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Vintage China Pin Cushions

I have an annoying habit of picking up orphaned sugar bowls, creamers, and little teapots that have no lids, as well as old planters too small for plants and vintage fabric scraps too small for anything, in hopes of finding creative uses for them.


Lately I've been making pin cushions. Wouldn't these make cute table decorations? You could give as door prizes for a wedding or baby shower, mother-daughter banquet, red hat tea party, or any gathering of ladies? You can pick these up for as little as 25 cents, but if you need lots or are looking for a certain color or style, start collecting them well in advance of your event!


Approximate Time: 15 minutes


  • old sugar bowls, small pitchers, teacups, teapots, tiny pottery planters, etc.
  • Styrofoam ball, cut to fill the hole (or use tightly packed Fiberbill)
  • coordinating fabric scraps - vintage is best!
  • ribbon, beads, bows, tiny flowers, etc.
  • hot glue or tacky glue
  • fancy straight pins


  1. Wash and dry your sugar bowl and sand off any chipped edges with an emery board.

  2. Touch up chipped paint if desired and seal with light coating of varnish. (Dishes with missing lids are best because there is a "lip" around the hole where you can attach the Styrofoam ball. They're also really cheap!)

  3. Cut Styrofoam ball to fit (or use Fiberfill).

  4. Cover ball with fabric scrap and glue raw edges to back. Stretchy fabric works best.

  5. Add ball to sugar bowl and glue in place.

  6. Add trims as desired, strategically hiding cracks and chips with embellishments.

  7. Small tags used by scrapbookers may be tied on handles and used as place cards with the person's name.

  8. Add pins.

By Cindy from Waynesburg, PA

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July 24, 20090 found this helpful

Lovely! This is a beautiful way to display and use vintage pieces that would otherwise be lost to obscurity. I love the idea of creating them to give as door prizes for people who are likely to appreciate them. Thank you for the idea and the lesson!

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July 25, 20090 found this helpful

Love this idea. Thanks for sharing. Great Granny Vi

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August 3, 20090 found this helpful

Great idea. I have a pair of my boys first shoes which I had bronzed in a pewter color. Instead of just sitting on my dresser I just found a good idea for them. Oh the memories. I am looking at them now and the little bells on the front in the laces sure bring back good times.

Where did those little boys go. I sure miss them. They are both in their 30's strong good decent men.

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