Thursday, April 22, 2010

Make a Vintage Teacup Pinnie

Craft this vintage teacup pincushion with odds-and-ends for a perfect Mother's Day present - and try the matching card!

Teacup Pincushion craft for 
Mother's Day
(click here for a larger Teacup Pincushion craft image)
I don't know how we got the idea to make a matched set of an elegant teacup pincushion and Mother's Day card. But they were both so simple, and as long as you have the glue gun warmed up... We found our porcelain teacup at the Goodwill Store for $.25 - pure white with a graceful raised pattern around the bottom. The fabric was a faded floral flannel left over from a quilt project. Together they have a vintage charm.
The vintage image of a mother holding her baby comes from the cover of a piece of 1921 sheet music, "Mother's Lullaby," by Milton Weil. Click on the vintage image link in the list of materials below for a FREE PDF download.
This craft is so easy, we ended up with only one instructional photograph. Once we started, our teacup pincushion was done before we could reach for the camera.
On a separate page, we have instructions for making the matching Mother's Day card. The teacup pincushion and card make a wonderful set to give to your mother this Mother's Day!

Materials for this Teacup Pincushion

  • Crafts & 
Supplies at!
    Vintage Images (FREE PDF download), printed on clear adhesive label paper.
  • Clear 8.5" X 11" adhesive label paper for inkjet printers (we used Avery 18665).
  • Decorative braid, 50", burgundy (see Tips).
  • Porcelain or ceramic teacup, plain white.
  • Decorative embroidery scissors (these are part of the gift!)
  • Coordinating fabric, 12" square. We used a blue-on-blue floral flannel.
  • Needle and heavyweight thread, any color.
  • Polyester fiber (pillow stuffing).
  • Hot glue gun.
  • Tacky craft glue (like Aleene's).
  • Fabric scissors or pinking shears.
  • Small scissors like embroidery or manicure scissors.


  1. Cut a circle of fabric to a diameter 6" larger than the diameter of the teacup rim. Our teacup was 3" across, so we cut our fabric circle to 9" in diameter with pinking shears.
  2. Teacup 
pincushion craft, step 1Sew a running stitch all around the edge of the fabric, 1/2" in from the edge, loosely gathering the fabric as you stitch.
  3. Stuff the cushion with the polyester fiber until it is very firm. Pull the gathers tight and tie off the thread with a French knot. You should have a round cushion. Place it in the cup to be sure it fits securely.
  4. Apply a bead of hot glue all around the inside of the cup, about 1/2" below the rim. Insert the cushion and press until the glue dries.
  5. With the glue gun (or tacky craft glue), adhere the braid around the base of the cup and the top edge of the cup against the cushion (see Tips).
  6. Print the vintage image on to the clear adhesive label sheet and cut it out with small scissors. Peel off the paper backing and apply the image to the front of the cup, or apply an image to each side. Press it on firmly with your fingers through a a tissue to avoid damaging the image.
  7. Tie a 20" length of the braid into a loop with a double knot. Insert one end of the loop though the cup handle and pull the other end through the loop to knot it. Repeat this on the other end of the loop through one handle of the embroidery scissors.
  8. Could that have been simpler? Stick some decorate pearl-headed or jewel-headed pins in the top and you have a lovely, decorative teacup pincushion for mom!


  • Decorative braid comes in various sizes and colors. At your fabric store, compare the braids for sewing (usually with the trims) and the upholstery braids (usually with the tassels and upholstery fabrics). Choose the size braid that fits with your teacup. Also, keep in mind that you will be tying the embroidery scissors to the cup, and some braid may be too heavy to work with. You may want to buy a thinner coordinating braid for tying on the scissors.
  • Braid can be frustrating stuff, because as soon as you cut it, it begins to unravel. You can spare yourself this grief by untwisting the braid slightly where you want to cut, placing a couple of drops of fabric glue between the braids with a toothpick, and twisting it tight again until it dries. Then cut through the dried glue - no unraveling!
Day card craft photoNow, why not make a matching Mother's Day card to go with your teacup pincushion? You already have most of the material lying in front of you and your inkjet printer is warmed up.

Our exclusive Mother's Day card design uses the same fabric and a larger version of the same vintage image. We particularly like the aged look you can achieve with a light application of distressing ink to the edges of the cut paper. Distressing ink is a translucent dye-type ink on a raised ink pad. You can apply the ink directly by rubbing the pad on the edges of the paper, or you can use an applicator. We used our favorite applicator - foam cosmetic wedges.

We want to acknowledge that we first saw the basic design for this teacup pincushion in the Butterick publication, 101 Crafts Under $10.

For more vintage Mother's Day images, be sure to visit our Vintage Image Download Gallery!


Jody said...

Love this! That tea cup pinnie is just too cute!

Snugglebug Blessings said...

Hi Sue,

Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful keepsake for moms and grandmoms. It really is quite beautiful and yet so simple. I think the simple things can be some of the best gifts to give. God bless, Cathy

RabbitHollowPrims said...

Me too Cathy. going to make one for my mom :)

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