for your cat...
How to make a pin cushion
I found this project in this amazing book called The Complete Book of Handicrafts published in 1973 that I found at a library book sale in St. Paul. If your library sells books, mosey through every so often. I've found lots of great treasures there. This one is a dead ringer for kitschy, fun projects and is quite informative. There are a huge variety of crafts in this book including smocking, knitting, tatting (bonus points if you even know what this is), macrame, rugmaking and a chapter on "lampshades."
The book calls these "Mousie Mousie Pin Cushions" and they would make great pincushions, but you could also throw a little catnip in them and they'd be a great cat toy, or you could leave out the catnip and cardboard (more on that later) and make a cute little mouse plushie for a child. Since I lack kids and pets and I feel guilty (I know, I'm a nerd) sticking pins in my cute little mouse, he is just perched on my desk now.
First, gather your materials. You'll need a couple felt scraps, and a couple scraps of cotton fabric. You'll need graph paper, a small piece of cardboard, a piece of leather or thin rope for the tail, polyfil, and a utility knife to cut the cardboard. And all your basic sewing supplies.
How to make a pin cushion
Draw your pieces like so on a piece of graph paper.
Piece 1 measures 3" high by 5" wide (cut one out of cotton). This is the base.
Piece 2 measures 3" high by 5" wide (cut two out of cotton) This is the body.
Piece 3 measures 3" high by 2" wide (cut two out of felt) This is the head.
You'll also need two felt ears.
Here are your shapes, cut out.
Now cut out your piece of cardboard, about 1/4" smaller all around than your base piece.
Pinch the ear in the middle and insert near the top of the mouse's head
in between the felt and the fabric, right sides together.
Stitch the body to the head right sides together, like so, making sure your ear is in there!
Repeat with other side of body.
Now your sides should look like this. Insert the tail at the bottom of the body and put body pieces right sides together and, starting at nose, stitch around the head and body, leaving bottom part open. Be sure to catch the tail in your stitches and back stitch a couple times to secure tail, especially if you're giving this toy to a child or cat.
Now align the pointy part of the base with the mouse's nose and, with mouse body still inside out, stitch base to body, right sides together, starting with the nose. Leave about 1" open before your reach the tail. Stop sewing and start again at tip of nose, sewing down other side of body, again leaving 1" open from tail.
*Optional: insert cardboard into base and stuff mouse with polyfil above it.
If you choose not to use cardboard, simply stuff with polyfil.
Stitch up opening using your machine if you're lazy like me, or with a slip stitch if you don't mind handsewing!
And enjoy your cute little mouse friend! Until next time, you can find me at yellowcloth.
Have a cat? Give them catnip?
Do you have a cute pin cushion? Where are your pins right now?