Easy Beginner Mushroom Spool Pincushion Tutorial

Enjoy these step-by-step photo instructions to make a really cute mushroom spool pincushion. The finished design makes a rather magical home for all your sewing pins. This is an easy, beginner tutorial with only a small amount of sewing involved.

You’ll love this easy toadstool pincushion project because it is easy to sew and the completed design looks so cute. The mushroom makes a magical home for your sewing pins with the wooden cotton reel base and the spotty fabric mushroom cap.

Once you see the technique for putting this together, you’ll find that it is an easy project to make. This mushroom spool pincushion is perfect for re-purposing wooden thread spools and also your scraps of fabric too.

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Easy Beginner Mushroom Spool Pincushion Tutorial: Cute Craft Project

Easy, beginner mushroom toadstool wooden thread spool cotton reel pincushion tutorial craft shown with felt woodland pins snail hedgehog

This unique, handmade cotton reel pincushion with its quirky mushroom or toadstool design is a very cute make. It is perfect as a beginner sewing DIY project because it has minimal sewing involved and it is great to work up as a quick DIY gift too.

I call these my mini mushroom pincushions because that's what they resemble but you can use a different fabric color and design instead to make a mini pin keep or holder. They're so easy and quick to make once you know how so they make good gifts too for Mother's Day and birthdays.

Empty sewing thread spools wooden wood plastic

Empty sewing thread spools can be recycled and reused in this fabulous mini pincushion project. The wooden cotton reel gives it a vintage style look. Alternatively cover a plastic spool with some cute patterned fabric or paper for a different style.

Although the wooden reels do look really charming, I show you how to use simple empty plastic ones in the tutorial and make those look just as good. You can buy empty wooden craft spools but DO check the size because some of them are just too small - you need ones with a minimum height of 2 inches.

In fact, the bigger the spool, the better because otherwise they can be fiddly to use as a base for a pincushion. Try scouting online auctions for vintage spools too if you love that styling.

Having the spool as the stem of the mushroom design makes this project quick and easy to sew as a plush creation. Use any spare scrap of felt or fabric that you like to sew the cap of this everlasting fungi.

Materials and Tools to Make This Mushroom Spool Pincushion

Sewing spools sharp embroidery scissors and red fabric
  1. A wooden spool or plastic empty sewing thread spool
  2. Small red or brown fabric or felt offcuts for the mushroom cap
  3. Sewing threads, needle and sharp scissors
  4. Plush polyester toy stuffing
Note: Wooden sewing thread spools and cotton reels look particularly good if you have any old ones or are able to purchase any. They give a wonderful earthy and vintage feel to this project.

Covering plain plastic thread spools with patterned scrapbook papers

Pretty patterned scrapbook papers are idea to cover up plain plastic thread spools for this project.

If you can only get hold of the standard plastic spools, they can be improved greatly with a pretty patterned paper or fabric print glued over the top. I’ve successfully covered these with cute scrapbook papers.

Step 1: Cover the Top of the Cotton Reel Spool

Covering the top of a thread spool with red fabric

The first step is to roughly cover over the top of the sewing thread spool with a piece of spare red or brown fabric. You will need a piece of fabric that is wide enough to fit around the width of the spool and tall enough to cover over the top so it can then be pressed over to completely cover this area.

I managed to find a fabric off-cut from the end of a sleeve which featured a pretty looking gathered hem. This will add in some ruffle detail on the finished design. For a very similar ruffled style, you can add a piece of lace or trim around the bottom of your red or brown fabric offcut.

It helps to use a band to hold the fabric in place tightly around the top of the spool while you stitch it in place. You only need a basic stitch like running stitch or whip stitch to sew this. Sew the fabric tightly together across the width of the spool for a permanent hold.

Step 2: Start to Make the Mushroom Cap

Making the red mushroom fabric cap for the pincushion using soluble fabric marker pen

Once you have sewn the red fabric around the top width of the spool, gather together the excess fabric overhanging the top. Pull the excess fabric tight over the top of the spool and then roughly sew it together as shown. This section will be totally covered over later - so you don't need to worry what it looks like.

Now choose a small piece of fabric or felt to make the base or underside of your mushroom cap. The circle of fabric needs to be a minimum of approx 2 inches wider than the empty thread spool when the spool is positioned roughly in the middle of the fabric.

⭐ Good colors to choose include cream, brown and white for the underside of the cap. You need a circular shape for this and I find it nice and easy to draw around a mug onto the fabric with a water soluble fabric marking pen.

Once you have decided on and cut out your fabric circle, place the spool in the middle of the fabric and draw around it using a water soluble fabric marker or similar. All this is shown in the photo above for you.

Step 3: Cut Out the Inner Fabric Circle

Cutting out the inner circle of red fabric felt with sharp embroidery scissors

Cut just inside the pen marked circle line that you just made using a very sharp and small pair of fabric scissors. I have a very good pair of embroidery scissors that will cut through fabric with ease.

You don't want to cut right up the lines because you will be pushing the bottom of your spool through this hole. Fabric generally tends to stretch a little, so you want to cut just inside the lines so you get a very neat fit.

Step 4: Forming the Base of Your Mushroom Cap

Pushing the spool through the red fabric circle and stitching in place

Push the circle of fabric over the bottom of the spool. At this point, it is easier to work upside down while you hand stitch the fabric into place.

Push the bottom and uncovered end of the thread spool through the hole in the fabric that you just cut out. Gently pull the fabric over the spool until it gets right to the other end.

If you added some lace or a pretty trim gathering back in step 1, you will need to carefully pull this through the hole in the fabric as well so you can see it once your pincushion is made.

It helps to now turn your spool upside down so that the covered end is facing down as it is shown in the photo above. You now have a piece of circular fabric that will form the base or underside of your mushroom cap.

Secure the fabric into place by sewing this base onto the fabric that you covered the top of the spool with originally. Sew carefully with a whip stitch or similar around the raw edges of the inner circle to secure it to the already covered part of the spool. This hand stitching doesn't need to be all that neat.

Step 5: Your Mushroom Pincushion is now half complete

Red felt fabric pinkeep design handmade process

This photo gives you an idea of what your pincushion should look like at this stage, although remember that it is still upside down.

The bottom or underside of the red toadstool or mushroom cap is now well stitched and secured onto the spool. You can turn it over at this point so that it is facing up the right way.

Step 6: Start to Sew on the Top of Your Mushroom

Using hand sewn blanket stitch around the red felt fabric circular edging

Cut out a second circle of fabric and make it the same size as the first one you made back in step 2. Making the circle is easy if you used a mug or similar to draw around.

This circular piece of fabric is going on the top of your mushroom pincushion design. I found some fun spotty, red fabric which worked well for this look.

Position this second circle of fabric right over the top of the other one and try to line them up neatly. You can pin them in place for the first part of your stitching just to secure them while you start to sew.

Start to sew around the edges to stitch the top circle of fabric on top of the bottom one. You should sew about three-quarters of the way around which will then leave a large enough hole so that you can push your stuffing inside.

⭐ You can use whatever sewing stitch you prefer to sew around the edges. If both pieces are felt, a plain running stitch is fine because the edges are not going to fray.

To sew the two pieces of fabric together, I used blanket stitch. Blanket stitch is an excellent stitch for sewing raw edges of felt or fabric. It has a lovely decorative look to it as well.

Step 7: Adding the Stuffing Inside the Mushroom Cap

Stuffing the red spotted dotty dots fabric felt plushie pincushion

Once you've sewn more than halfway around, you can start to push pieces of polyester stuffing into the mushroom cap. You need to pack it in quite tightly so that you get a nice firm design for holding your sewing pins.

Push the stuffing right over to the other side then continue to sew around a little more of the edging. You will need a lot more stuffing than you might imagine to pack the area out firmly.

Repeat the gradual process of stuffing and then sewing until the whole of the top section is nice and firm. Now complete your stitching so that all the edges are sewn up.

Your Finished Mushroom or Toadstool Plush Design

Handmade cotton reel spool pincushion with a hedgehog pin and toadstool design

Your completed mushroom or toadstool pincushion should at least look similar to this one that I've made here. Mine features a little, miniature hedgehog pin made from felt.

If you stick around to read my craft blog for long enough, I may show you how I make these incredibly tiny custom animal pins. They work well with many of my pincushion designs.

The miniature custom pins are all handmade and hand sewn by myself. The designs for these are not included in today's mushroom spool pincushion tutorial. However, I may one day include a tutorial for these if there is enough demand.

You can still enjoy making a similar mushroom design even if you don't have any spools that you can use. A small piece of polished wood will make a wonderful alternative base for this natural woodland design.

You should have plenty of fun in making this beginner felt mushroom project. It is a good one to start with if you are looking to get into making some more three-dimensional felt plush designs.

How Else to Repurpose Empty Thread Spools

1) Use as ribbon holders. Spools look beautiful as ribbon holders. You really need to fix the end of the ribbon in place with sticky tape.

Then I like to fix the other end with a colored paper-clip otherwise they have an annoying tendency to unravel. They look gorgeous on display with your best decorative ribbons on show.

2) Make into Pretty Christmas Tree Ornaments. Cover the spools in pretty papers and add some sparkle with beads or glitter. Add a loop of ribbon into the central shaft which you can fix in place with a glue gun. Hang up on the tree for an unusual but delightful decoration.

3) Thread onto Twine for a Fun Banner. If you have lots of spools, then you can decorate them and thread them onto a long piece of twine for a fun banner to stretch across a wall as room or party decor. This could make a fun way to decorate a craft or sewing room.

4) Use as Unique Necklace Hangers. Stuck sideways onto a wall or the back of a wardrobe or closet door, you have some really unique hangers for holding your jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets.

5) Create Novelty Drawer Knobs. Replace existing drawer knobs with wooden spools instead. This idea is perfect for your craft room or to highlight a fun piece of furniture.

6) Make a Pencil or Pen Holder. The central shaft is often just the right size to accommodate a single pen or pencil. Decorate the spool and use on your desk to store your favorite writing implement.

Now you no longer need to wonder how you can recycle old sewing thread spools and turn them into something useful and practical at the same time. Make yourself an easy pincushion with this simple hand sewing project.

⭐ New to Making Plushies? Visit My Free Beginner Plush Guide and Tutorial and Get Started.

How will you use your empty thread spools? Or will they just wind their way up in the waste bin? You can let me know in the comments. I hope you've enjoyed reading my craftymarie article today, thanks for your visit. I will be back soon with some more ideas for your crafting.

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