

Use your muscles! The elastic may resist.

(B.) Knot one end and pull it taut. Adjust the ring by measuring it on your chosen finger. Don’t pull it too tight. The ring will stay on even if the elastic is loose, but you don’t want it so loose the ring rolls around. Mark the spot where the second knot should go.

Not too tight, not too loose...

(C.) Tie the knot and use a large needle to pull the knot down to the mark before tightening the knot. Trim the extra elastic.

5. Cut your fabric a little larger than the ring. Leave a little room for the batting.

My fabric is cut to 3x3"

6. Run a simple line of handstitching around the edge of the fabric, forming a circle. Gather the stitching so the fabric makes a little cup.

Nothing fancy; the thread won't show anyway.

Fabric cup

7. Stuff the fabric cup with padding. Put the camera down, dummy. It will be so much easier. Wind the threads around the base to hold it. You may choose to tie a knot; I did not.

8. Put a dab of fabric glue into the bottle cap part of the ring. Smoosh the batting-stuffed fabric cup into the bottle cap. Place a piece of paper towel between the ring and the elastic, in case the glue oozes out of the holes. You don’t want glue getting on the elastic (or your table). Put some removable masking tape around the whole thing or put it under a heavy book until the glue dries.

Watch for oozing glue. Put paper towel where my thumb is.

[Optional: You may desire to glue a row of rick-rack or other fanciness around the ring where the fabric meets the plastic, but that seemed too fiddly for my needs.]

9. Admire! Stuff with pins, even!

Charming, right?

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