Cupcake Pincushion Tutorial

Hello everyone!

I always want to make tutorials and when I'm doing a project, I get so engrossed that I forget to take photos. Oops... This time I think I managed, even if it was over several versions of the same project. This cupcake pincushion does require some prep work, so let's get started!

The prep:
Before you can start assembling your cupcake, you need to create the following:
  • Empty jar: ok so you'll technically not assemble the jar, but you do need one on hand. I use the jars from lumpfish caviar as they are the perfect size. Just eat the caviar (this sounds much more expensive than it is, we have this on special occasions and a jar is maybe £1.99) and clean the jar well.
  • Knitted base: knit a rectangle using only knit stitch so you get the ribbing long and wide enough to cover the sides of your jar. I haven't added exact measurements as I assume that you might use a different jar. The rectangle should be about 4mm wider than the jar to cover any overlapping and sewing seams. The rectangle should be in the colour you want your base to be in. You won't see really it in the end, but I like to match it just in case. 
  • Knitted cord: I used a knitting nancy, but you can finger knit or use proper knitting needles if you want. This will be your frosting, so make sure you choose a colour that you like as this will the main part of the cupcake. The length will again depend on how high you want your cupcake to be, mine is usually about a meter I think (very rough estimate). If it's too short, you can add another one later, if it's too long it will have extra icing so don't worry if it doesn't exactly matches.
Once you have all of the above, you can start assemblong your cupcake. You'll need the below materials. The photo shows most of the materials, I forgot a few, so the complete list is below:



  • scissors
  • knitted cord
  • felt for your fruit, I chose a strawberry so I needed red and green felt
  • a 3/4 circle in the same colour as your frosting, you'll probably see a bit of this, so try to match this as close as you can. I didn't use felt here, but a scrap of wool that I had from a different project. 
  • felt rectangle in the same colour as your 'cupcake liner' knitted base. Again, I had a scrap of wool that worked as well.
  • felt circle for the base of your cupcake (not pictured)
  • low glass jar 
  • knitted rectangle for your base
  • various beads for your fruit if you need any, and for sprinkles
  • about 15cm satin ribbon, this will be your cream
  • matching thread
  • fiberfill
The assembly:
Now we can finally start assembling!

Attach your felt rectangle to your felt circle, this will be your base:


I like to turn it over afterwards, but it doesn't matter if you do or not as these seems will be hidden later:


Place your jar into the base:


Use the 3/4 circle to make your frosting base. Turn and stitch so that it will be large enough to cover your jar and high enough to make for a nice dome:


Stitch the frosting base onto the cake base, fill with fiberfill once you have stitch about 3/4 of the cupcake closed. Make sure it's filled comfortably, stitch closed:


Take your knitting rectangle and place it around the cupcake base. The top and bottom will be a bit longer than the original jar. Use the side that shows the best ribbing, replicating a cupcake liner. Stitch the ends together:


Turn the cupcake over and stitch the edges of the knitted base onto the felt bottom. Clearly this was one of those where I forgot to take a photo and took one when making a different cupcake:


You should now have a good base to start stitching your frosting:


 Place your knitted cord onto the base roughly where you can feel the screw of the jar. That is where your frosting will start. It's much easier to start from the bottom and work your way up as any errors can be corrected without having to undo a lot of stitching. Once you have sewn on one end, we can start making the frosting. DO NOT DO THIS: do not just hld the cord straight and stitch, the result will be a very boring cupcake:


DO THIS instead: as you stitch, twist the cord to get a real frosting look. I'm left handed, so your cord may face the other way, but keep twisting as you loop higher and higher up the base:


Stitch the cord onto the base first, twisting as you go. This is where you'll see if your cord is long enough. If it is: wonderful! If it's not, dont panic. You can either make another one in the same colour, or if you notice it on time, you can make one in another colour and make a two-colour swirl. Once you have stitched the cord onto the base, it's time to stitch the cords together. If you don't do this, you will see the base much more like so:


 So stitch the cords together, and you'll end up with a lovely even frosting:


Take your ribbon, and you can either burn the ends to prevent fraying or deal with that while you stich the ends together. I normally burn the ends first, and then stitch the ends together after:


 Gather one side of the ribbon to make a yoyo-type circle, this will be your squirt of cream:


Attach the cream to the top of the cupcake:


Now for the fruit. I wanted to make a strawberry, so I cut some red felt a little larger than 1/4 circle:


Attach the two flat sides, trim the top if needed:


Fill with fiberfill, gather the top and stitched closed (sorry I don't have a photo of this). For the strawberry leaves, cut some green felt to size:


Cover the gather part of the strawberry with the leaves, stitch. Add tiny clear/white beads to the strawberry to get the seed effect:


Your strawberry is done! As I ended up making a cherry for the brown/white cupcake, and the new cupcake was purple and pink, I had to add another fruit, so I made a blueberry as well. For this I used a large and a small circle of navy felt, and a small circle of purple felt:


I used a book for this, but let me describe what I did here. I cut a small cross into the centre of the large circle and placed the purple circle on top of the cross. Then I stitched along the edge of the large circle, and pulled the thread so the circle would gather into a tiny ball. Stuff the ball with fiberfill, stitch closed. The use the small navy circle to cover the gathers and stitch:


I'm very proud of my blueberry! I never made a blueberry before! Once you have ann your fruits done, sew the fruit onto the squirt of cream:


Now choose your sprinkles, and sew these willy-nilly onto the frosting. The size of your 'sprinkles' is completely up to you. I have some cupcakes where the frosting is just one colour and I've used tiny bead sprinkles, but for this one I wanted to use bigger ones as I think the tiny ones would get lots in the swirls too much. You can either sew one, bind, cut the thread and start again, or you can do what I like to do and that is just to keep going until I'm out of thread. Don't sew on too many as you want to leave some room for your pins as well, but I like the odd sprinkle so that even when there are no pins in the cupcake, it still looks like a proper cupcake:

 

I normally don't add anything to the base as usually the base is not the same as the frosting colour, but in this case it was so I added a blue ribbon to offset all the purple:


Taadaa, your cupcake pincushion is finished! It can now be used for lots of sewing, and will look great in your sewing area :) The thing I love about these (apart from how cute they look of course) is that they're easy to carry and because of the glass base they don't fall over easily. And if it does ever fall, the glass jar is so well protected with the fiberfill, wool, and felt, that it won't break easily.

For anyone who was curious whatever happened to the brown/white cupcake that I started the tutorial with, I did finish it, but it became a chocolate/cherry cupcake as opposed to the strawberry one:

 

Again, I didn't have enough cording to cover the whole top with white, so I quickly made another pink cord to swirl it up. I also made a felt cherry for the top:


Last but not least, I made a strawberry/vanilla cupcake, with a striped cupcake sleeve, yellow vanilla frosting, pink strawberry squirt of cream, strawberry on top, and bright pink sprinkles:


I really love this one as well. I think I have too many at this point!


I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I would love to see your creations if you end up making one of these :)

Thanks for reading and take care!



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