Monday, January 16, 2012

Tutorial: Giant Cupcake Pin Cushion

I limped around the sewing room a little bit today. My toe is having a slow recovery, but I've been dying to get crafty. It was time to finish my Giant Cupcake Pin Cushion and share the How To with all of you! I made a smaller version last month as a gift based on this from Nat at NatSprat. My pins like a lot of real estate, though, so I wanted to pull an Emeril and kick it up a notch.

Oh yeah, that looks tasty. Feel free to mix it up when making your own version. I'll tell you what I did to make one exactly like that guy pictured above.

• Tan felt for wrapper: enough to cut 1 strip 2.5" x 30" and a circle 7" in diameter
• Pink felt for icing: enough to cut 1 strip 4" x 64"
• White felt for icing: enough to cut 1 strip 4" 64"
• Hot glue gun & glue sticks
• Thread in your sewing machine to coordinate with the wrapper color
• Scissors or rotary cutter & mat
• Ruler
• Scraps or pillow fill for stuffing
• Your lonely pins aspiring for a more delicious looking parking spot

1) For the wrapper, cut a piece of felt that is 2.5" wide and 30" long. This gave me a finished pin cushion with a circumference of 16". I also cut a piece tan felt that was 2" wide, but I preferred the wider piece.

2) Fold the felt close to one end and sew a 1/8" seam. I used my handy Measuring Gauge to create a new fold 3/8" from the previous one. Then I sewed a 1/8" seam along the new fold. Just keep sewing seams to make ridges on your wrapper.

All of that felt under the foot can make things interesting, so use your left hand to keep make sure you're sewing a straight line.

It helps to backstitch at the beginning of each seam on the wrapper. If I forgot, the stitches were happy to start pulling apart. 

3) After the ridges on the wrapper were complete, I folded the top of the wrapper down about 1/4" and sewed a seam to give the top and bottom of the wrapper finished edges.

The felt was pretty unruly, and I used my snips at times to push the felt under the sewing machine foot.

You can see how much shorter your wrapper is once you finish the seams that make the ridges.

4) To finish the wrapper, I put wrong sides together and sewed a 1/4" seam. Then you have a giant weird looking bracelet, or an ugly crown. I don't know what it is, but you wouldn't call it cute if you didn't know where this project was going.

5) Next, it's time to cut the fabric for the icing. I wanted pink and white icing, so I cut pink and white strips. I had really wide felt, so each strip was about 64" long and 4" wide.

6) To make rolling the icing easier, I went ahead and folded each icing strip in half lengthwise and and sewed the edges together with a 3/8" seam. It doesn't matter where this seam is, or even if it's straight, as long as it's away from the folded edge. It also doesn't matter what color thread you have in your machine. I just left my tan thread in there from sewing the wrapper.

7) Now it's time to roll the icing. Take your two long icing strips, stack them up, and start rolling like a cinnamon roll. It can be tedious to get started, but it's easy to roll after that.

8) As you roll, use your trusty hot glue gun to keep your progress in place. It helps to glue near the stitches at the bottom of the icing, that way, your pins are less likely to run into hot glue when you are using your cupcake pin cushion. You can keep your rolls very uniform, and slowly spiral them downwards in a stair step effect, or you can intentionally pull one strip higher than the other at times to have more undulating icing. Yum. I like all icing equally.

9) Once my icing was rolled up, I just pulled the wrapper onto it. It was a pretty good fit, so I just slowly worked it up the sides of the icing all the way around. Some of the icing closest to the wrapper stuck out of the bottom a little bit, so I just cut it off in a very careless and crafty way. Whatever gets the job done is fine. 

10) I wanted to have a bottom on my cupcake. I know, I know. No one will ever see the bottom. I'm just crazy like that. I NEED it to have a bottom.

I tossed my cupcake onto a scrap of the wrapper felt, and cut a circle about an inch larger than the diameter of the cupcake. You'll notice this was done in the same very careless and crafty way as I cut off the extra icing, because no one will see the edges of this either! Yay! Ultimately, the circle is about 7" in diameter.

11) Next, I used some scraps and stuffing to fill in the bottom of the cupcake where the taller icing leaves a void. I wanted my bottom mostly flat, so it didn't take much stuffing. 

12) Hold the circle on top of your stuffing and tuck it down between the inside the wrapper and the icing. Just eyeball it so there's enough fabric to tuck in on all sides. You can use some snips or scissors to poke it in there and shift it around so it doesn't bunch up in any one area. I put a little hot glue every inch or so to keep the wrapper in one piece. Sides and bottom together at last!

13) Finally, I went back and put a few spots of hot glue around the top of the wrapper where it meets the icing. I tucked the tip of the glue gun in there pretty good, because I didn't want the glue to show. 

14) Taa daa! You're all done! Put some pins in it and enjoy. Just don't eat it.

Let me know if you make a Giant Cupcake Pin Cushion. I'd love to see pictures! Feel free to link up to this Tutorial! I'm linking up to Canoe Ridge Creations and Megan's Sew Modern Monday along with Jenna's Manic Monday at Sew Happy Geek!


  1. Hey, I thought this was a REAL cupcake on the Canoe ridge blog and wondered why someone put there baking on there!! Very cute.

  2. You did a great looks real! Precious...

  3. This rocks! And I am in need of a new pin cushion too. Thanks for sharing!