New This Month


Teacup Pincushions

Recycle an old sweater into one of these charming felted teacups. If you're giving one as a gift, add a tiny tag that says, "You're my cup of tea."

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, February 2007


This pincushion project comes from crafter Betz White. When selecting a sweater to felt, remember that ones made of lambswool and Shetland wool with no more than 10 percent nylon work best. We used fingering weight wool yarn to knit I-cord.


  • Wool sweater
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Fabric glue
  • Unfelted cord
  • Felted white circles
  • Lingerie bag


  1. After choosing a sweater, cut off the sleeves and cut them open so there are no crease lines.
  2. Place in a lingerie bag, and wash in the 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. To make the cup, take a 7-by-4 1/2-inch rectangle of felted wool and 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 by folding a 10-inch length of I-cord in half lengthwise and sewing 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.

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