Make a Cactus Pincushion

Accessorize your sewing space with a cute cactus pincushion.

Finished Cactus

Because you have a little more room on a taller cactus, consider placing a few smaller flowers instead of one large one. Stick your pins in and enjoy your handy and attractive new pincushion.


For your cactus pincushion you will need green fabric, pink, red or orange felt, a needle and thread, a ball, sewing pins and a small pot with filler in it. Scissors and glue will also come in handy. You can use most kinds of sturdy fabric for your pincushion, including recycled fabric. An old shirt or pillowcase will work wonderfully. Choose a ball that is the size you would like your final pincushion to be, a tennis ball works wonderfully. Choose a small pot that fits well with the ball. We used Styrofoam to fill our pot, but you can use pebbles or anything else you like.

Cutting the Fabric

Begin by cutting a square of fabric large enough to wrap around the ball. 7 inches square should be enough for a standard tennis ball. If you want to make a tall cactus rather than a round one, you’ll need to cut it a big larger, about 10 inches square.

Wrapping the Fabric

Wrap the fabric around the ball, bringing all the points together at the bottom. The fabric should stick out in 4 distinct points, as shown here. Fold those corners flat against the ball, all in the same direction. Pin the folds in place.

Mark the Folds

Use chalk or a fabric pencil to mark the folds you’ve made. Be sure to mark the edge of the fold and the fabric under it so you can match the lines together again when the ball is removed.


Unpin the fabric and remove the ball. Fold so that the lines though one another again and pin in place. Turn inside out and sew along the pinned line. When you’ve sewed it together you can cut off the excess fabric and remove the pins.


Once you’ve sewed along all four lines turn your fabric pocket right side out and stuff with your choice of stuffing. Pack it tightly so placing the pins will be easy later.

Closing the Bottom

Use the extra fabric around the opening to close the base of your cactus. Stitch it together tightly enough that the stuffing won’t escape.

Cutting Petals

Now that the body of your cactus is done, cut a series of teardrop shapes from your felt. We used 16 big petals and 6 smaller petals for our flower, but if you want a fuller flower you can add more.

Attaching Petals

Place your petals on the top of your cactus and attach them with a couple of stitches. We used two layers of eight larger petals around the base and filled in the center with our six smaller petals. You can pinch the petals a bit before attaching them to give your flower more body.

Planting Your Cactus

Now that your cactus is complete you need to “plant” it in your pot. Fill the pot with whatever filler you’ve decided to use. Give the filler a coat of green paint on the top to help it blend in. Use hot glue to attach your cactus to the center of the pot.

Add Needles

Now that your cactus is complete, all you need to do is add some pins! Place a bunch in the center of your flower for a beautiful center, and stick the rest randomly around the body of the cactus to add needles.

A Tall Cactus

If you want to create a tall cactus rather than a round one, you can still follow most of the instructions in this gallery. Instead of wrapping your fabric completely around the ball, let it hang down in long, straight folds. Then pin them in place, mark them, sew and finish like a round cactus.