Make Your Own Chicken-Feeder Pin Cushion


Pin cushions have a long history in sewing and quilting.  Quilting Contessa shares an inexpensive and fun way to make a pin cushion out a chicken feeder!

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Make Your Own Chicken-Feeder Pin Cushion

Pin cushions have a long history in sewing and quilting. Your first one probably looked like a tomato; and for good reason.

Make Your Own Chicken-Feeder Pin Cushion


The tomato was thought to be a sign of prosperity and good luck in a new home. Because tomatoes were not always in season, a tomato pin cushion was given as a housewarming present and often sat on the mantle.

Tomato pin cushion


Among the trends today are beautiful pin cushions made from milk glass candy dishes. The milk glass candy dishes can be found at yard sales and thrift stores for as little as $2.00 in the East and as much as $10.00 in the West. The most desirable are the ones with the scallops that serve as scissor holders. I've seen photos online of ones that have been wool appliqued and are just gorgeous. The one pictured here is only to demonstrate the concept.

milk glass pin cushion


So, what's a Westerner to do? A most cleaver person posted online a photo of her chicken feeder pin cushion. This one pictured here in not the beautiful one that the designer created, but my experimental one to see what works. This small metal container sells for under $5 at most western feed/hardware stores. My husband helped me adapt this idea with the corks to hold the scissors upright. Who knew that corks can be purchased in almost any size in a hardware store?

metal pin cushion


Our next trip to the hardware store yielded these plastic chicken feeders on sale for $1.00!

plastic chicken feeder


Our next trip to the hardware store yielded these plastic chicken feeders on sale for $1.00! To answer the question, "Can they be used for pin cushions?", my husband cut styrofoam to fill the inner space in the feeder.

styro pin cushion


The styrofoam base does hold the scissors, seam ripper, and other tools in place. You can create your base as you wish – making it prettier than the sample here!



The wool balls are the ones that you purchase to felt wool in your washer/dryer. They are also supposed to make your clothes dry faster. They are easy to applique or decorate. Our Guild Boutiques committee thinks we can make up the plastic ones for about $5.00.

Quilting is so much fun because there is always something new to play with!!


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Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué

See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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