Tuesday, 26 June 2012

How to Make a Pincushion from an Old Baby Shoe

 I think this might just qualify for the title of cutest pincushion ever...


 A huge bag of baby shoes was lying in a corner of my sewing room.  One daughter has a baby who was bought tiny shoes by seemingly everyone who knew her.  She tried to offload the outgrown (and some unworn) ones onto another daughter for her new baby - but most got left behind at my house, sadly unwanted but still impossibly cute (as baby shoes always are).

I rifled through the bag before taking it to the charity shop.  Surely I could do something with all that cuteness?


What made me think about pincushions, I'm not sure.  Maybe it was just the promximity of the sewing machine and the pins all over the floor.  Anyway, here it is.

How to Make a Pincushion from an Old Baby Shoe

You'll need:

old baby shoe with fabric around the top inside edge
a smallish piece of matching or contrasting felt (you could substitute any fabric, really)
old pebbles or glass nuggets for adding some weight and stability (optional)
stuffing - toy stuffing, offcuts of fabric or wadding, etc.
sewing thread

To Make the Pincushion:

Cut a circle from felt.  I drew round a roll of tape for the circle.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but make it at least about twice as big as the opening in the baby shoe.


Sew gathering threads around the circle (straight stitch on the machine set to its longest setting is perfect) and gather the edges by pulling up the threads


Place some stuffing into the circle and carry on gathering.  Once you've gathered as much as you can, bring the edges of the circle together underneath by handsewing opposite edges together and pulling all the edges in, bit by bit.  You'll end up with a ball shape that looks a bit like this underneath



and this on top



Stuff the shoe: I used a few clean pebbles at the bottom for weight and stability, followed by offcuts of fabric and wadding (batting).  Upcycling at its best!



Place the felt ball on top of the shoe and stitch to the shoe.



I noticed when photographing the finished pincushion that this shoe also gives me the perfect place to stash sewing needles - see below.  Bonus!


If this one pincushion isn't cute enough for you, how about these baby boots for storage, perfect for pens, seam ripper, small scissors and thread snips?  Possibly too much cute!


I like the idea of this pincushion in more ways than one.  I'll be telling my granddaughter when she's older all about how she used to wear these shoes!

This pincushion isn't just cute - it's about using something in a practical way and holding onto memories.  Love it.

24 comments:

Helen said...

That is so fab, what a brilliant upcycle idea! I never understand why people buy so many baby shoes! My littlest didn't wear any shoes til she was 9mths old!
...off to dig out an old pair of baby shoes right now! where's that charity bag?!

Wendy said...

I know - this little girl had soo many! She did actually wear this pair. Have fun with it - they're quite quick to make!

Highland Monkey's said...

Ooh I need to put that on my to-do list. Will see if d.i.l. has any baby shoes to re-cycle. Thanks for the idea.

Stef said...

Oh I so need to find someone who has a kid to go mushy over. That is Goooooooooood!

Fiddly Fingers said...

How cute is that! I also like the little boots you are keeping your scissors and pens etc in :)

Laura said...

I was browsing through the blog train and came stumbling through your blog. Sooooo glad I did. I just LOVE this baby pin cushion. Wish I saw this 17 years ago.Lol.... my boys are 17 and 21. Never kept any of there baby stuff. Ugh. I'm kicking my self in the butt right now. But I do Have nieces nd nephews.

Lyn said...

Brilliant idea.

It's hard to throw away baby shoes because of the memories so I like this idea very much - and I'm always using a pin cushion!

Creazioni di Tiziana said...

Fantastica idea complimenti per il reciclo.
Ciao da Tiziana

LittleGreenGuy said...

What a cute idea! Brilliant!

Claire Mackaness said...

Wendy that is soooo cute, I have just the perfect pair of little shoes that Little Miss Mack never got round to wearing.

Wendy said...

Thanks for your comments - glad you like this project!

shane said...

this is so cute! <3

zoe said...

Hooray! Now I have a valid reason to buy impossibly cute baby shoes! I shall be looking in our local thrift shop soon :) Great idea - thanks.

Anonymous said...

SHowed my hubby how cute and he said"you can get those cute shoes at walmart"too funny.going to be making a couplr of these.and the boots are way cute too.

Yvette Sandy said...

I super love your idea. I just can't throw away my baby's shoes, it's just so cute. Now I have a reason to look at them everyday.

Nikki said...

These are so cute, just need my baby to outgrow her shoes now! :-)

Nikki said...

Came back to add the Little Lady has now outgrown a really cute pair of converse boots, guess what I'm making this weekend?

Wendy said...

Brilliant Nikki - let me know if and when you blog about it!

Will said...

Love your blog! What a fantastic idea, I was wondering how best to utilise the mound of baby clothing we have stacking up and you've provided some excellent inspiration. Thank you!

Mason Peacock said...

That's cute! Will find some ideas for making customised baby shoes around here. Thanks for sharing this brilliant post. :)

Anonymous said...

I love these, I have kept little shoes and boots from all of my grandchildren. I will have to make these.

Anonymous said...

I love the little shoe pincushion. I have one of my Dad's baby shoes. It is a high top button shoe, over 80 years old. It is the only item I have from him. Thank you for sharing this idea.

Teresa said...

Love your Baby Shoe Pincushion. I have made many of these for sewing friends and as exchange gifts at sewing retreats. I received one many years ago from a friend and then I started making them. I get my shoes from Children's resale shops. Usually for $1.50 a pair. I have some pictures posted on my Pinterest page.

Jack said...

Oh my! That was awesome! Thanks for posting. These are great instructions. I hope I can make one :)