Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Apple Pincushion or paperwight (a)

This week I needed to make a present for a friend who is relatively new to sewing, but very enthusiastic (yay, another convert!). I decided on a pincushion, and after spending time digging out all of my scraps of green coloured fabrics and trying to choose two, I thought red would look better. The leaves and stalk are made from felt.

Although the apple looks a little fiddly, it is actually quite a simple project, and a great one for upcycling small pieces of vintage fabric (I can’t be the only one with miscellaneous small pieces of treasured fabrics saved… at least, I hope it’s not just me!).


  • Two different patterned cotton fabrics
  • Green and brown felt
  • Sewing thread- I used white for sewing together the apple, and brown for the stalk.
  • Contrasting embroidery thread for the veins on the leaf- I used an old gold/ochre colour.
  • Paper pattern pieces: a rectangle for the stalk, a leaf shape, and an ellipse for the apple (this piece is shown in the picture above).
  • Toy stuffing and dry, uncooked rice.

Because the apple is relatively small, I used rice to give it weight, so that the finished pincushion would stay put when being used, and so that it can also be used as a paperweight (always useful when pattern cutting!).

Apple pincushion materials

First cut out all of the pieces: one brown felt rectangle for the stalk, two green felt leaves (I used two different shades of felt), and six apple pieces (three in each of the two different fabrics). The template for the six apple pieces was calculated by deciding the finished height of the apple, and the finished circumference/girth of the apple : each piece is then the total finished height x one sixth of the total finished circumference/girth.

First I sewed together all of the apple pieces, leaving a gap for stuffing. I stuffed the apple with rice, putting a little toy stuffing at the top and bottom to soften the shape.

After stuffing I sewed the gap closed, and sewed a thread through the ‘core’ from the top of the apple to the bottom, to give it a more apple-like shape.

The stem was formed by rolling up a rectangle of brown felt, and then winding brown thread around it in a spiral to maintain the shape. The thread was then sewn through the bottom of the stalk, and was used to attach the stalk to the apple.

The leaf was formed by joining two leaf-shaped pieces of felt together using a small amount of glue (this keeps both pieces neatly in place for the next step), and then using a contrasting thread to embroider veins on the leaf. The final step was to sew the leaf to the apple.

Ta Da… one Apple Pincushion Paperweight!

Apple Pincushion or paperwight (b)


Comments on: "Apple Pincushion Paperweight DIY" (1)

  1. […] Apple Pincushion Paperweight DIY on Sunday, I have been admiring the wide range of pincushion designs out there on the […]


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