Shop Etsy

The Collectors: Handmade Pincushions

May 20, 2011

by rikrak


Love peeking inside an artist’s studio? Me too. Windowsills lined with buttons or beads, pigments or inks. Tin cans filled with an array of paintbrush bouquets. Paper scraps become a riot of crazy confetti on the floor. And it is in the sewer’s studio where pincushions bloom from various surfaces; a happy home for all those stray pins. After today’s gorgeous collection, I’ll never quite look at the functional, artistic beauty of organizing my art supplies in quite the same way!


Who are you?
Lana, wife, mom, self-taught, work-at-home artist.

What are you collecting?
Pincushions — mostly antique and vintage, but I also have some made by friends and fellow artists.

When did you start?
Although I’ve had a few for several years, I began consciously collecting about 5 years ago.

How many do you have?
Ninety something, last count, including some not pictured that I forgot about until after the photos were taken!

Where do you find them?
Thrift shops, junk stores, antique shops, online antique markets, and gifts from friends.


Where do you keep them?
Mostly in my studio on shelves, under little glass domes, and beside my sewing machine. But I have a few vignettes displayed in other rooms of the house.

What‘s an interesting story behind one?
A couple of weeks after doing an arts and crafts fair a few years ago, I received a surprise package in the mail from a lady who had visited my booth. She knew I loved old pincushions and mailed an antique one to me along with another antique glass base for use in making my own cushions!

What piece would you like to add?
An antique sewing bird pincushion — an adorable metal clamp with a bird attached that has a pincushion on its back. I’ve seen them at online auctions, but they are too pricey for me.


Why do you love them?
For their simplicity and humbleness (you can read a little more about what I love about them here).

Which one is your favourite?
The stack of two tomato pincushions. The red one was my mom’s and the pink one she purchased for me when I took a home economics class in high school.

What else do you collect?
Lots of things, but here are a few: little silver woven baskets, ironstone pottery, aqua and robin’s egg blue pottery, bird’s nests, and folk birds made by friends and fellow artists.


Thanks Lana! Aren’t they wonderful? Just as rich in artistic merit and functional beauty is Lana’s handmade paper artistry. I hope you’ll take a stroll through the delicate, intricate, and beautiful space that is Simple Joys Paperie for an inspiring glimpse at what this artist has been busy creating in her own lovely studio.

What do you collect? What makes a great collection? Please tell us in the comments below. We’d love to hear!

I’m Kristal Davis (a.k.a. rikrak) and I just love seeing what folks are collecting. I feel it tells us a little bit about what inspires them. The Collectors series, first published on my own little blog is 11 and a half quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they’re collecting — apart from their art supplies!

The Collectors Series | Vintage Pincushions on Etsy

Sewing Decor, Seamstress Gift, Sewing Gift, Sewing Room, Craft Room, Craft Decor, Sewing Wall Art, Crafting Wall Art, Download, "Threaded"
Sewing Decor, Seamstress Gift, Sewing Gift, Sewing Room, Craft Room, Craft Decor, Sewing Wall Art, Crafting Wall Art, Download, "Threaded"
$2.35 USD
Linen  pincushion - crochet motif
Linen pincushion - crochet motif
Sweet Lot of Antique Victorian Sewing Items, Strawberry, Needle Keeper, Pincushions, Basket
Sweet Lot of Antique Victorian Sewing Items, Strawberry, Needle Keeper, Pincushions, Basket
Antique Pincushion Clamp Block Print - Rustic Country Farm House Wall Art
Antique Pincushion Clamp Block Print - Rustic Country Farm House Wall Art
SALE - Pincushion Ring - Black White Floral
SALE - Pincushion Ring - Black White Floral
PP04S Lavender & Bees Pincushion (Silk)
PP04S Lavender & Bees Pincushion (Silk)
$45.50 USD
RESERVED: Mossy wool pincushion in a vintage ceramic sake cup and tiny wool seedling in a terra cotta pot
RESERVED: Mossy wool pincushion in a vintage ceramic sake cup and tiny wool seedling in a terra cotta pot


  • GardenApothecary

    GardenApothecary said 8 years ago

    These are so gorgeous! I love the mushroom one of course... if only I sewed instead of sowed...

  • amberike

    amberike said 8 years ago

    So pretty. Now if only I knew how to sew.....:(

  • DaHukaHouse

    DaHukaHouse said 8 years ago

    Really fun stuff!

  • AurDenDesigns

    AurDenDesigns said 8 years ago

    I have a pincushion I absolutely hold on to for dear life, so I understand.

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects said 8 years ago

    I've tried to get a sewing bird pin cushion at auction and I cannot ever afford them so far! Your collection is beautiful!

  • bananastrudel

    bananastrudel said 8 years ago

    I've seen pincushions filled with hair. It looks a little odd when the hair pokes through. But that was good, environment-friendly use of hair.

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry said 8 years ago

    Crazy Cool stuff, love your article!

  • SalvageNation

    SalvageNation said 8 years ago

    I am the third generation to have the tomato in my family, I know I should pass it onto my girls, but I just can't !

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 8 years ago

    ooh i like this article. and there are so many cool pin cushions on etsy

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 8 years ago

    wow, 90+! I bet you have quite a mix!

  • EcoChicHandKnits

    EcoChicHandKnits said 8 years ago

    Such a sweet collection! Its amazing how many different types of pincushions there are!

  • funkomavintage

    funkomavintage said 8 years ago

    oh What a Sweet Topic! I love weird odd and old pincushions, and the different kinds of needles and pins that stick in them too.........since I sew all the time, I have about 9 pincushions scattered around the house......I still have my 7th grade homemaking class tomato pincushion...I plan on leaving it to my kids ;-)

  • pigfeathers

    pigfeathers said 8 years ago

    Very beautiful memories around pincushions , my grandmother pining something up or down on me . Your collection is precious , love love love it . Thank you for sharing !

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 8 years ago

    Cool collection.

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 8 years ago

    That's neat they are all so pretty and I love the way you have them displayed. This makes me wish that I could sew and have me some pincushions.

  • redhardwick

    redhardwick said 8 years ago

    Very cool!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    Cool collection, I've actually always had a thing for japanese pincushions I think they combine something familiar - the cushion with something unique - the fabric. Its also the attention to detail in something so tiny that I love, they look like little plums!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 8 years ago

    Such a sweet collection !

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 8 years ago

    Lana, I love your collection! Such dear little treasures! Kristal, thanks for including my mossy wool pincushion in a vintage ceramic sake cup here too!

  • StitchyImpressions

    StitchyImpressions said 8 years ago

    pincushions are wonderful! such variety and what a fantastic collection!!

  • HibouCards

    HibouCards said 8 years ago

    wow! such an amazing collection! I use pincushions for my craft of course and I am always attracted to them... Thanks for sharing this great story of the collecting bug ;)

  • RabidRetro

    RabidRetro said 8 years ago

    nice shop of up-cycled pincushions using vintage materials!

  • aileenrae

    aileenrae said 8 years ago

    I love the antique vintage style of your pincushions!! Very cool!!

  • OsoVictoria

    OsoVictoria said 8 years ago

    Love your pincushion collection. I always pick them up when I see one at a yard sale or estate sale because they are so cool! I use to make a cactus pin cushion for craft fairs, always sold out. Thanks for sharing.

  • VintageMeans

    VintageMeans said 8 years ago

    These are so pretty I just have to post a link to this article on my blog so my friends can see too!

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox said 8 years ago

    I have a favorite one - it's a corduroy puppy with catty-wampus glass eyes sitting on a silk pillow cushion with a tape measure tail. There is just something so precious about them. Fun article - thanks for sharing.

  • shabbyvintagemom

    shabbyvintagemom said 8 years ago

    How fun, what a great collection :) One of my ALL TIME favorite Etsy Pincushion makers is:

  • SoliDeoGloriaSDG

    SoliDeoGloriaSDG said 8 years ago

    What a creative and adorable collection! I absolutely LOVE it! I hope you will be able to find many more beautiful pincushions to add to your lovely collection. I collect original art - our home looks like an art gallery or museum. I am of mature age now, but I remember getting my first job and buying art with my salary - only then, if there was money left over, I'll buy food etc. ;) Ever piece I have still bring great joy and admiration to me ... even after all these decades. ;) Please buy original art!!

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose said 8 years ago

    I still have the pincushion I had for home ec....a little worn, but well loved.

  • vKnit

    vKnit said 8 years ago

    how wonderful!

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 8 years ago

    Great collection.

  • Hempwear

    Hempwear said 8 years ago

    great stuff

  • maclancy

    maclancy said 8 years ago

    wonderful collection and article~my personal favorite is my daughter's gift to me in 1975 from her kindergarten mother's day gift, a pin cushion hand sewed with the words"pins" on top. I still have it and adore it. Pin cushions represent so many things in life. For the AMish pins are what many use instead of buttons. Thanks for the article!

  • GlitzGlitter

    GlitzGlitter said 8 years ago

    Such a cool collection! And, congrats on the feature, Lana!

  • TheBargainBabe

    TheBargainBabe said 8 years ago

    Gorgeous! Interesting thing to collect!

  • FleaMarketGal

    FleaMarketGal said 8 years ago

    Collecting is such a fun thing to do!! What a wonderful collection!

  • Briarroses

    Briarroses said 8 years ago

    Lana, So nice to get a glimpse into your world and what you have around that I am sure act as inspirations in your own wonderful work. Kristal, you picked a great one to interview. She is aces!! Trisha

  • RavenNJ

    RavenNJ said 8 years ago

    Great collection. I love the idea of taking a vintage item and reusing it for a pin cushion base.. So many ideas.. so little time..

  • spontaneousreality

    spontaneousreality said 8 years ago

    wow, most wondrous treasures indeed!

  • ethicBioskin

    ethicBioskin said 8 years ago

    Pretty and delicate! love it!!!

  • onaprettyplate

    onaprettyplate said 8 years ago

    GORGEOUS miss SP! An absolutely gorgeous collection! You are such a talented artist and I am thrilled to see this feature on you! CONGRATS!

  • mossygate

    mossygate said 8 years ago

    Simple Joys Paperie's collection of pinkeeps is beautiful and unique, which is only fitting considering the collector, who is not only talented, she is a true joy to know. Lana has a wonderful appreciation for things of the past and it is reflected in her art as well. Her lovely paper wreaths, puzzle Valentines, jewelry, paintings, dolls, sewing and so many other abilities honor her love of bygone days. It was a pleasure to have another peek into your world, my friend.

  • NeatNat

    NeatNat said 8 years ago

    I realize that I collect cloths and fabric...I've got bags full of loads of fabric...and definitely they are a source of inspiration when I want to create something. :D

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm said 8 years ago

    Beautiful collection, enjoyed my read too...!

  • shop1848

    shop1848 said 8 years ago

    What a fabulous collection!!

  • southernladysvintage

    southernladysvintage said 8 years ago

    Beautiful collection of pincushions Lana!! I also love all of your beautiful creations made from paper and from books!! Great read! I enjoyed the feature! Congrats!

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree said 8 years ago

    A beautiful collection of antique pin cushions! A lovely subject to collect! Thank you for sharing! All the best!

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 8 years ago

    I loved this article. My mother sows and has every different type of pin cushion. I never really gave them much thought until now...

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 8 years ago

    How fun for you, Lana! Hope you get that elusive bird cushion one day.

  • vintagenelly

    vintagenelly said 8 years ago

    I have several pincushions myself, I just love them!! I would love to add a sewing bird to my collection, but they're very expensive (I still always look, though!!) I have my little red pincushion from home ec class and will keep it forever!! Thanks for a wonderful article!!

  • PDXfabricdeli

    PDXfabricdeli said 8 years ago

    omg ~ they are so gorgeous!!!! Thanks for show & tell.

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 8 years ago

    So Pretty!

  • thevelvetheart

    thevelvetheart said 8 years ago

    Very nice collection!

  • AKingsThings

    AKingsThings said 8 years ago

    Very cool...loved it.

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 8 years ago


  • notApplicable

    notApplicable said 8 years ago

    suCH a sWEet sHoP

  • seasonsofthevalley

    seasonsofthevalley said 8 years ago

    Love it! Pin cushions can be so unique.

  • seasonsofthevalley

    seasonsofthevalley said 8 years ago

    Love it! Pin cushions can be so unique.

  • WoolnFelt

    WoolnFelt said 8 years ago

    Im drooooling!!

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 8 years ago

    Great theme, great products! I need one for every room I swear!

  • WanderingLydia

    WanderingLydia said 8 years ago

    Wonderful collection!

  • herrondipity

    herrondipity said 8 years ago

    Love the collection! I collect pincushions, too. But don't have 90+.. am envious.

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 8 years ago

    Lovely collection. Brings back lots of memories. Thanks for sharing.

  • ForgottenYarns

    ForgottenYarns said 8 years ago

    Ooh I just love pin cushions

  • kanekl

    kanekl said 8 years ago

    Wow thats cool, i never met someone who collected pin cushions before.

  • BozenaWojtaszek

    BozenaWojtaszek said 8 years ago

    Oh my, what a collection!

  • Tina669

    Tina669 said 8 years ago

    ooh i like this article

  • FreakyPeas

    FreakyPeas said 8 years ago

    What an interesting collection. I would have never thunk!

  • CatFabricsandButtons

    CatFabricsandButtons said 8 years ago

    Ohhh Love love Love your Pincushions, so Unique. I started a little collection too and its growing although they are getting rarer to find. Last one I found was in a little Curio shop. I have about 15 ranging from Poodles, Birds, Ladybug, Scottish Little Girl, Tuxedo Boy, a cute little chair, a Red Hat Lady one, and of course Vintage and Newer Kitty ones that have scissors too. Thanks FUR sharing they make your heart sing!

  • dahlilafound

    dahlilafound said 8 years ago

    What a wonderful collection. Your arrangements are lovely too. Every time I see a pincushion I'll think of your collection. :-) dahlila xo

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 8 years ago

    beautiful collection! i especially love the doll pincushion, great collection!

  • yippeevintage

    yippeevintage said 8 years ago

    Beautiful collection, Lana... congratulations on your feature!

  • TheCookieClutch

    TheCookieClutch said 8 years ago

    I really loved reading your article. I recently made my first pin cushion. I made it out of a knitted sweater and its a tea cup and saucer. I love it.

  • FeliKiwi

    FeliKiwi said 8 years ago

    For someone who's tired of seeing tomato pincushions, these are refreshing to look at! Wonderful post!

  • LineOfSight

    LineOfSight said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing what's close to your heart ! They are so special and unique,love the pictures !

  • TheWindowArtisan

    TheWindowArtisan said 8 years ago

    The pride and beauty of the pincushion so personal and beautiful.. Not a magnetic bowl...@;)

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 8 years ago

    Thank you for such nice comments, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed seeing my collection. I just received a lovely old shoe pincushion in the mail today, still barely covered in tattered silk threads. I'll have to share it on my blog soon. :) Thank you to Kristal aka rikrak and to Etsy for running this article!

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 8 years ago

    They are so neat to collect and make I love the strawberry ones. :)

  • AThymetoSew

    AThymetoSew said 8 years ago

    Love this article! What a beautiful collection- congrats on the feature!

  • AThymetoSew

    AThymetoSew said 8 years ago

    Love this article! What a beautiful collection- congrats on the feature!

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 8 years ago


  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 8 years ago

    Awhile back I stumbled upon Etsy seller minusOne who makes beautiful pincushions out of vintage fabric. It made me want to start collecting pincushions myself!

  • FloweredSkybeads

    FloweredSkybeads said 8 years ago

    very pretty ....

  • RoughMagicCreations

    RoughMagicCreations said 8 years ago

    Fabulous article! How wonderful to get this peek into the world of one of my favorite artisans! Love those pincushions!

  • faeriewindow

    faeriewindow said 8 years ago

    Lana, your collection is absolutely stunning! each piece is a little treasure ... thank you Kristal for including something from my shop in your wonderful article!

  • faeriewindow

    faeriewindow said 8 years ago

    i forgot to say what i collect ... vintage baby gowns and bonnets, vintage powder puffs, vintage dolls, and vintage crepe paper nut cups ... none of my collections are as extensive as Lana's ...

  • newmoonglass

    newmoonglass said 8 years ago

    I've never cared for sewing, and I never considered the multitude of variations or artistic content of a pin cushion! They're very cool!... I see that now. I collect glass and beads and buttons and charms and anything that catches my eye that I know I'll use someday to create sime little piece of art.

  • kadydesigns

    kadydesigns said 8 years ago

    I have the tomato pin cushion just like my Grandmother had! Such a wonderful collection!!

  • LizsWares

    LizsWares said 8 years ago

    Such a wonderful collection! I think that the vintage hat pin cushions that I seen as a kid were adorable. A note to vintage collectors: Wouldn't it be great for their to be a team that you could request vintage items at? Well there is! We're just starting out, and could use some input on how to make things set up and easier to navigate. So come join us and lets get this team up and running!

  • LizsWares

    LizsWares said 8 years ago

    Sorry but it didnt state the name of the team The Etsy Vintage Wishlist

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 8 years ago

    Great article! Love your pincushion collection!

  • RescuedRemnants

    RescuedRemnants said 8 years ago

    I bought my first pincushion (from an etsy seller, at a shop in my hometown) one year ago and I have been hooked on their simplicity ever since. Love your collection!

  • bstudio

    bstudio said 8 years ago

    I love all the different sizes and shapes they come in, very fascinating!

  • nowvintage

    nowvintage said 8 years ago

    beautiful collection!!

  • madeinlowell

    madeinlowell said 8 years ago

    What could be more useful or beautiful? Now I want to start a collection as well :) Thanks for sharing!

  • LizzybethsFelties

    LizzybethsFelties said 8 years ago

    Wow - what an amazing collection :)

  • BizzieLizzie

    BizzieLizzie said 8 years ago

    Oh, (((LANA)))! LOVE putting a name with a lovely face!! Terrific article! Even more fabulous collection! I'm envious. I have about 7 and do my best to keep from buying more! After seeing your lovely collection - it reminds me to collect more!

  • jennyleefowler

    jennyleefowler said 8 years ago

    Loved this precious collection! There is something so special about handmade pieces that have traveled through time. Some of my collections-- needle cases, thermoses, antique scissors, silver and aluminum trays, rocks, and mending samplers: I'm sure when I die there will be lots of little assemblages that will appear as collections but we just regard as "stuff" now.

  • mctwintee

    mctwintee said 8 years ago

    i have one of the little tomato pin cushions, it made me smile when i read that it was your favourite. lovely collection!!!

  • Nancywnn

    Nancywnn said 8 years ago

    The design is unique,and very beautiful,hope you can have many more style.

  • MeFour

    MeFour said 8 years ago

    What a great collection. I quite understand, I have a 'few' pincushions of my own and I love them all dearly. This story warmed my heart, thank you.

  • adove

    adove said 8 years ago

    adorable, wholesome sewers dream collection of antique, vintage and custom pin cushions...great blog. the mushroom cushion might possibly be the most perfect delight in the universe

  • photoworksbydawn

    photoworksbydawn said 8 years ago

    Very inspiring! Love what you say about the sewing room. :)

  • MeadowSongArts

    MeadowSongArts said 8 years ago

    I sew a lot, so I'm attached to my beat up pincushion. What a wonderful, neat collection!

  • perebags

    perebags said 8 years ago

    Love your collection!! Thanks for sharing!

  • SylviaAnderson

    SylviaAnderson said 8 years ago

    What a wonderful article Lana, and of course you know I love your collection! I see the wee little shoe that I made you up on the top happy to see that you are still enjoying it! :) Thank you for sharing your love of pin cushions with us.

  • piecakeprimitives

    piecakeprimitives said 8 years ago

    woohoo Lana! :o) Great article! Your collection is divine! xo

  • BuyBackYesterday

    BuyBackYesterday said 7 years ago

    Love your pin cushions!

  • dorastrother

    Dora Strother from Theperfectgiftforyou said 6 years ago

    I love making pin cushions. I am amazed and humble when I see all of the beautiful pin cushions on Etsy! Such creativity.

  • moore906

    Pat. Moore from AtMyOwnPaceCreations said 6 years ago

    I don't even sew, but I love coming up with a different design for a pin cushion every day, I am now up to almost 1250 designs.

  • Google said 3 years ago

    Google Just beneath, are several totally not associated sites to ours, nevertheless, they're certainly worth going over.

Sign in to add your own