Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pretty Teacup Pin Cushions:)

Another swap completed! This time it was a pin cushion swap, and I had been interested to try a new pattern, and also to make another cup and saucer pincushion. About six years ago I made 3 cup and saucer pin cushions and gave them all away. As a result, I had no picture to post......that is until now! Since that time I have kept damaged cup and saucer sets rather than throwing them away just so that some day I would make some more cup and saucer pin cushions. Looks like today is the day! It is best to have a cup with a pattern on the outside of the cup as any pattern inside the cup will not be visible after assembly. The other pattern I wanted to try is cut and waiting for to come soon...hopefully! When You least expect it, you might just find a cup and saucer set perfect for this this one....Don't you think it would make a gorgeous pincushion???

Tea Cup Pin Cushion

Tea Cup and Saucer
Coordinating fabric piece about 5" X 5" or about 13cm X 13 cm
Styrofoam ball about 3" or 8cm in diameter (should be a bit larger in diameter than your cup)
Ribbon, Gimp, buttons or charms to embellish the top
Super Fine Steel Wool
Hot glue gun with glue sticks
Glue suitable for gluing porcelain

Select a suitable cup and saucer and glue any repairs necessary so that the cup and saucer are sturdy. Choose a coordinating fabric that will compliment your cup and saucer. I like the way velvet looks for this purpose so that's what I use. (If you do not want to use a Styrofoam center you can stuff a circle of fabric lined with steel wool and fill it with poly batting, stitching it closed at the bottom) Cut your Styrofoam ball in half with an Exacto knife and trim the edges to fit into your cup. (You will only need one half of the Styrofoam ball for each pin keep the other half for another project) This time, the cup I chose to use had fairly straight sides so I needed to trim in some on the outside of the ball to make the Styrofoam fit nicely into the cup. My top ended up looking like a cone shape with a rounded or domed top and the point cut off at the bottom, or I a cupcake! (Hopefully that helps to visualize it) To help with the shaping, I placed the cup upside down onto of the domed side of the Styrofoam ball and traced around the edge of the cup onto the ball. Keep in mind that once covered in fabric it will stand an eighth of an inch or so higher in the cup....trim more if necessary. Once the ball half fits nicely into your cup, cut a layer of steel wool large enough to cover the domed top. ( They say that the steel wool will help to sharpen your pins as you insert them) Lay your fabric down, centered over the steel wool covered dome. Wrap the edges around to meet at the bottom. Clip away any excess fabric. Stitch all four corners together nice and snug at the bottom. No one will ever see this part so don't worry about neatness. Then, pull snug and secure the fabric at the four spots midway between each of the corners.
Your pin cushion top is now ready to be decorated. Your embellishments may be glued in place or stitched depending on what they are. I prefer to stitch them in place if at all possible. You can use silk flowers and leaves, buttons, charms, lace, sequins, whatever works for you! The first embellishment to apply, is gimp, ribbon, rickrack, or a strand of beads. In this project I have used gimp which I positioned while holding the pin cushion top in the cup, and tacking the gimp trim in place with pins. I positioned only an inch or two at a time then tacked it in place with small stitches until I had made it all the way around. I could have also used fabric glue. I have used ribbon to make leaves and flowers for this project. I followed these directions from the book The Artful Ribbon making the standard posy, the ruffled posy, the five petal flower, and the boat leaf.
Once the embellishments are stitched in place, or glued as the case may be, you are ready to insert the cushion top into the cup. Decide which way you want the top to be positioned in the cup. Apply a bead of hot glue gun glue around the edge of the cushion top or inside the cup 1/4 inch down from the top edge, and plunk in your top. Usually less messy to apply the glue to the inside edge of the cup. Firmly press it down for a few seconds until the glue sets up. Now, all that is left to do is to glue the cup into the saucer. Since I have reservations about the goodness of hot glue to hold the cup and saucer together, I have used a silicone glue.

If I had found my two component epoxy kit, that would have been my preference. You may further embellish the cup handle or glue embellishments into the saucer to make it your own unique creation. This is an inexpensive, quick and easy project for a nice handmade gift to gift to someone who likes to sew.

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