Make a bunch of acorn-inspired felt pincushions and needle books, then squirrel them away for holiday gifts.
Download this Project

Designer: Lesley Chaisson of Berry Birdy Designs

Materials For Acorn Pincushion

  • 6×10" piece tan felt (acorn body)
  • 5×10" piece dark brown felt (acorn top, stem)
  • 2-1⁄2×10" piece brown felt (acorn top)
  • Freezer paper
  • Embroidery floss: tan and brown
  • Polyester fiberfill

Finished pincushion: 2-1⁄2×4-3⁄4"

About Felt

Commercial crafts felt, available at crafts stores, is made of polyester and/or wool. If you use polyester felt, be careful when pressing with a hot iron; it can melt the fibers.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern pieces. To use freezer paper for cutting A and B pieces, complete the following steps.

1.    Lay freezer paper, shiny side down, over patterns. Use a pencil to trace each pattern the number of times indicated in cutting instructions, leaving 1⁄2" between tracings. Cut out each freezer-paper shape roughly 1⁄4" outside traced lines.

2.    Using a hot dry iron, press each freezer-paper shape, shiny side down, onto designated felt; let cool. Cut out felt shapes on drawn lines. Peel off freezer paper.

From tan felt, cut: 

  • 3 of Pattern A

From dark brown felt, cut: 

  • 3 of Pattern B
  • 1--3⁄4×3" strip

From brown felt, cut: 

*    2 of Pattern B

Assemble Pincushion

1.    Layer two tan felt A pieces. Using two strands of tan embroidery floss, blanket-stitch edges together along one curve (Diagram 1). To blanket-stitch, pull needle up at A, form a reverse L shape with floss, and hold angle of L shape in place with your thumb (Blanket Stitch Diagram). Push needle down at B and come up at C to secure the stitch. Continue in the same manner around curved edge. Do not cut thread.


2.    Pull apart remaining curved edges of Step 1 unit. Align one edge of remaining tan felt A piece with an edge of Step 1 unit and blanket-stitch together.


3.    Referring to Diagram 2, repeat Step 2 with remaining curved edges, leaving a 2" opening at end for stuffing. Do not cut thread. Stuff with fiberfill. Continue blanket-stitching to close opening and make acorn body.


4.    Using brown embroidery floss, hand-sew a running stitch along straight edge of a dark brown felt B piece (Diagram 3). To make a running stitch, pull needle up at A and insert it back in at B (Running Stitch Diagram). Continue in the same manner.


5.    Slightly gather Step 4 piece and place around acorn body about 1" from top (Diagram 4). Whipstitch to acorn body along gathered edge.


6.    Referring to Diagram 5, repeat steps 4 and 5 with remaining dark brown and brown felt B pieces, covering stitching of previous row, to make acorn top. If desired, trim excess B scallops as you work your way toward top of acorn.


7.    Starting on one short end, tightly roll dark brown felt 3⁄4×3" strip; secure with a few whipstitches to make stem (Diagram 6).


8.    Whipstitch stem onto acorn top to complete pincushion (Diagram 7).


Materials For Needle Book

  • 4×5" rectangle gold felt (small leaf)
  • 12" square tan felt (large leaf, pages)
  • 9" square dark brown felt (needle book body)
  • Freezer paper
  • 1⁄2×3⁄4" piece hook-and-loop tape
  • Embroidery floss: gold

Finished needle book: 3-1⁄2×4-1⁄2"

About Felt

Commercial crafts felt, available at crafts stores, is made of polyester and/or wool. If you use polyester felt, be careful when pressing with a hot iron; it can melt the fibers.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern pieces. To use freezer paper for cutting C and D pieces, refer to Cut Fabrics, steps 1 and 2.

From gold felt, cut: 

  • 1 of Pattern C

From tan felt, cut: 

  • 2--4×6-3⁄8" rectangles
  • 1 of Pattern D

From dark brown felt, cut: 

  • 2--4-1⁄2×6-7⁄8" rectangles

Assemble Needle Book

1.    Center gold felt C small leaf over tan felt D large leaf; pin pieces together.

2.    Referring to Diagram 8, position layered leaf pieces on a dark brown felt 4-1⁄2×6-7⁄8" rectangle, leaving 1" of stem extending beyond a short end of rectangle; pin in place.


3.    Place one side of hook-and-loop tape on wrong side of tan leaf stem that extends beyond rectangle (Diagram 9). Using two strands of gold embroidery floss, tack-stitch around gold small leaf through all layers, including hook-and-loop tape, to make needle book front. (The tan large leaf will not have any stitching around outer edges.) To tack-stitch, bring needle up at A and push it down at B (Tack Stitch Diagram). Come up at C to start next stitch and continue in the same manner around entire shape.


4.    Layer needle book front atop remaining dark brown felt 4-1⁄2×6-7⁄8" rectangle. Starting and stopping under the stem, blanket-stitch edges together using gold embroidery floss to make needle book body (Diagram 10). For details on blanket stitching, see Assemble Pincushion, Step 1.


5.    Layer and center two tan felt 4×6-3⁄8" rectangles on wrong side of needle book body (Diagram 11). Mark a vertical centerline on tan felt rectangles. Machine-stitch on centerline through all layers to make pages. Designer Lesley Chaisson used dark brown thread in her bobbin and tan thread on top so the stitches would match the felt colors.


6.    Fold needle book body in half along centerline. Wrap stem to back side and position remaining hook-and-loop piece under the stem end. Hand-stitch hook-and-loop piece in place to complete needle book.