How to Make a Pincushion with a Frame and Crushed Walnut Shells

Did you know ground walnut shells make great pincushion filler? I was searching around for an alternative to polyester batting and found out everyone knew this but me. I thought about trying sawdust, since my husband is an occasional woodworker and it would be easy to get, but I liked how clean this option sounded. I finally got around to trying it in a couple of projects, and I don't think I'll be using anything else!

When I was gathering up items for my recent anniversary giveaway, I snagged a couple of these Create-a-Pincushion kits, keeping one for myself. The instructions call for batting, but I've worked out a way to make it using the walnut shells, and I'd love to share it with you.

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When you open up the kit, these are the pieces, plus instructions.

As you can see if you look closely at the finished product, it wasn't going to be possible to pile the shells up like you would if you use batting as instructed. Instead, I made a small container for those.

Cut a piece of muslin 7" by 3".  Fold so the two 3" edges meet, right sides together. 

Hand stitch medium length stitches with doubled thread about 3/8" from one edge.  Leave the needle and remaining thread attached. Pull tightly to gather, tie a knot and clip thread. Turn right side out.

Hand stitch the same way near remaining edge. Leave needle attached, but don't gather yet. Set the bag inside the pincushion base.  Fill with about 1/4 cup crushed shells. You may need slightly more or less, and you can adjust as needed.

Pull the thread to gather the bag. You should be able to just get it closed, but not be able to see any of the loose shells. Add a few stitches through the top to make sure it stays closed, knot the thread and clip.

Grab the fabric you're using for the outside. The pattern says to cut a 5 1/2" square, but I went with 6".  To smooth out the top, add a small handful of fiberfill before covering with the fabric.

Cover with the fabric, then roll the silicone ring into place in its notch on the pincushion base.

Adjust the fabric so it's taut and the gathers are even. Trim the fabric about 1/4 - 5/8" from the ring.

Snap the top ring on and it's ready for pins. So easy!

The ground nuts give it a good weight, so it won't move around as you're trying to use it. I like that it has some height, while I was still able to use my new favorite pincushion stuffing. Where can you get ground walnut shells? I gotcha covered - click here, and use the coupon code AHNUTS for 25% off through 3/7/17!

Friday Favorites–Quick Gifts to Make

Thanks to holiday orders in my Etsy shop, I never seem to have time for personal sewing this time of year until this last week before Christmas arrives.  By then it's too late to order online, so I get a short break before the people who've received Etsy gift cards start shopping.  If someone is receiving something handmade from me, I'm probably working on it right now, so quick, easy projects are a must. Now I've just got to figure out if I can make every, single one of these this week!

Who doesn't love the gift of a cute photo?  Make it even more appealing with this Bias Tape Magnetic Photo Frames from Sew Much Ado.  These are also a great way to use up some fabric scraps.

Bias Tape Magnetic Photo Frames from Sew Much Ado
Bias Tape Magnetic Photo Frames from Sew Much Ado

I don't know if I've ever sewn anything in under an hour, but this One Hour Floor Cushion from Ohoh Blog does look pretty simple, and so fun!

One Hour Floor Cushion from Ohoh Blog
One Hour Floor Cushion from Ohoh Blog

Although I'm a big fan of the cinnamon variety, I love that you could make these DIY Altoids from One Broads Journey in just about any flavor.

DIY Altoids from One Broads Journey
DIY Altoids from One Broads Journey

This Scented Wood Air Freshener from Northstory is a great gift because you don't have to worry about whether it will match the recipient's décor, and the scent options are endless.

Scented Wood Air Freshener from North Story
Scented Wood Air Freshener from North Story

I try to keep it to one a day, but those empty k-cups still stack up.  These K-Cup Bath Bombs from The Good Stuff are a great way to give them a second life, while ending up with a pretty, thoughtful gift.

K-Cup Bath Bombs from The Good Stuff
K-Cup Bath Bombs from The Good Stuff

I always keep a container of raw sugar with vanilla beans in the pantry, but this Flavored Sugar from A Spicy Perspective reminds me that there are other flavor options, and that they'd make a great gift!

Flavored Sugar from A Spicy Perspective
Flavored Sugar from A Spicy Perspective

These Leather Luggage Tags from Almost Makes Perfect are perfect for those travelers on your list.

Leather Luggage Tags from Almost Makes Perfect
Leather Luggage Tags from Almost Makes Perfect

I didn't realize what an issue storing earbuds was until airplanes started offering t.v. and movies to watch during the flight.  Now I feel like I'm wrestling with them on every trip.  This Earphone Holder from Make It and Love It is just about a necessity.

Earphone Holder from a Mint Container from Make It and Love It
Earphone Holder from a Mint Container from Make It and Love It

How sweet is this Blizzard Bonnet from Petit a Petit and Family?  And you still have time to make it!

Blizzard Bonnet from Petit a Petit and Family
Blizzard Bonnet from Petit a Petit and Family

Maybe it's the snow outside my window talking, but I don't think you can go wrong with these Snowman Handwarmers from Simple Simon and Co.

Snowman Hand Warmers from Simple Simon and Co
Snowman Hand Warmers from Simple Simon and Co

I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work.  Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website.  You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board.  Thank you!