Sunday, February 20, 2011

Salvaged bowl pincushion


Years ago, I bought this little wooden pot. It has tiny grooved carvings all over it, and had a carved lid with a wood knob. It looks Indonesian; possibly it came from Pier 1, but I like to imagine a more exotic origin. I like to think it came home as a trinket in someone’s carpet bag as they traveled home by steamship from some diplomatic posting. Well, I picked it up in a junk shop, so I can make up my own story.


Anyway, for a long time, it was on my bedside table. Well, we live with a big dog, and the fifty-third time she accidentally knocked it on the floor, the lid broke.

Nothing goes to waste around here, not if I can help it, so I saved the bowl and waited for inspiration.


I made it into a pincushion. If you have a little cup or bowl or container you like, you can do this too. It works best if the sides of the bowl are somewhat straight, or if it once had a lid, because the lip inside will help keep the cushion in place.

Here’s what to do: Cut two circles of fabric about an inch larger than the diameter of your bowl. Sew them together with wrong sides facing, leaving an opening. Turn and stuff tightly. (I stuffed mine with a combination of fiberfill and sawdust.) Sew the opening closed. Thread a needle with a length of embroidery floss or pearl cotton. Bring the needle up through the center of the bottom, and wrap it around the side. Pull tight. Do that again, until you have divided the stuffed circle into six sections. Make sure the floss is pulled tight. Knot it at the bottom. Chose a button or two, and sew them to the top center. Now carefully stuff the whole thing into the container. I didn’t use any glue, I just wedged it in there and tucked the sides down until it was smooth and nice. That’s it!