Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL

I have been loving the geometric pot trend like this one from Happiness Is. I needed a new pin cushion, so I thought, why not make a geometric cactus pin cushion?

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (9)

Fun right?

It’s super easy (and inexpensive!) to make too!

I made a matching bowl for my clover clips as well which is kind of fun.

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (12)

I made them with air dry clay, so the process is a little different than a lot of the polymer clay versions I have been seeing around pinterest. I’ll share the really quick tutorial for that tomorrow. Edited to add: You can now find the tutorial HERE.

Clay Geometric Bowl TUTORIAL (1)

First, let’s make the cactus pin cushion portion.


-Olive green wool felt – mine is from Jo-Ann, be sure to get the nice quality 80/20 wool felt on the bolt. You only need a scrap, so 1/4 yard is more than plenty.
-Hand sewing needle – a larger needle with a larger eye is preferred
-Embroidery thread, 1 bundle of matching or contrasting, you choose
-Poly fill – 1-2 oz. should be plenty
-Geometric clay pot (tutorial coming tomorrow) or a small store bought pot with diameter of about 3 inches
-Hot glue

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (13) 1. Cut a square of fabric that is about 6×6 inches. Fold it into fourths and measure an arc from the folded point , with about a 3 inch radius (adjust this to the size of your pot as needed).

2. Cut out the arc and open up your circle of felt. If it’s not a perfect circle, that is just fine. Just as long as it’s close, it will work.

3. Thread your embroidery thread onto your needle (keep all 4 strands together). Cut it about 1 1/2 yards long and knot one end.

4. Sew around the perimeter of the felt circle, weaving in and out, in the same way as you would sew a yo yo or a fabric pumpkin.

5. When you make it full circle, stitch close to your first stitch and then pull your thread tight.

6. See how it bunches up?

7. Open it back up a little bit and add your poly fill to the middle. You want the cushion to be nice and full and firm.

8. Keep stuffing until you can’t anymore and then pull the circle closed again, nice and tight.

9. Sew across the middle a few times between edges and knot your thread to secure the cushion closed.

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (1) 10. Keep sewing through the middle several more times to make sure the cushion stays nice and tight and secure.

11. You should now have a dense web of threads in the middle of the opening.

12. Insert your pin through the middle of that and push it to the top side of the cushion.

13-15. Loop the thread around the side of the cushion and repeat steps 11 and 12 several more times pull the thread a bit tight at you go.

16. As you can see, the thread is creating the ribs in your barrel cactus.

17. Once you have all your ribs how you like them, tie off the thread at the bottom and clip off the excess.

18. Hot glue the cushion into your pot. I find it looks best if you set it at a slight angle and lightly on the top rim of the pot (rather than stuffing it into the pot). I personally think it looks more natural and realistic that way, but mess with the placement first to get it how you like it. Every pot, especially if it’s handmade, is going to be different. I glued and pulled out my cushion a couple times to get it how I wanted it. I had to cut back hot glue boogers each time but some of them are still visible from some angles.

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (3)

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (5) Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (4)

Now, just add pins!

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (11) Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (2) Sure this looks pretty with just a few pins right? I put them in the center to mimic a real barrel cactus for these pictures.

But to be real, this is how my cushion really looks…

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (6) Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (7) ;) Still cute, but definitely more colorful. ha.

The pot makes this cushion a little heavy, which is nice for doubling it up as a pattern weight.

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (10)

Bonus fact: I am originally from southern Arizona. I remember hating cacti and not having “real” trees and seasons as a child. I have lived from home long enough now that I almost miss all those cacti. I do appreciate their beauty now and it’s fun to have a reminder of my beginnings in my creative space.

Geometric Cactus Pin Cushion TUTORIAL (8) I’ll be back tomorrow with the clay pot tutorial! Edited to add: You can find it HERE!



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