Thursday, November 7, 2013

Vintage Jelly Jar Pincushion + Eclectic Elements Inspiration!

I'm sure I wasn't the only person who freaked out just a bit when Tim Holtz released his Eclectic Elements fabric line back in May. Although I'm not a quilter, I love fabric and started imagining all the cool projects that could be made with it.

A couple days ago an idea for this little pincushion came from out of the blue. It combines all the things I love - vintage jelly jars, mercury glass, and of course, Tim's wonderful fabric. At the bottom of the post I have a full tutorial on how you can make one of your own!

Since I was posting this project using the fabric, I thought you might enjoy a couple other projects using it.

A couple months ago my very sweet husband surprised me by telling me he'd ordered enough of the new Eclectic Elements fabric from Tim Holtz to cover an old chair I'd had for ages. I was so shocked - I had no idea he even listened to my ramblings about stuff like that! Like a lot of people, I had fallen in love with the chair that Tim had done for his Quilt Market booth. I was very lucky that I just happened to have the perfect chair sitting in my attic, waiting for the perfect fabric.

Gorgeous, right? Eek! Even though it was a mess, when I spotted it at an estate sale years ago, I knew it had potential. Since then, it had been sitting around, waiting until I could afford to have it recovered. I also had never found any fabric that I'd really fallen in love with until Tim's came along. Let me tell you, this chair was a MESS! Horsehair stuffing that was falling out all over the was hideous. On the plus side, it only cost me $30! Thankfully, we'd found the sweetest little old man who has done upholstery all his life and recovered the chair for a song. He retied all the springs, made a new cushion, and replaced all the horsehair (yay!).

One note - a lot of people mentioned that, since this fabric isn't upholstery weight, it's a bit lightweight for this application. Of of my fellow Sizzix DT members, the incredibly talented Amy Friend, suggested using lightweight fusible interfacing on the back of the fabric to make it more sturdy. I asked our upholstery man and he said he'd cover the whole chair with muslin first, which seems to have done the trick!

I made these sweet little stuffed pumpkins for the Houston Quilt Market that took place earlier this month. The photo is a bit deceiving - they look big, but the largest is only about 6". I think they're so cute! They are also a perfect project for anyone who isn't much of a seamstress. Check out Paula Cheyney's blog post for more pics of Tim's incredible booth. Tons of inspiration for sure!

Okay, here is the promised tutorial!

You will need the following:

Eclectic Elements Fabric
A small, shallow jar (I used a vintage jelly jar)
Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint
Polyester Fiberfill (stuffing)
Upholstery Thread
Hot Glue

Begin by spraying the inside of the jar with several coats of Looking Glass paint. Build the layers slowly, letting each coat dry before you spray again. When the paint is dry and opaque, spritz it lightly with water. Wait a few seconds and then gently rub, removing some of the paint. This will give you a mercury glass look. If you accidentally rub off too much, you can dry the jar and add additional coats of paint.

Next, determine how large the cushion needs to be to fit your jar. I doubled the size of the opening of my jar, which was 4" and cut an 8" circle, using a plate as a guide. Cut the fabric to size.

Knot one end of a piece of strong upholstery thread, and sew a running stitch around the edge of the fabric, leaving a long tail for gathering.

Pull on the thread, gathering the fabric. Stuff tightly with fiberfill, pulling the thread as you go.

When fully stuffed, pull the thread tight and stitch to secure.

From the underside of the cushion, poke a needle threaded with upholstery thread through to the center. Pass the thread through a button, and insert the needle back down through the cushion. Pull tight and tie or stitch to secure.

Add more fiberfill to the jar so that the cushion rests and the right level. Use hot glue to secure. To finish the pincushion, glue a length of idea-ology Trimmings around the rim.

I hope you've enjoyed all these different projects. Oh, and make sure you check out that tile work in the chair pic - I laid that all myself (I about died, true story)!

Inspiration Emporium has all the different sizes and bundles of Eclectic Elements fabric available for preorder. Make sure you use my coupon code - stamptramp - to save 10% on your order!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a great weekend!


  1. First, congrats on your Craft Stamper design team adventure. It's the best magazine; just love it. Your chair is so wonderful. Don't sit in it...just look at it lovingly forever :) You are a very talented paper engineer and very inspiring.

  2. Wow I love your chair and your pin cushion...I'm on vintage love overload. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  3. When I saw Tim's fabric, I told my friends how great an old chair would look in this particular print. And you have proven me correct! LOVE the chair!!!!

  4. Love all your projects! Great ideas!

  5. Such beautiful pieces Shelly. That chair looks so comfy too. Karen.x

  6. Oh My GOODNESS....That chair is STUNNING!!!! What a treasure of a hubby you have and a very very special one of a kind chair!!!!!

  7. You are amazingly talented. Thank you for sharing your creativity! I would love to see a tutorial on those adorable pumpkins.

  8. Oh wow! What a lovely chair to curl up in!! the pumpkins and the pin cushion are adorable also!! TFS

  9. I was wondering if you could do a tutorial on the little pumpkins as well. Very cute. And your chair is gorgeous. What a special hubby you have.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing. How gorgeous did that chair turn out? It's beautiful! Would you mind sharing how you made the cute little pumpkins? They're adorable and would be great place markers at the table for Thanksgiving dinner.

  11. Oh my goodness Shelly, your husband is a darling to have bought all that fabric for you. How fantastic!! I am envious! Also, those pumpkins are beautiful, can you give a tutorial for those sometime? I'd love to make some.
    Thank for the tut on the jelly jar pincushion, it's awesome!

  12. All of you who did projects for the quilt market are so talented! The chair is simply a masterpiece!
    I think I have some little jars like these and I want to do this wonderful little pin cushion!

  13. Love your pincushions Shelly, especially in the vintage container you used . Stunning chair now covered, looks wonderful as does your tiling, you talented lady . Tracy x

  14. Oh Shelly! In sorting thru 700+ emails (due to a malfunctioning wireless network), I came across your email. I opened quickly 'cuz you never fail to deliver. First, I also waited with bated breath until I could get my hands on Tim's fabric. I looking like a panting dog waiting for her food. Now that I have a few yards, I just look at them with glee. To break this craziness, I cut a small strip and made a shabby chic rose. I was a quilter, until I got lost in the paper crafting world. Now I'm back and want to quilt again. Secondly, do you guys really sit on that chair??? It's a work of art...with Tim's fabric! LOL! Last, but not least, I really love you for all of your inspirational work. You will never know how much I hold you and the Sizzix Ambassadors close to my heart. You ladies have been a healing factor in my life. I love the pincushion and thank you always for your clear and detailed tutorials.

  15. Here it is months later and I'm finally ready to make a pin cushion. In my pea-brain I had a foggy idea of where to find your project. And here it is! So sweet. Thank you for sharing all of your lovely art. Charlotte


Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate your comments so much!