Simple Scrap Pin Cushions in A Few Easy Steps

Quick and easy half-square triangle pin cushion

Sometimes I like having a quick and easy project and it's always great to be able to recycle scraps of fabric. In the case of this cute pincushion, I used leftover half-square triangle units (HSTs) from a quilt I was making. Sometimes quilt pieces don't turn out just perfectly so I try to use them for other projects. I also had some leftover nine-patches from the very first quilt I ever made. There were lots of extra so I've used them for everything from pin cushions and Christmas ornaments to embellishments on jeans! 

I've collected a variety of pretty needlework tools and supplies over the years and one of my favorite is my pincushion collection. Some are made by me and others given to me or purchased. I have dozens of pincushions and hundreds of antique buttons but here are a few of my favorites.

Let's Go!


  • Lightweight fabric scraps or small quilt blocks or pieces

  • Sewing Machine

  • Button or bead

  • Stuffing (I used Poly-fil®)

  • Needle and thread


If using a quilt piece or a scrap of fabric, decide if it's the right size for the pincushion you'd like to make. Keep in mind your finished pincushion will be slightly smaller due to your seam allowance. I used two leftover HSTs from a quilt project I was making, and my pin cushion finished at 3 1/2" square (before stuffing), but you could easily make it a bit larger. You'll need two squares in equal sizes. If you're not a quilter feel free to just use two small pieces of fabric for your squares. Press fabrics if needed.

If you want to make new HST units for this project, here's a refresher: 

  1. Cut two squares 4 3/8".

  2. Draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of the lighter fabric.

  3. With right sides together, stitch 1/4" away from each side of the drawn line.

  4. Cut apart on marked line, and press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric. You'll have two identical HST units.

With right sides together use your sewing machine (or hand stitch using small straight stitches), and sew around the sides of your HST units with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving about 1" of the fourth side unstitched. Carefully turn so right sides are facing out. Stuff with stuffing until you reach desired result. Do not overfill. With needle and thread, turn the raw edges of the opening to the inside of the pincushion and use a blind stitch to secure 1" of unfinished stitching.

Finished half-square triangle pincushion

Hand stitch your button or bead in the middle of the pincushion, all the way through the fill and to the back. Secure with several stitches and make a secure knot on the back.

Video demonstration: click the white triangle "play" button in image below.

In this video, I talk about using fabric scraps or leftover quilting units, like half-square triangles (HSTs), and an antique button to make a simple pin cushion.

You might also enjoy my other DIY & Crafts posts, including Pom Pom Coasters and Easy One-Hour Silk Tube Scarf.


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