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Teacup Pincushions




Tools and Materials
Wool sweater
Fabric glue
Lingerie bag
Unfelted cord
Felted white circles

Teacup Pincushions How-To
1. Select a sweater to felt (ones made of lambswool and Shetland wool with no more than 10 percent nylon work best). Cut off sleeves from sweater and cut them open so there are no crease lines.

2. Wash in a washing machine with hot water and soap until the fabric is felted. (To test felt, snip fabric. If it is felted, the fabric will not fray.)

3. Make the center of the "tea" by cutting two 5-by-11-inch brown and cream rectangles. One by one, fold rectangles lengthwise and pin to secure. Stack one on top of the other, offsetting the top one by 1/2 inch to the left. Starting from the right, roll widthwise until spiral is about 2 inches in diameter. Secure in place with pins. Cut off excess length. Baste in place with a few hand-stitches. The folded edge of the roll will be the top. Trim unfolded edge of roll, rounding it slightly like the base of a teacup.

4. Make the cup. Take a 7-by-4 1/2-inch rectangle of felted wool. Fold widthwise, right sides together. Sew short ends together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance to form a tube. Slide tube 1/2 inch down over top of the brown roll. Carefully turn the tube right side out. Secure at top with fabric glue. Trim bottom, if it is longer than the roll, and make a running stitch around the bottom of the tube. Pull the thread so the fabric gathers at the bottom. Secure in place with fabric glue.

5. Crank out cord on the "embellish-knit." Felt I-cording by putting it in a lingerie bag and washing it in hot, soapy water in the washing machine. You will need about 1 yard unfelted cord total. Glue a 5-inch piece of I-cord end to end, forming a circle; pin in place.

6. Create the base of the cup. Turn cup upside down. Glue I-cord circle to bottom of cup; pin in place.

7. Make handle. Fold a 10-inch length of I-cord in half lengthwise and sew together down the middle with a zigzag stitch. Sew a small loop at one end of double-wide strip of I-cord. Glue handle to cup and secure with pins.

8. Glue a 12-inch I-cord around a 3-inch felt circle to make a saucer. Glue saucer to bottom of cup.

9. To make the whipped cream dollop, take three felted 1 1/2-inch white circles. Fold one like a taco; when butted together, they look like a dollop. Attach to top of tea with a pin.

The "Embellish-Knit" used in the segment can be found at The pins are from We used fingering weight wool yarn to knit I-cord.

Special Thanks
Betz White,

The Martha Stewart Show, February 2007



Reviews (37)

  • dooderose 13 Jan, 2011

    If it helps anyone, both parts of the video can be found here: .
    The video will help a lot for this project!

  • conlmack 5 Jan, 2011

    Also, if you want the heart shapes and can't find the pins, make your own from foam sheets and a pin or attach a wire.

  • conlmack 5 Jan, 2011

    I'm going to make this out of fleece scraps. I'm sure I've got the needed colors and will look just as good without all the hassle of finding and felting a sweater!

  • conlmack 5 Jan, 2011

    Get the heart shaped pins at the dollar store or joann's in the notions.

  • clou6813 5 Jan, 2011

    Where do you get the heart shaped stick pins

  • daisygirl27 5 Jan, 2011

    What a great idea! These are so cute. I can't wait to make one for Valentine's Day!!

  • Moufaloof 1 Aug, 2010

    Could you do it with felt?

  • cvera 1 Mar, 2010

    these are just too cute. The video really helps the assembly look easier, Childrens sweaters would probably work better, because the patterns are already small! I'll bet a scarf would work too!

  • vw1619 28 Feb, 2010

    This is great and comes out wonderful.

  • jasper58 28 Feb, 2010

    hutvemahat - Betz White has a website in her own name, and I think is also selling through

  • jasper58 28 Feb, 2010

    hutvemahat - Betz White has a website in her own name, and I think is also selling through

  • shimmysister 28 Feb, 2010

    How cute!!! I can't wait to make these for gifts.

  • gammyx4 28 Feb, 2010

    Is there a diagram or pattern for some of us first time crafters?

  • hutvemahat 30 Sep, 2009

    My mom loves it...where can I buy it for her??

  • FPU000-425 21 Feb, 2009

    Auntie Betty check step # 8

  • AuntieBetty 19 Feb, 2009

    Did I miss something? How is the saucer made?

  • Sarbogast 17 Feb, 2009

    Sad, ther's no sound on my video. )= I have it up full blast on my laptop, but nothing is coming through from the video.

  • owlover 17 Feb, 2009

    I love them and it's a great idea to use old sweaters. However, I have old yarn and no sweaters. Anybody know where I could find a similar pattern to use up old yarn and recycle it? TIA

  • lilyanna 16 Feb, 2009

    What kind of fingering weight yarn is used and where can it be found?

  • cookiesgalore 15 Feb, 2009

    oops! As usual it cut off. just go to her website and scroll down to the bottom.Click on the 2008 file and click on December. it will be under that with the title "Vintage Inspired Pin Cushions"

  • Ingridbernhardt 15 Feb, 2009


  • QueenIput 15 Feb, 2009

    As children, we would hammer small nails into the top of a wooden cotton reel to make the same string as i-cord. A crochet hook is also useful to lift the stitches over one another. I'll be adding this to my teapot collection.

  • brockdiva 16 Jan, 2009

    Instead of using i-cord you could use the seams that you cut off from your sweater. just cut close to the seam so that it looks even and it will give the i-cord effect and you will be recycling even more of your sweater.

  • poohknitz 20 Dec, 2008

    If you don't want to buy or use the Embellish-Knit you can actually knit some i-cord. It is exactly the same thing. Look on to see how. If you don't know how to knit you will either have to learn or buy the gadget.

  • workingpearl 10 Oct, 2008

    I bought the embellish-knit contraption and it is so difficult, I only succeded once and tried at least 150 other times. Anyone offer some help? Thanks

  • raebeth 1 Oct, 2008

    To mpittman: the whole point ito felting an old sweater rather than knitting new pieces for this is to "reclaim" or "upcycle" things from being thrown into land fills.

  • SweetTeaGirl 9 Jun, 2008

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • Freckld_Face 15 May, 2008

    Oh boy! So clever!! I love them! :}

  • mpittman 26 Mar, 2008

    This is just so insane hahaha. The video does clarify things a bit, but I think I will prefer to try to figure out to knit it from scratch and felt it. They are adorable. Where I live wool sweaters do not exist (due to 70 degree winters.)

  • islandfresh79 24 Feb, 2008

    A friend of mine owns a very hip yarn shop here in town and these would be an enormous hit. These teacups are so cute.

  • plananelegantteaparty 20 Feb, 2008

    I LOVE these1 I do not knit but I do sew. What a clever way of making a 'knitted' project without knitting! I have a tea party web site and a tea party catering service. I will make some of these cute pincushions for me and my customers.
    Thank you!

  • ariadnaquijano 18 Feb, 2008

    Beautiful, yet it sounds infinitely hard. I would love to make it, but it just sounds too difficult!

  • CraftTestDummies 18 Feb, 2008

    PS... Betz White's book is called "Warm Fuzzies" and her cupcake pincushions are featured in there. It's available on Happy Crafting!

  • CraftTestDummies 18 Feb, 2008

    Ok, these are as cute as Christmas, but it's really not fair. There should be alternate instructions for those of us who do not have, nor wish to buy, the embelllish-knit thingy. This seems like a very advance/specialized craft.

  • darlasdarlingdesigns 17 Feb, 2008

    Does anyone know where I can find a pattern book on these? I want to make the cupcake ones. HELP!!!

  • darlasdarlingdesigns 17 Feb, 2008

    I watched the video and she said to sew them together. Once you put it on the top of the cup you use a pin to attach it to the top.

  • Bwags 10 Feb, 2008

    I am working on one of these. I am puzzled by the "dollop" instructions. Do you sew the 3 circles together? Glue them?? Help!!