29. Make a Cupcake Pin Cushion

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

This episode is subtitled: ‘My sister, the domestic queen’

I’d decided to take Laura out for lunch on Monday. It was a rare treat for her to be off work while the children were at school but, if I hadn’t insisted, she would have spent the day at home cooking, cleaning and generally keeping the household wheels turning, without setting aside any time for her.

Lunch with my sister is a treat for me too. The sun was shining and I’d got my legs out for the first time this year. Do you remember me telling you that I’d bought the ‘dark sun-kissed look’ moisturiser instead of the ‘light’ variety by mistake in the spring (episode 14)? Monday was the triumph/tragedy test for that particular mistake and the winner was very definitely……tragedy. After applying it to one leg I decided I’d be better off leaving the other one white and then promptly forgot to change into trousers.

‘What have you done to your leg?’ Laura asked me when she opened her front door. ‘Is that a new trend? I’m not even sure how I’d describe it!’

‘It’s ombre,’ I said confidently. ‘Dark to light.’

She gave a little giggle, knowing that it will have been some blunder on my part probably not worth pursuing. I followed her inside while she grabbed her bag.

The house was immaculate and on a tray in the kitchen were a dozen pretty cupcakes she’d made that morning – a little indulgence for when Hannah got home from school. Wow she’s good.

Before picking up her bag, she whisked an empty can off the draining board and headed for her recycling container. ‘That’s nice,’ I said.

‘This new dress or the tuna can?’ She asked, expecting me to be talking about the dress.

‘The can!’ I said, not realising it had been tuna because the label had been removed, probably to her paper recycling collection.

The cans I used for the lanterns a few weeks ago were ribbed and just looked like cans until it went dark late in the evening but the tuna can was smooth and looked as though it could have all sorts of uses. ‘Could I take that home, please?’

‘Don’t you ever eat tuna?’

Yes I do but that can was spotless and I knew I could sit it somewhere in view for a few days while I figured out what to do with it. So, after a lovely lunch with Laura, that’s exactly what I did. But once I’d decided what to do, inspired by Laura’s cupcakes, I realised I had a much better container for that project in my salvage box anyway! So the tuna can is still sitting on my dressing table awaiting a purpose.

Blue's signatureFor I while I’ve been thinking it would be a good idea to make a pin cushion using a (new) metal pan scourer – I believe it keeps your pins sharp – and the plastic dessert pot I found in my salvage box was perfect for the cupcake case (better than the tuna can, as you can see in the photo).

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

I gathered together some pieces of material for the case, the cake, the icing and the cherry on the top, and I found an old covered button.

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

I made a template for the plastic case, using the same method as I did for the covered plant pots – rolling the container round on a piece of paper and marking it with pencil as I went. When I cut the pattern I made sure there would be enough fabric to fold underneath and plenty of fabric to fold inside. Also, you should make sure there’s a small overlap so make your pattern slightly longer than the container.

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Then I used a craft knife to cut the rim off. Don’t worry about it being perfect (this is where I took inspiration from my cakes, not Laura’s!).

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

I seem to be flitting between the cake and the container but I’m writing it the way I tackled it! This project has come out of my head rather than me being motivated by something I’d seen on the internet so you may well think of a better way for some of the stages. If you do, let us know in the comments, please!

I cut out a circle to go round the scourer. The only fabric I had that remotely resembled cake colour was thicker than I really wanted but hopefully yours will be a bit thinner so your cake won’t be so wrinkly.

I cut out a wavy circle for the icing and used Bondaweb to attach it to the cake circle.

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Then I did a small running stitch round the icing (not essential) and a large running stitch (for gathering) round the cake circle.

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

I recovered the button and sewed it on. A smaller one would have been better!

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

I gathered the cake circle around the scourer and secured the two ends of the thread with a couple of knots.

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Now for the case. This spot material is fine, anything with a small all over pattern will work but straight lines will look odd because of the way the fabric is cut. I used a thin layer of Mod Podge on the outside of the plastic tub to attach the fabric, making sure I’d positioned it so there was enough fabric to fold over at the bottom and top. The first raw edge that you stick down will be overlapped at the end and this second raw edge will be fine if you stick it down with Mod Podge.

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Just like with the covered plant pots, I snipped the excess material, folded it over and glued it into position with Mod Podge.

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

And there you have it – one cake and one cake case. Hmmm…how will I join them together?

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Well, I got my hot glue gun out and glued in a scrunched up piece of cake material to give it a bit more height, before dolloping lots more glue in to secure the cake.

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Take a new scourer and an old plastic dessert tub and make a cupcake pin cushion

Tips:

  • Choose a fabric for the case that’s plain or has a small all over pattern – avoid anything with straight lines.
  • When you attach this fabric, remember it’s the long edge that goes at the top of your pot.
  • Choose thinner fabric than me for your cake and a smaller button than me for your cherry!

Salvage Items:

  • Plastic dessert pot
  • Old covered button
  • (Definitely NOT an old pan scourer!)

Well, what do you think of my cupcake pin cushion design? Not too bad for ‘off the cuff’ but what would you do differently?

And one final question – what should we do with the tuna tin?!

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