Tekijä: Krista Kammo

Pincushion made of Tsaikka glass ring

Are  you familiar with the Tsaikka glass by Iittala? It is designed by Timo Sarpaneva and a well-known Finnish design classic. I, too, have a couple of them. I’ve noticed lately in Pääkaupunkiseudun Kierrätyskeskus (aka Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre Ltd) and Finnish Red Cross’s Kontti-shops that those metallic rings have started to pop up. Maybe they were orphaned after the glass broke. I give you one way of repurposing that ring. And what is awesome is that the ring itself was originally already repurposed (not anymore though) as it was leftover from zipper production. Do you recognize the pattern?:)

Before Christmas I made a couple of these pincushions (greetings for mum) and now I figured I could do one more to share this idea and instructions on how to do it. These instructions can of course be applied to all sorts of similar rings. For example you can repurpose an unused napkin holder or a piece of broken belt and there are all sorts of these metallic glass holder rings out there that you can find recycled.

What you need:
Tsaikka glass’s ring or some other ring
piece of fabric (it’s convenient to use a scrap piece for this)
wadding or cutting waste
piece of cardboard

ruler/tape measure
compass, if you have one

You may (and I recommend you do) use a piece of scrap fabric. Make sure it is large enough. I had this scrap of linen and decided to use it.

You can find wadding recycled (at least in Finland) or you can use an old pillow. Though pincushion needs very little of wadding. You can also recycle your cutting waste but first make sure your needles get through it. You may also put wadding on top and cutting waste underneath. I did that.
As cardboard I used some basic food packaging.

How to:
Ring diameter should be 6,8cm but you can check yours.

Cut two circles out of your fabric: another with diameter of 20cm and another 9cm. Both measures include 1cm seam allowance. If you wish to have seam allowance of 2cm, cut your circles 22cm and 11cm of diameter. If you wish to change the height of your pincushion you can evaluate how it might look following the picture underneath. However remember to  add seam allowances!

Circles are easiest to draw with a compass. Use radiuses of 10cm and 4,5cm. Or, if you chose seam allowance of 2cm, use radiuses 11cm and 5,5cm. If you don’t own a compass you can do as pictured below, but you need strong scissors!
Fold the fabric 8-fold (fold 3 times into half) so you end up with a piece of cake (pun intended:)) like this:

Measure and mark the radius aka 10cm from the tip of the piece on i.e. three spots:


Result may be a little uneven but that’s ok as long as the diameter is about 20cm.
Cut a circle out of the cardboard that is small enough to fit inside the metal ring. I used a radius of 3,2cm. If you don’t own a compass, you can mark the center and starting from there mark 3,2cm enough times to form a circle.

Baste both circles around the edge max 1cm from the edge. It does not matter what color you use as long as the thread can hold up to tightening.

Place the cardboard circle on the smaller fabric circle and tighten the thread so that the fabric’s edge fold over the cardboard. Make a knot. This is the bottom of the pincushion.

Tighten the thread on the bigger fabric circle and put in the filling. Make a knot. You can fit the cushion inside the ring so you can tie the knot into a suitable measurement. The hole of the cushion should be the same size as the ring. You’ll have to evaluate the suitable amount of filling. Adjust the folding so it looks nice and even.

Place the bottom on the hole and sew. Make sure the seam allowances and threads used in tightening go inside the cushion.

Push the cushion inside the Tsaikka ring and sew it into the ring. I recommend using a strong thread so you can tighten it really well. Sew through every hole on the bottom around all of the ring. Technique is free;)

Fluff. Take nice photos to show in social media!

It is done! If you got inspired and did your own version, I would love to see it! Tag @kammodesign or use hashtag #kammodesign or #tsaikkapincushion so I can find your piece. You can also put a link on the comments.