8. Make a Needle Felted Pin Cushion

salvagebox.co.uk - needle felted pin cushions

This episode is subtitled: ‘The wrinkles are here…’

Yes, the wrinkles have very definitely arrived. They must have been coming for ages but I’ve been meaning to replace the dead bulb above the bathroom mirror for a while (probably about two years if I’m being totally honest about how lax I’ve been) and when I did put a new bulb in this week it turns out I’ve been living in blissful ignorance.

It’s a different story with my hands. You know the saying “He knows it like the back of his hand”? Well, I’ve got used to not actually recognising my hands these days – it still shocks me every time I catch sight of their dry crepeiness when they used to be so smooth and supple. Age is part of the reason but I have to take responsibility for the rest because working in a flower shop isn’t kind to them at all. I keep telling myself to use more hand cream and I do try, but I don’t think they are ever going to feel like mine again!

However, the face problem is definitely new, well, new to me. My friends have probably been in on it from the start, watching jowls develop and crows feet multiply and crawl towards my temples. I thought I’d got away with using the cheapest day and night cream I could find and I used to laugh at people who’d spend £40 (and some a lot more – Kim, £75!!) on a pot of ‘miracle’ cream. Oh dear, I’d better start saving.

My cheap cream doesn’t come in a fancy pot (obviously) but I’ve still been collecting the empty containers for ages because I can’t bear to throw plastic out if I think I can make something useful out of it. I rummaged to the bottom of my salvage box this week and pulled out about 10 of them (there are more there, I’m sure). I’ve been wondering what to do with them and was suddenly inspired by my current obsession with needle felting (did you see my naughty robin being a bit nosey during my hat projects in episode 6?).

I was going to show you how to create one needle felted pin cushion with pin container, but I couldn’t stop needle felting and made six!

Blue's signature Here is a pile of empty (cleaned) face cream pots, plus a couple of current ones so you can see what they look like. The labels come off these really easily but getting rid of every last bit of cream is a bit of a bind.

salvagebox.co.uk - empty face cream pots

Now to the needle felting. I bought the little robin kit from Hobbycraft (Kirstie Allsop) because I wanted the tools and some initial instructions before I set off doing my own thing. I’ve only had it a couple of months but it doesn’t seem to be available any more, unfortunately. Anyway, it gave me a foam mat, two felting needles and plenty of wool to make the robin. The instructions were a bit scant so I went online and watched a video from Pufftique, which is well worth the 4 min 21 second investment in time.

For the pin cushions I used small packets of wool from Hobbycraft (that come in lots of different colours and are very reasonably priced) and cookie cutters to get the shape I wanted.

salvagebox.co.uk - needle felting equipment

I filled the shape with wool.

salvagebox.co.uk - fill the mould with wool

Using the mat and the needles from the robin kit, and the instructions from Pufftique, I began to stab the wool to bind it together into felt. It can get quite stuck in the foam mat so turn it over every few minutes and stab from the other side. Your needles will go right through the foam so make sure you’ve protected your surface underneath the mat.

salvagebox.co.uk - binding the wool into felt

It will reduce in size as it mats together so add more wool if you want it to be deeper. Take it out of the mould and shape the edges, taking care not to stab your fingers (blood makes an awful mess of the felt). Make sure the bottom of the shape remains flat so it sits well on the lid of the container.

salvagebox.co.uk - shaping the edges

Once it was firm (it does need to be quite firm) and I was happy with the shape, I glued it onto the lid of my cream pot with a hot glue gun.

salvagebox.co.uk - gluing the pin cushion to the cream pot

You can see I added a little vapour swirl to the star to save it from being completely plain.

salvagebox.co.uk - finished star pin cushion

Then I had a go at a toadstool. I’m delighted I’ve found a use for this cookie cutter since I didn’t ever expect to make toadstool biscuits (although now I’ve done this in felt, I can see how sweet a shortbread biscuit with red and white icing could look).

salvagebox.co.uk - filling the mould with wool

I wanted to make the cap stand out more so after I’d got the flat shape I added more red wool to build it up on the top surface.

salvagebox.co.uk - creating the flat shape

I made sure it fitted on the lid of the container (I needed to needle it a bit more at the top and the bottom to make it slightly smaller).

salvagebox.co.uk - adding depth to the cap

Then I added the spots. The toadstool was great fun to do and actually easier than the star because it didn’t have as many fiddly edges.

salvagebox.co.uk - adding the toadstool spots

Don’t they look cute? And the pins fit neatly inside the container for easy storage.

salvagebox.co.uk - finished toadstool and star pin cushions

I got so carried away making these lovely things that I broke one of my needles and my foam mat disintegrated! I think it might be time for a proper felting mat.

salvagebox.co.uk - lots of felted pin cushions


  • Watch the video from Pufftique to improve your knowledge before you start (it’s less than 5 minutes long).
  • Put a piece of cardboard under your foam mat to protect your surface.
  • Always have your fingers visible to reduce the chance that you’ll stab them with your needle.

Salvaged Items:

  • Plastic face cream containers

I wonder what I’ll find when I open up my salvage box next time.

Have fun felting and see you next week.

Jenny signature




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6 thoughts on “8. Make a Needle Felted Pin Cushion

    • Mine too Laura. I’m glad I’ve been saving those containers for ages because it’s very addictive! I still have a few left so I may think of a different project for those. Jenny xx

  1. Hi Jenny,
    Your pin cushions are such a good idea and look fun to make. I’m definitely going to visit Hobby Craft on my next day off and have a go (house work will have to wait!) Love the little robin, so cute. Thanks for giving me your website details.

    Botany Bay

    • Hi Dawn. Glad you like them! I think the pin cushions are everyone’s favourite post so far but there is a new project every week so keep an eye open for some new ideas. If you’d like a little nudge when each new post is published then sign-up and receive an email that will give you a link straight to the site. Jenny xx

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