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How to Make a Needle Cushion

Easy Needle Cushion - a free pattern

Give any old pincushion a good squeeze and you know what you’ll find buried in the middle?

A bunch of needles.


Tons of them!

Unlike pins, there are no heads to keep them from disappearing into the middle of the cushion – never to be seen again. I’ve tried leaving a bit of thread through the eye of the needle, but that just makes it messy and doesn’t help much.

So I invented a needle cushion. πŸ™‚ It’s shallow – so the needles can’t disappear inside. It has a hard surface on the bottom so it stays flat, and so the needles can’t poke through and scratch the table underneath.

I LOVE my new needle cushion! I need to make a couple more – including one to hold sewing machine needles. I usually have a stretch needle, a heavy duty needle, a fine needle and/or a standard needle sitting on the table next to my machine at any given time.

And they’re super easy to make. I’m not even going to do a PDF for this one because there are just a couple of steps. Ready?

First – cut two fabric rectangles 4 inches wide and 2 3/4 inches tall. Put them right sides together. Using 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew it up around three sides. Trim off the corners close to, but not into, the seam allowance.

partially made rectangular needle cushion

Turn it right side out. Turn the raw edges in 1/4 inch and press so you have a nice crease to follow when you do the hand stitching to close it up after stuffing.

Slide an old credit card or gift card into the sleeve. Best use of a credit card ever. πŸ™‚

Now – pack a few pinches of stuffing in on top of the credit card. Use a chopstick or other pointy tool to get it neatly into the corners.

Sew up the end using either whip stitch or ladder stitch.

And you’re done! Easy peasy.

Here are handy links to all the posts about quilting tools and supplies.

Sewing Machine


Rotary Cutting Tools


Other General Sewing Room Supplies

One More Hugely Popular Post that Seems to Fit Here Better than Anywhere Else

Return to the Let’s Make a Quilt main Table of Contents.

Move on to the posts about choosing your quilt pattern.

Happy sewing!


  1. Mist excellent! Yes, best credit card use ever!!!!!

  2. This is a brilliant idea! I have a stack of used gift cards that I’ve never thrown away – now they have a purpose πŸ™‚

  3. This is super awesome. I don’t have any expired cards at the moment (that haven’t but cut into tiny pieces), but I’ll have to keep this in mind next time!

    • A couple of people have suggested cutting up some other plastic – like a lid to a plastic container. So maybe you won’t have to wait. πŸ™‚

  4. Here’s a solution to a problem I didn’t even know I had. Great idea! Thanks for sharing. I will make two – one for hand sewing needles and one for machine needles – I am like you with having more than one needle on the go.
    I don’t know how you keep track of what type and size of needle you have out. I colour code each type with a different colour of nail polish and keep a card listing all of them. One time when I picked up my machine after a repair, the mechanic had removed the needle. He thought it had encountered a problem while I was sewing. At least until I explained.

    • I usually use Schmetz needles they’re mostly already color-coded with little bands around the top – blue for denim, yellow for stretch, etc. Using nail polish is a good idea though for the ones that aren’t already coded. πŸ™‚

  5. Genius! Genius, I tell you! Thank you so much, because this is a big problem for me. Although, so it just plain losing needles. I try very hard to keep thread on them so they are easier to spot, but….

    • I used to lose needles all the time – especially in the arm of the couch. πŸ™‚ I started keeping a pincushion everywhere I plop myself down to stitch – now I’ll have to switch them all out for needlecushions. πŸ™‚

  6. Excellent idea! I love the re-purposing of the credit card! If you don’t have any cards to recycle, you could cut up lids from plastic butter tubs or those deli containers.

    • It seems like a get a credit card offer (with faux credit cards enclosed) nearly every week. πŸ™ But using plastic lids in a brilliant idea! I can’t recycle them where I live and I hate throwing them away.

  7. This is a FABulous idea. Loveee it….

  8. I love this! So I made one this weekend. It looks fabulous and it’s incredibly useful. Though, I used an old student ID card πŸ˜€

  9. I get the gift cards at WalMart and use them in their gas station to save 5 cents per gallon. I always end up with a couple extra so now I have a great use for them! Thank you!

    • I got absurdly excited the other day when we got some new credit cards to replace some that were getting ready to expire. Two new cards to play with! πŸ™‚

  10. I made mine! Your’s looks a lot prettier but I think is the fabric lol, Either way it works perfect. Thanks for this πŸ™‚

  11. Marguerite SAYS...

    What a fabulous inspirational idea. Thank you for posting this.

  12. Pingback: Needle Cushion Sewing Project | It's Raining Crafts & Dogs

  13. Jess Kelly SAYS...

    Great idea! I was hand sewing on the go this winter and my sewing bag squished a bunch of needles into my pin cushion :c, so a couple of needle cushions would be great.

  14. Luz Lebo SAYS...

    What a great ideal. Just love it.. I have one for my leather chair but can not use it. Pins would go right thru to the chair. This is good. Thanks

  15. Pingback: Needle Cushion - It's Raining Crafts & Dogs

  16. Suzanne Harper SAYS...

    Please would you allow me to make and sell a few very few of these to sell to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.
    They are brilliant
    Thankyou Suzanne Harper

    • You’re allowed to sell anything you make with any of my patterns. Go for it! πŸ™‚

      • Jenni-Hope Kelland SAYS...

        Really? Our town has an evening stroll once a month in the summer to support local business and artists. There was a young girl this last week with her sewing machine making and selling little drawstring bags! I’d love to make some up and sell them there. How do I give credit to you for the idea?

  17. Kathy Phillips SAYS...

    This is STILL my favorite pin cushion! The card in the bottom is brilliant, and definitely stops the needles from getting lost. Ive also used old hotel key cards and some of the β€œcards” that come in the mail for various ads. They are great to add to small sewing kits made as gifts. (That’s when I use the old hotel key cards.)

  18. Pandora SAYS...

    What a great idea, I added a ribbon loop on the one that I made, to enable me to hang it on my sewing machine.

  19. Grace SAYS...

    During this time of confinement your website has been such a joy. I’m using up my stash of fabric and craft supplies, finishing projects and trying new ones. I saw the needle cushion project and since I already had a large supply of used up gift cards ( I was saving them because I just knew they would come in handy for something someday πŸ™‚ I was off and sewing. I also had the 4″ squares of fleece that are left over from fleece tie blankets. Perfect for this project and the stitches to close it up almost disappear into the fleece. Thank you for your inspiration.

  20. Karin Wightman SAYS...

    You could make it any size with heavy template plastic if you wanted it for pins. I attach my pin cushion with a ribbon I’ve seen into opposite ends and tie around the wheel end of my machine.

  21. Teresa SAYS...

    Thanks for the great idea!

    I sew with vintage metal machines. If I use those cheap refrigerator magnets instead of the Credit Card it sticks to the machine. I’ll draw a grid and label the boxes with the needle sizes I often use.

  22. Robyn SAYS...

    Love this idea! I’m going to make one and divide into labeled sections for size 24, size 26, etc cross stitch needles. And another one for sewing machine needles of different types!