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Strawberry Pincushions

You may remember seeing charming strawberry pincushions like these in your grandmother's sewing box. Hers were probably sewn from scraps of leftover fabric; ours are made with ribbon remnants, shirting fabric, and felt, which works especially well because its edges won't fray.




  • Pincushion template
  • Fabric and ribbon remnants
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Fine sand or emery
  • #3 pearl-cotton thread or felt, for berries' tops
  • 6-strand embroidery floss, for seeds
  • Fabric glue


  1. Step 1

    Begin by printing out our templates. Trace the cone template onto fabric, then cut out the shape. Fold the fabric into a cone shape, right sides facing, and stitch together along one edge, leaving a narrow seam allowance.

  2. Step 2

    Sew a loose, even running stitch along the perimeter of the wide opening, which will become the top of the berry.

  3. Step 3

    Before cinching the top, place the cone in a small jar or bottle for balance, and fill it with sand or emery, which will keep pins sharp. Pull the thread taut, and stitch the top closed.

  4. Step 4

    For the strawberry's top, trace the cap template onto a piece of felt, cut out the shape, and affix it in place with a drop of glue; then sew along the edges with a slip stitch.

  5. Step 5

    Or, create leaves by sewing long stem stitches onto the strawberry using the pearl-cotton thread, leaving a loop of floss at the top for a handle. Embroider seeds onto berry using embroidery floss with a single stitch or a French-knot stitch.

Martha Stewart Living, April 2000



Reviews (27)

  • Ludona 12 Sep, 2011

    These are identical to the one my grandmother used. I'm so happy to have the pattern to make for my daughters and granddaughters for stocking stuffers!

  • sewingwithmartha 6 Mar, 2011

    im a begginer sewer so is this project hard to do.

  • embellisher 22 Feb, 2011

    Can't wait to try this, but intend to embroider the beads FIRST. Can't imagine doing it afterwards!

  • embellisher 22 Feb, 2011

    Can't wait to try this, but intend to embroider the beads FIRST. Can't imagine doing it afterwards!

  • nakpunar 19 Feb, 2011

    I used 1/5 cups emery for this pincushion: Diameter 2 1/2", height is 1 1/2"

  • sewcreative 2 Jan, 2011

    These are sew cute...the emery sand is expensive, about how much do you think it takes. Wondered how far one cup of it would last.

  • lsadk 27 Aug, 2010

    I'm trying to get the strawberry template for the cone. Its not working, any thoughts?

  • Chia1 4 Jun, 2010

    I still have one of those tomato pin cushion with the dangling strawberry. I was under the impression that the strawberry was for sharpening the pins.

  • sesiber 17 Mar, 2010

    Great tutorial. Pincushions so cute. After I see that tutorial I search for the Emery Sand and bought from .
    My pincushions wonderful. Thanks for the Emery Sand tip.

  • nakpunar 21 May, 2009

    You can get emery from

  • lfbdiamondmind 15 Nov, 2008

    Can anyone give me a little more instruction on how to sew the leaves by using the pearl cotton.

  • mimzie 25 Jul, 2008


  • cookiesgalore 15 May, 2008

    Thanks Sissy, I grew up with these (my mom had them), but I had no idea that they were for "sharpening" the needles. Very cool!

  • Sissy 15 May, 2008

    And by the way, these were usually attached to a "tomato" pincushion---these typically emery-filled strawberries are for sharpening your needles when they become dull from just repeatedly jab the needle into the strawberry, and the emery sharpens the tip.

  • Sissy 15 May, 2008

    Thanks for a great "project" the next time my granddaughters come to visit!

  • smilestate 11 May, 2008

    I love the strawberries. They remind me of my grandmother's sewing basket. A good memory. It's nice that we can still cary the memories. A great project for scrap material.

  • VIP_Lady 9 May, 2008

    its so easy and sweet,i like it:)

  • vikkiv 3 May, 2008

    Yes I have made these filled with sand before. I use gingham fabric for the strawberrys.

  • TWOBUMBLEBEES 28 Apr, 2008

    This was a wonderful project for my girls - we made strawberry baskets this past weekend! This project was easy and so much fun!

  • genmom39 28 Apr, 2008

    These are very easy to make. I filled some with sand for the pin cushions, and other with dried lavender to use as a room freshener. Great gifts for MOther's Day or any time.

  • miciolamiao 19 Apr, 2008

    Very easy to do it! I love this project I already made some to give away. Thanks! I am an italian reader!!!

  • rightnowgirl 18 Apr, 2008

    These are so ADORABLE and a cinch to make! Thank you so much for this quick and easy project. I filled mine with sand - much easier and cheaper to find than the emery powder.
    I am making a bunch for friends and family for Mother's Day!

  • mollie143 6 Mar, 2008

    I'm going to make one of these up for each "mom" in our church for Mother's day. It will make a great "small" token gift for "just being a Mom! (Grandma and anyone raising a child is counted by the way as a "Mom" or "Dad" if single parent(

  • staci 2 Mar, 2008

    I love this project. I am addicted to making these little pincushions.
    I get my emery from here


  • pinkpaperwhites 1 Feb, 2008

    I have the pink strawberry felt Christmas tree ornament from the 2007 sweet confections (I can't remember the exact name of the collection) line and it works perfectly, and looks identical to this great craft! So great to see how to make them!

  • linengypsy 30 Jan, 2008

    this looks like a great, easy project!! do you have a suggestion where to get the emery?

  • CreativeArtist 27 Jan, 2008

    Very unique pincushion. Where can we purchase emery? I like the idea that it will keep our pins and needles sharp.