Tutorial: Make a Jar Pincushion

While I was on my diet back in December and January for Low Iodine, I discover Oui yogurt in the Plant-Based variety.  There is not a lot to eat while on that diet and dairy is a no-no but I found their yogurt in the plant-based variety and honestly, I loved it!

Oui by Yoplait, Dairy Free Yogurt, Coconut Dairy Alternative, Vanilla, 5 oz
After the diet, I still eat the plant based version and the dairy version.  I really like the yogurt.

Anyway beyond linking the yogurt…I loved the jar it comes with.  They are so cute and they are glass jars.  I didn’t have the heart to throw them away.  I was talking to Kayla about it one day and she laughed…she said, “Mom, those Oui jars are a whole thing.  Check Pinterest.  People are doing all sorts of things with them and check Amazon.  They had lids for them.”

Well, you can guess what I did.  I was off to Pinterest and off to Amazon.  I found some cute wooden lids.  I bought some and they came.  Oh, I thought they were so cute together.  I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with them, then as I was cross-stitching one night, I decided I need an ort jar.  If you don’t know that that is, it’s a jar that people put their leftover too-short threads in.  Most of us cross-stitchers are stitching in a place not near a garbage can so we can just pop our threads into an ort jar.  Great idea, I thought.


Then just a bit later, as I was trying to count several threads over I thought to myself, “oh.  I wish I had a couple of pins to mark as I was counting”.

Well as they say…that was history.  I decided to design a pincushion that would work with an Oui yogurt jar with a lid.

In the past, I had made a pincushion using a melon shape from a double wedding ring quilt.  I thought I’d try that again only I needed a smaller-sized melon.  So I went online and found a melon shape.  I copy/pasted it into my Word program on my computer and shrunk it.  I printed it and then I went upstairs to give it a test.

I felt a little like Goldilocks looking for the right size of bed.  First I made one too big.  Then I made one too small and finally I sized one in between and it was perfect.


Here are the three sizes I made.  The middle size is perfect.

But then I got looking at the pincushion on the jar and I got thinking about my house and decided I should make one in reproduction prints…not brights.  So…I made yet again, another pincushion.

OH MY!  I love it!!


Here it is working as an ort jar with the little threads in the bottom.


You can see I can pop the top off and put the threads inside.


I am so pleased with my design…but here’s the good news.  You don’t have to use it only for an ort jar…

How cute would it be to put your spool of thread in the bottom…or some of your button collection.  I can see it for many uses.

So do you want to learn how to make one?  Follow along.


**All of the links for everything you need are at the end of this blog post**

For the tutorial, I am making one for Kayla.  She graduated from Iowa State and their colors are red and gold so…red and gold it was.

I picked four of each color.  If you have a 2″ strip bucket, this is the perfect way to use them up.

I pinned the pattern in place and cut.


Here are my melons…four of each color.


I started sewing them together.  It’s important to note that you need to start 1/4″ from the edge…

…and stop 1/4″ from the edge.

I always kept the red piece on the bottom and the gold piece on the top.


Now that I had four sets of two, it was time to start sewing them together.  I made sure the colors alternated so the red was next to the yellow.


I continued to add to the piece always making sure the opposite colors touched and making sure to start and stop 1/4″ from the edge.


…like this.

Now I am ready to sew the last seam.  The piece gets a little awkward to work with at this point but it’s totally doable.


For the last seam, I made sure to leave an opening.


I turned it right side out.


I used a small mini funnel and filled the cushion with crushed walnut shells.


I filled it as tight as I could.


Then I stitched the opening shut.


Now is a good time to manipulate the pincushion.  Rather then is being round like baseball…think more of a pumpkin or apple shape with a divot in the top.


Next up pick a fabric for a button cover.


…and cover a button. It’s really quite easy to do.  The directions are on the back of the package.


Now take some strong thread and a doll needle.  Doll needles are like 6″ long.

I like to leave the knot in the bottom, then go through to the top and back to the bottom.  I pull really tight and then make a knot.  It’s super important that you manipulated the pincushion to be more pumpkin shape as once the knot is tied, that has determined the shape.


Now I put the needle back through to the top.


I thread my covered button through the needle.


Oh my, isn’t it cute??


Now thread the needle back through the pincushion and tie a knot.


Next, I cleaned my Oui yogurt jar with Goo Gone.  I could only find the Latex Paint version in the garage but it worked.


Then I put a big bunch of hot glue on the wooden lid and pushed my pincushion into the glue.


Here is how it looks.

I think they are so cute!


They are the perfect gift for a cross-stitcher or a quilter.  They don’t take a lot of time and they are relatively inexpensive to make a lot of them.


Who doesn’t appreciate a homemade gift?  If you are making one as a gift you could even put money for a quilt shopping spree or a gift certificate in the bottom.
I’m so glad that I persevered and figured out the right size of melon to make the pincushion the right size.  I’ve been using mine for a couple of weeks and just love it.

HERE is the link for the free Melon shape pattern.
HERE is a link for the jar lid-  HERE and HERE and HERE too. Lots of options!
HERE is the link for button covers.
HERE is the link for the long needle.
HERE is the link for Goo Gone.

I used Walnut Shells for the inside of the pincushion.  You can buy THESE scented ones.  It’s a small bag but plenty for a few pincushions.  If you don’t care about them not being scented a better deal is THIS which are crushed walnuts used for pet litter.  With this, I’ll likely never need to buy and again.

33 thoughts on “Tutorial: Make a Jar Pincushion

  1. Diana in Des Moines

    I don’t like yoghurt. I’ve tried for many years, but just a taste I dislike.
    Until I found Oui….
    My local Fareway does not carry it so will make a special trip to HyVee to but it. And yes, I have a stash of jars, and yes, I know you can order lids.
    Dangerous territory for me to start yet another craft project. But I am perusing the thought of make something for my church craft show next fall.

    Sigh…….

    Reply
  2. Karen

    Thanks for sharing this idea! Last summer they had flowers on the sides and I thought they would make great candle holders, but this is an even better idea. Again, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Carla

      I had saved a bunch of them to use with tea lights for table decorations at my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner. They are hard to toss. I just recycle them now, but I’ll for sure be making an ort/ pincushion!

      Reply
  3. Marie

    If you have a few (maybe 4-6) that you can share the walnut shells with then go to Harbor Freight and buy a 25lb box, it’s about $1 a pound—-at least it use to be –before Covid. I’m going to have to check our stores to find those jars.
    On the Blessed stitch along, please address how you start your design in the corner instead of the middle of the piece of fabric like I was taught.
    My day isn’t complete unless I read your blog, thanks for all you do for the CS and quilting world.

    Reply
  4. Char

    I’ve made many pincushion jars from small mason jars with screw-on lids. I fill the inside with pins to keep my pets from getting into them when I’m not looking.

    Reply
  5. Sue MacLeod

    If you fill the jar with very hot water the label peels off easily with little to no glue residue. Thanks for the pincushion tute!

    Reply
    1. Carla

      I wish I had known that. We had to remove labels from about 30 hard a few years back. What a nightmare, even with googone

      Reply
  6. Jill Klop

    I just spent an hour and a half looking at ideas on Pinterest! I hadn’t even heard of this yogurt and now I want to buy some! I’m not a yogurt eater but I think I will be now! Ha ha.

    Reply
  7. Lila

    I couldn’t help but notice you sustained an injury! Did you poke yourself with the doll needle? Those things look like weapons! Wishing you a speedy recovery. I LOVE your pincushion. I really like yogurt but have never tried Oui brand. I will have to give it a go. All in the name of crafting, of course :).
    Thank you so much for this tutorial. You took great pics!

    Reply
  8. Marianne

    I bought a pincuschion years ago at a craft fair. Maker used a small willow basket about 3-4 inches across and had stuffed a piece of foam in it and hot-glued a square of burgundy velvet over it, tucking it into the basket. It was really a clever idea, as yours is too!

    Reply
  9. Megan J Williams

    Pretty darn cute! I’m gonna have to try this. I can’t toss them either and have painted the inside of them with yellow and use tea candles in them during the summer outside! The flame doesn’t blow out and the whole jar glows! Thanks for the tutorial!

    Reply
  10. Toni W.

    I love this! Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to look for this kind of yogurt. My husband does the grocery shopping, and he just buys the same things over and over and over. Whenever I do go to the store, it’s such an adventure seeing things I didn’t know about!

    Reply
  11. Carmen Montmarquet

    Thanks for such a cute pin cushion idea! I don’t even eat yogurt but my grandsons do, so I sure will be looking to get a few of these and try this out!!!

    Reply
  12. The Joyful Quilter

    SEW super cute, Jo!!! I’ve been wanting to try that yogurt so thanks for the recommendation. About the pin cushion, thanks for the tutorial, but I have NO IDEA where my lizard litter ended up after we moved house! Guess I’ll have to open some more boxes soon.

    Reply
  13. Patricia Campbell

    Jo, thanks so much for the tutorial! I’m seriously thinking about making several of these! I’ve been reading your blog for years and I don’t think I’ve ever commented before! Maybe many years ago?? I’m always so amazed at how much you get accomplished!! You’re very inspirational to me! :)

    Reply
  14. Pam

    I found a condiment bottle like you use for ketchup at the $1 store. it worked perfect for putting the walnut shells in the pin cushion. I filled it with a funnel and then would squeeze the shells into the pin cushion. I did have to cut a little off the tip to make the opening larger but it worked great! I loved these and made several for gifts and the yogurt was good too.

    Reply
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  17. Jan Smith

    So cute! Thanks for the tutorial.
    I’ve collected a few of the same jars when they added designs on the glasses. The labels peel off just fine for me. Kind of like colorforms. Remember those, they were a favorite of mine.

    Reply
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