Crafters use an awful lot of pins.

Hijabis (someone who wears hijab/ headscarf) use a whole ton more.

As one of both, can you imagine the amount of pins I have lying around?

And when you use pins every day, having to store them in those pesky pin wheels is a real pain…especially when you’ve got one hand over your head awkwardly holding your pashmina in the perfect position, having to wrangle out a pin one-handed is not the easiest thing. So the perfect solution? A cute pin cushion that would look pretty alongside my perfumes and jewellery on my dressing table as well as being practical.

And with Eid coming up, I thought it would be a nice idea to make a few pin cushions for our hijab wearing cousins as little handmade presents. So I simplified the technique and recruited my sister-in-law and spent a day churning these cute pin puffs out.

Now, trust me when I say these are super easy to make. My SIL is only 12 years old and managed to make one all by herself (and I bet you can’t tell which one that is!)- so really, you’ve got no excuse! You don’t even need to have a sewing machine, needle and thread is just as good. Now onto the ‘how’:

(p.s. This is a really simple tutorial aimed for people who have very little sewing experience so there are a lot of step-by-step photos).

A little pin puff


  • One sheet of felt (~45p a sheet from most craft stores and even some supermarkets)- I used felt because it’s a nice ‘starter’ material if you’re new to sewing. It’s easy to cut, easy to sew through and doesn’t need hemming to stop it fraying. Perfection.
  • Some scrap material- I used some left over cotton in cream and white. You need about 60cm x 8cm. It doesn’t have to be that long, it depends on how much frill you want so don’t stress if you don’t have enough. It just means yours will have fewer frills.
  • Beads/embellishments to decorate with


  1. Draw around a cup onto your felt to make two circles ~5/6cm in diameter and cut them out.
  2. Decorate the felt circle which will be the ‘top’. I cut out around 15 petals to create the rose for my one. You can obviously leave it plain if you prefer.
  3. Lightly draw a rectangle on the back of your scrap of material using a pencil i.e. the ‘wrong’ side of the material. It should be 60cm by 6cm, leaving a 1cm margin around it as a seam allowance. I used a template I made from a piece of A4 paper- using it twice to give me the 60cm length I needed. The rectangle will act as your guideline. *If you know how to sew, you can easily miss this step out*
  4. Do a simple running stitch along the two lengths of the rectangle. I’ve used contrasting thread here to make it more obvious in my photos, so you might want to use one that’s a little more matching to your cloth. Make them quite large, about 1cm long each, and follow the line you’ve drawn. The good thing is that these don’t need to be particularly neat or uniform in size. The key is to only use one thread to do one length, so make sure you’ve cut enough thread for yourself so you don’t have to tie off and thread a new needle. Leave the end long and don’t tie a knot- leave it loose! Now you have two parallel lines of running stitch. *You can do this stage on the sewing machine too. Just pick the largest stitch length and loosen the tension*
  5. Fold your cloth in half, with the right sides facing (this means that you should have the pencil markings facing you on the outside) and stitch along the side. You can use a sewing machine for this or to a very close running stitch/ back-stitch.
  6.  Now for the fun bit! Take one of the loose tails of one of the lines of running stitch you did in step 4 and pull on it gently. The cloth will start to gather. Continue pulling and spreading out the ‘gathers’ to even out the frills. Pull until you make a loose circle with your material.
  7. Take the felt top of your pin puff and sew onto the top using a simple running stitch, making sure your top is covering up the frill-making stitch from step 4.
  8. Now take the other loose tail and repeat stage 6. This time, stuff the puff! You can use pretty much anything for this stage. For these we just used simple fiberfill, but that makes them quite light. You may want to use daal/lentils or rice for a heavier filler. If you want to keep your pins super sharp, try sand (which is a bit messy so lay down some newspaper!) or I hear crushed walnut shells are very good (from pet stores).
  9. Pull the loose tail further to close off the puff.
  10. Take the felt bottom and stitch on with a running stitch.

And that’s all it takes! 10 easy steps and a super cute result. Which design do you like the best?


little pomegranate

P.s. I only decorated 2 out of the 6- the rest were done by SIL. Another pomegranate in the making?…

2 replies on “A little pin puff

  1. The flower – hands down. Looks beautiful. Like a perfume bottle! I don’t sew that much – could I still have a bash at makiing this? I’m also looking to brush up my sewing skills so I can alter my clothes and make them more hijab friendly! It’s quite expensive to keep buying maxi skirts. I also have way too many hijab pins. Also – any way to visually store the more fancier pins? (you know, brooches and actual hijab/hat pins : – – – to be easy access, look pretty on the dresser, and be stored well too? – visually accessible?)

    JZK 🙂

    1. Yes, you can definitely give it a go! All you need to be able to do is normal running stitches. Let me know if you want help with the flower (although, I’m sure you can work it out!).

      Ooo, you know- I’ve never thought about displaying fancier pins. That’s a good idea! I guess you could get a nice fancy frame and take out the glass and replace it with some lovely fabric and a fine metal mesh on top (to make a jewellery holder like those earring ones you find in the shops?) and hang them off that/ make a padded backing board for the frame so you could pin them into it. Am I making any sense? Ha ha. Maybe I’ll give it a go when exams are over?


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