Mason Jar Pincushion


Linen/Cotton:  6” circle

                       3 ½” circle

Cardstock:  2 ½” circle

Two Sided Fusible Web:  2 ¼” circle

Mason Jar - for this project, I am using a Ball Wide Mouth 8oz Mason Jar.

Fiberfill stuffing

Glue:  I’m using Gutermann Textile glue

Needle and Thread (strong thread for basting and regular thread for sewing.)

Printable Template: Mason Jar Pincushion Template


Note:  Mason jar:  I’m using a Wide Mouth Ball 8oz Mason Jar.  I think that all Ball Wide Mouth lids/rings are the same so these instructions should work with any wide mouth jar.  (My ring is 3 1/2" wide).

If you are using a different size lid, these instructions will still work, but the size of the circles you cut will need to be adjusted to fit your jar.

Next Note:  The fusible web isn’t entirely necessary if you don’t have it.  I use it to hold the base circle to the pincushion without needing pins.  You can use a little glue or pins to hold it in place just as well.  

Lets start our pincushion!

Print out the template or make your own circles from paper - make sure that you print full size and that the 1" square in the upper right is indeed 1" on your printout.

Cut your templates and your fabric: I mostly use linen that I have machine embroidered a design onto, but you can use any fabric you like - Just make sure it is not too thick - cotton is a good choice.  If you do want to machine embroider, I find a design that is no bigger than 2 ½” x 2 ½” is a decent size for this jar.

Pin the 6” circle template over the fabric - draw a line around it, and cut.  Make sure you center your design!

Using a good strong thread, hand sew a basting stitch around the edge.  I try to stay about ¼” in from the edge, and keep my stitches ¼” in length too. Try to keep your stitches even so that it gathers nicely. 

When you are done basting, pull the thread carefully to start forming the top of the pincushion.   Fill this area with batting.  This is a bit of a fussy thing.  You don’t want to add too little as you need a good depth to stick pins into, but you don’t want so much that it’s “mushroomy” looking.   When you think you have a good amount, place the silver seal part of the lid down on top of the batting (rubber edge facing up toward you) and pull the thread so that it’s gathered around the lid.  Be careful that the fiberfill is only on top of the lid, and not around the edges at all.  You also want to make sure there aren’t too many folds along the edges - try to smooth those out and spread out the gathers so the edge looks neat and even.  

Test out your pincushion by placing it into the lid ring - push it in all the way and see how it looks - you are looking for a good “dome” - high enough for pins and needles, but not overly high.   If you like how it looks, tie off your threads and start going back and forth pulling the opening tight.  This step makes everything even and pulled snug on the ring.

Next, cut your 3 ½” circle of fabric and baste around the edge as you did for the pincushion top.  Place your 2 ½” cardstock circle inside and pull your thread so that the edges fold over and form a nice circle - secure and trim your thread.  Iron this down carefully and remove the cardstock.  Re-iron nice and flat. 

Next, on the wrong side of this circle, place the 2 ¼” fusible web over the stitches.  The fusible web should not go to the very edge of the circle.  Iron it down onto the circle - this keeps your basted stitches and gathers from moving around.  Make sure it is adhered well.  Peel off the paper - I find that running a pin line gently in the center and peeling the paper away from that point is easier than trying to peel from the edge.

Iron this onto the underside of your pincushion top - this step makes it easy to sew the circle to your pincushion top - holding everything neatly in place.

Next - sew your circle to the pincushion top. I use a ladder stitch, but you can sew this however you like - either with matching thread, or maybe even embroidery thread that either matches or contrasts - I can see a running stitch or blanket stitch looking really cute here.  The idea is you want the underside to look as nice as you can, while holding everything together.

Now, test your pincushion in the ring again, move any gathers or folds that annoy you, and when you are happy - take your glue and run a small continuous strip around the inside rim of your ring.  Carefully push your pincushion top into your ring.  Try not to move it around, or go in crooked or sideways as you don’t want to get glue on the part of your pincushion that shows.  Once your pincushion is in the ring, take the ring and tightly screw it onto the jar.  Make sure it goes on well!  This is what is pressing that pincushion onto the glue in the ring so it adheres well.  Now you just have to let it dry - I usually give it good couple hours or overnight before I remove the lid.

Troubleshooting:  Sometimes you may have difficulty getting your finished lid onto your jar after gluing.  This happens when the fabric on the inside is too close to the lines on the ring.  With your thumbs, gently push the fabric upwards from the top to make it tighter underneath.  I’ve also taken the tip of the iron and pressed the edge of the ring from the inside, or pressed it down with the flat edge of a tweezer.   Just keep working the top onto the jar and press tight.  Leave it that way to dry and it will be fine.  I have this happen occasionally and it always works out.

This fabric needs to be pushed down so that it is under the rings that tighten it to the jar

After a night of being tightened to the jar, the fabric is compressed - easy to attach to the jar!

Now that’s it - you have a fabulous new pincushion jar that can be used for anything! Mine is filled with pins and is extremely handy to have near the sewing machine.

Here’s a few I’ve made recently: