The Etsy Blog

How-Tuesday: Zakka Pincushion Tutorial handmade and vintage goods

Download the complete project instructions here, or follow along below, courtesy of Zakka Sewing by Therese Laskey and Chika Mori.

Pretty wrist pincushions are the perfect accessory for sewing—the pins are always where you need them. This one looks like a flower corsage that you might have worn to your high school prom. To change the size of the band, measure your wrist and add 1″ plus an additional 1/2″ for seam allowances; this becomes your strap measurement. All the other measurements and directions remain the same.

Flower Corsage Pincushion


Scrap of linen, 6″ x 8 1/2″
Scrap of eyelet cotton, 4″ square
Scrap of printed cotton, 4 1/2″ square
Scrap of tan wool felt, 1 1/2″ diameter circle
Plastic from gallon milk container, cut to 1 3/8″ diameter circle (for pincushion liner)
All-purpose thread to match fabrics
1″ length of 5/8″-wide Velcro Fiberfill
Flower pattern (shown below)

Preparing the Fabric

Cut using pattern
Cotton: 1 large flower
Eyelet cotton: 1 small flower

Cut freehand
Linen: 1 circle, 1 1/2″ in diameter
           1 rectangle, 2 1/2″ x 8 1/4″
Wool felt: 1 circle, 1 1/2″ in diameter
Plastic: 1 circle, 1 3/8″ in diameter

Seam allowance: 1/4″

Zakka Fact: 
With so many people crafting and sewing, making a pincushion is a way to demonstrate a personal style
with a practical object. Tons of made-in-Japan pincushions were imported to the United States in the
1940s – 1960s, including the ever-popular tomato.

Making the Pincushion

1. Make Flower
Edge-stitch around the petals of both flowers, to deter fraying. (Drawing A)

Layer the flower pieces, right side up, from the bottom up as follows: large flower, small flower, and linen circle. (Drawing B). Adjust the two flowers so that their petals are “staggered” (Drawing C), center the linen circle three times, sewing through all three layers. Set the flower aside.

2. Make Strap
Fold the linen rectangle in half lengthwise and press it. Then turn under the rectangle’s three sides with raw edges in place. Edge-stitch around all four sides.

Stitch the Velcro’s loop side on one end of the strap and its hook side on the underside of the strap’s other end (Drawing D).

3. Put it All Together
Stack and pin the layers from the bottom up as follows: wool felt circle, plastic circle, strap, and flower (Drawing D). Blanket-stitch the wool felt to the flower, leaving a 1″ opening.

Stuff the circle with fiberfill, placing it between the plastic and strap. Hand-sew the opening closed.

Note: The fabric flowers’ edges tend to fray: if you want a more finished look, use felt or Ultrasuede.

Thanks to Therese Laskey, Chika Mori and the folks at Stewart, Tabori & Chang for sharing this project. Check out for more information about the book.

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