Japanese Tree Pincushion Tutorial – 30 Days of Creativity, Day 1

June 1, 2011 at 21:09 | Posted in Crafts - DIY, Tutorials | 9 Comments
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Last month, the folks at Arrow Sewing Cabinets hosted the “Not Tomatoes” Pincushion contest, encouraging people to break out of the tomato mold and craft their own fun yet functional pincushion. And I decided to submit an entry.

I always wondered what to do with all the empty thread spools I have laying around, as I like to reuse items as much as I can and not contribute to more landfill. So I started thinking if a pincushion could be one of the creative ways to reuse them. And it was! I created a Japanese Tree Pincushion.

This pincushion acts as a thread spool “cozy”. The trunk of the tree has an empty spool inside that keeps it up and you can put it in the bobbin winder while you sew to have all the pins available at the touch of your fingers!

Although I did not win, it was really fun to make and see all the pincushions people created. You can see the slide show of all the entries here. The winner was Carolina Moore and her cactus pincushion. Congratulations!

As part of my 30 Days of Creativity pledge, Day 1, I am creating a tutorial so you can make one too. You will need:

  • One piece of fabric, approx 10″ x 9″
  • One piece of brown felt, 7″ x 10″
  • Fusible interfacing
  • An empty thread spool
  • Fiberfill
  • Tree Pattern

Download the free tree pattern and cut two treetops out the chosen fabric (mine are fabrics that my friend Aya brought me from Japan, hence the name of the tree) and two trunks out of brown felt. Apply interfacing to the treetop pieces.

Sew the trunk to the treetop with an edge stitch. Repeat with the other pieces. Sew the treetops, right sides together with a 1/2″ seam, leaving the gap of the trunk open. You can see here that I craft when Paloma naps 😉

Turn right side out and stuff with the fiberfill.

Once stuffed, hand-sew the trunks together, leaving the bottom open. Insert the empty spool.

And… Tada! Finito!

I can’t wait to see your trees. Do not forget to upload them to Mother Crafter Project Pool Flickr account!

This project was featured at Crafty Confessions.

I craft all night and party everyday at these Craft Parties.



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  1. Thanks for linking up to this week’s Tuesday Confessional. 🙂 You were featured, so grab a button and get your brag on!

    • Thank you! You rock! 🙂

  2. Great idea. I liked how you used the thread spools.

    We have a link-up party going on – Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you’d link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.


    • Thank you! I will make sure to stop by 😉

  3. These trees are so cute! Thank you so much for linking up at Savvy HomeMade Monday. We are partying again and I hope you will stop by! 🙂

  4. Very creative and useful.

    Thanks for linking up at Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner and adding to the fun.

    The party for this week is going on… hope to see you there again 🙂


  5. Those are so cute! And I love the idea of having it on you spool winder. So great! Saw you at DIY under $5 at A Little Tipsy.

    • Thank you Janice. They are very convenient, right there at your fingertips. I love your 3D art! 🙂

  6. So beautiful! i love your tree.

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