How to Make Pincushions from the Fish Museum and Circus Tea Towel

How to Make Pincushions from the Fish Museum and Circus Tea Towel


The Fish Museum and Circus Tea Towel has all of the fabric you need to make 9 different pincushions. There are 3 each of 3 sizes, Small, Medium, and Large. Use the extra small circles to make covered buttons for the center of each pincushion!

You will need:

  • A Fish Museum and Circus Tea Towel which you can find HERE

  • 7/8” Cover Button Kit such as the Dritz Craft Cover Button Kit

  • Upholstery Thread for attaching the buttons

  • A small 2 hole button

  • Pincushion fill-I like to use crushed walnut shells but you can use polyfill, wool, cotton, or whatever you like.

  • Starch such as Best Press or Magic (optional but recommended)


What to do:

1. Iron and starch the tea towel, especially if you have washed it. Linen can be stretchy and shifty so starching it will help keep everything straight.

2. Cut out all of the circles.

3. Match the larger size circles with ones of the same size and put them right sides together. You will have 9 pairs, 3 of each size. Keep the 9 extra small circles for covering the buttons.

4. Sew around the circles with ¼” seam allowance, leaving a 1” opening.


5. Clip the seam allowance around the circle, leaving the area that you left open unclipped.

6. Finger press the seams open. This will be particularly helpful when you sew the opening closed. 


7. Turn the pincushion right side out.

8. Press and starch the pincushion again.

9. Fill the pincushion. Be careful not to overstuff the pincushion. You want to be able to move the fill around when attaching the buttons. 


10. Sew the opening closed.

11. Make the covered buttons using the instructions on the kit package. The covered button is for the top of the pincushion. The 2 hole button is for the bottom to keep the thread from pulling when you attach the covered button.

12. Using the upholstery thread, go through one hole in the 2 hole button from the front, then go through the center of the bottom of the pincushion and up through the pincushion to the center of the top. Go through the loop of the covered button and then back down though the pincushion and the 2 hole button. Tie off the thread.


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