Toadstool Cottage (left) and Mushroom House (right)
Now, I know that craft blogs are full of mushroom pincushions, but when I decided I had to have a mushroom pincushion of my very own, I couldn’t find a pattern or tutorial for the shapes I had in mind. Not that the ones I found weren’t lovely, just that I had a very specific image in my head of how I wanted my pincushions to look.
Failing to find a pattern on the internet, I again had to resort to making my own pattern, this time using a compass, a protractor, a ruler, and my rusty knowledge of geometry. Now, either my knowledge of geometry was much better than I thought, or I was incredibly lucky, because the pattern worked.
If you want to make your own, here’s how.
First, get a compass, protractor and ruler…. Only kidding.
You’ll need the following materials:
Red & white felt: a 9″ (23 cm) square of each will be big enough to make Toadstool Cottage and Mushroom Cottage unless you enlarge the pattern. Or, you can use any other colours you like.
Embroidery floss or wool:
- White, for attaching the spots (you could use normal sewing thread for this instead)
- Green, for grass and stems
- Brown, for the door and windows
- Selection of colours for the flowers. I used red, pink, blue and yellow
Scraps of coloured felt (or other fabric) for doors and windows
Sewing thread, embroidery needle, etc
Stuffing: I used toy stuffing for mine as I wanted them to be washable, but you could also use pellets or rice, or even wood shavings as stuffing.
Download the pattern file
Click here for the pattern. That link will take you to a PDF of the pattern pieces. If you print the document at 100% of its size your Toadstool Cottage will be approximately 5″ or 13 cm high, and Mushroom House will be approximately 4″ or 10 cm high. (Unless I really messed up the production of the file, in which case let me know…)
You can enlarge or reduce the pattern to make different sizes.
Please note: this free pattern download is not for resale. All rights reserved. No part of the pattern may be reproduced in any form. The written instructions, photographs, design, and pattern are intended for personal, non-commercial use only i.e. you are not permitted to sell any items made using this pattern.
Cut out the following pieces
From red felt
- Either 4 x cap top 1 for Toadstool Cottage or 4 x cap top 2 for Mushroom Cottage
From white felt
- Either 1 x cap bottom 1 for Toadstool cottage or 1 x cap bottom 2 for Mushroom Cottage
- 1 x stalk
- 1 x base
- 8 or 9 spots (I used 9 spots for Toadstool Cottage and 8 spots for Mushroom House)
From felt colour for door
- 1 x door
From felt colour for windows
- 4 x curtains
Make the cap
Step 1: take two red cap top pieces and pin together. For Toadstool Cottage, sew down one of the long sides, using a ¼” seam. For Mushroom House, sew down one of the sides without the notch, as shown below, using a ¼” seam. Repeat for the other two red cap pieces.
Step 2: open both the sewn pieces out flat, and pin to each other, matching the corners and seams. Sew together, using a ¼” seam.
Step 3: turn right side out, and sew the white spots to the cap using running stitch. If you prefer, you can attach the spots using fabric glue. I used nine spots for Toadstool Cottage, and eight spots for Mushroom House.
TIP: it is easier to sew the spots to the cap before the cap is stuffed, but if you prefer, you can sew them on later.
Step 4: turn the cap inside out again, and baste the cap bottom to the edge. Sew using as small a seam allowance as possible, a maximum of a ¼” seam (I used an 1/8″ seam, but both work).
Turn the cap right side out again, taking care not to stretch the cap bottom.
Make the base
Step 1: place the door in position on the stalk piece and baste into place. Note: the base of the door should sit about ¼” above the bottom of the stalk, as shown below. Sew the door in position using chain or back-stitch, and make a French knot for the door handle. Then baste the curtains in position, and embroider the window frames, again using chain stitch or back-stitch.
Step 2: embroider the stalk with any details you like, leaving a margin of ¼” round the edge of the stalk piece. As you can see, I embroidered lots of flowers, because that’s what I wish the front of my house looked like. I used a combination of detached chain stitches, back stitch, and French knots for my embroidery.
Step 3: once you have finished decorating the stalk, fold it in half with the embroidery on the inside, and the two short sides matching up, and sew using a ¼” seam, then turn the right way out.
Join the cap and base together
Step 1: lightly stuff the cap. Don’t stuff it too much, as you need to be able to insert the stalk into the opening.
Step 2: insert the stalk into the opening, and baste into place.
Then sew firmly using ladder stitch.
Step 3: once the stalk is attached, finish stuffing the cap firmly. Then stuff the stalk, but loosely. You shouldn’t have any stuffing poking out of the bottom when you’ve finished, or the pin cushion won’t stand up (check that it stands up before you attach the base, and adjust the stuffing if needed).
TIP: if you’re using pellets or rice or something similar for stuffing, it maybe useful to cut a circle of card or plastic to line the base with.
Step 4: attach the base using running stitch.
And ta daaaaa! You’re done.
If you make any of these, please post a pic to The Little House by the Sea flickr pool or send me a pic, as I’d love to see them.