Pin cushions are probably one of the most used tools within a sewing room and one of the most important. But they are often overlooked and not given the attention they deserve when we are buying a new one.
Pin cushions are practical items that hold our pins whilst they aren’t being used, can keep them sharp and can stop them from falling to the floor to never be found again. But what can be confusing is knowing which pin cushion is best for you.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have more than one, that is completely normal and makes your sewing room more organised and easier for you to get going on your projects without having to swap over your pins to a new system.
What Are The Different Types Of Pin Cushions
This breakdown is to cover the different types of pin cushions. If you want to know more about the best filling to use for pin cushions you can read that here.
There are many sewers that have used finger pin cushions in the past and present. These are highly practical for those doing intricate work and will find using the finger pin cushion easier than the wrist version.
This can apply to anyone doing bead work, hand patchwork or general sewing. These are of course smaller and don’t hold as much in terms of pins as the surface area is smaller but still worth trying.
Many dressmakers and tailors use these as they are easy to wear and use. There is nothing more frustrating about fitting a dress or bodice on a model or mannequin and your time is spent trying to fiddle with a pin cushion.
Using a wrist pin cushion takes away the stress, struggling with a normal pin cushion and messy work. These are super easy to use and can save a lot of time and faffing.
On A Jar
There are so many handmade, homemade and shop bought pin cushions that are now in the lids of mason jars. These are super fun and useful if you plan to sew on the go. These can be bought, made and found in many places such as charity shops, craft stores and craft fayres.
These aren’t as deep as the standard pin cushions but are useful for holding items and creating an on the go sewing kit. The jars are handy if you want something a little heavier to weigh down the fabric or to not move around the desk too easily.
Standard ones are the ones we are used to in the form of the traditional strawberry or tomato that have been around for so many years. These are the style and type that don’t fasten to anything and are portable. They are easy to use and are much larger than some of the other alternatives.
These are great for working at a desk, table or sat fairly still and have a place to put the pin cushion while you work. I often use mine while I work on the sofa or even just at my desk. They are very lightweight so you can easily hold onto them and move them around the table while you work.
Though not technically a cushion it does collect and store pins so I thought it worth mentioning. A magnetic pin cushion is a piece of magnet that is molded to hold and collect pins or a piece inserted into a pin cushion. The magnet attracts the pins to it to store them safely.
This is really handy if you often knock over your pin box or drop them on the floor. They can be fairly heavy and not great to use for fittings or while travelling but great for use in a sewing room. You can use an ordinary pin cushion or buy them in places such as Amazon.
What To Look For In A Pin Cushion
When you are looking for a pin cushion for yourself, a friend or if you are designing your own to make you want to make sure it is going to fit the bill of what you need.
This means if you are clumsy you might want to look for a pin cushion that is attached to you or has a magnetic element. If you do a lot of work on clothing and need something that can easily move with you you want a pin cushion on your wrist etc.
Here are some of the things you can be looking out for when buying or making a pin cushion.
The most important is the design or what I like to call it, usability. This is something you want to think about as you want to make sure that your pin cushion is practical and easy to use for what you are using it for.
I like to have a pin cushion that sits on my desk and sewing space for when I am putting together pieces of fabric, patchwork or trying to work on something a little larger, I would either use my magnetic pin cushion or just my ordinary apple pin cushion.
If you are getting up and moving around a lot from your machine to the cutting table and then over to the iron you might want to get a wrist pin cushion as it is easily sat on your wrist, moves with you and you have one less thing to pick up and move with you.
Think about where you spend most of your time using your sewing pins and what is the most practical pin cushion for that activity or type of sewing.
Stuffing or filling can be important as you might want your pins to be sharpened while being stored in the pin cushion or you might want something light weight and easy to handle.
I have a whole other blog post on the best fillings for pin cushions which is perfect for anyone looking to make their own.
You can find a number of different fillings and stuffings that are great for pin cushions. You might want to look at combining two elements to create a weighted product but something still soft and easy to use.
This is something you can keep in mind while buying a pin cushion too.
Practicality VS Aesthetics
I love my apple pin cushion as its cute, colourful and looks adorable in my sewing room but it isn’t always practical. It can sometimes be hard to get hold of or even hold onto while I am working.
It often means I need to hold the pin cushion while taking out the pin which is hard to do and impractical when I need my other hand to be holding fabric together.
Think about the practicality of the item before jumping in, if you spend much of your time needed to grab and go quickly a cute light pin cushion might not be your best choice.
5 Best Pins Cushions For Your Sewing Room
1. Prym Magnetic Pin Cushion
One of the best pin cushions you can opt for in your sewing room is a magnetic one. These are probably on of the most practical and useful pin cushions, though not technically a cushion as it isn’t soft.
The Prym magnetic pin cushion is great for anyone looking to keep their space clear of miscellaneous pins, tidy and still have the pins within easy access to work with.
The magnetic pin cushion is raised around the edges to feel similar to a bowl in which the pins sit within the middle.
2. Prym Tomato Pin Cushion
The iconic tomato pin cushion has been a staple in pretty much every home that owns a sewing kit. It was the first pin cushion I was every given and I loved it.
The Prym tomato pin cushion is no different from any of the other branded tomato pin cushion but it is a brand that I trust and use often.
The pin cushion is a more traditional pin cushion as it is a cotton fabric which is stuffed with a substance that helps protect the pins from rust and going dull.
The stuffing helps sharpen pins and stops them from rusting while not being used. It is smaller in size compared to others on the market but the sharpening element is well worth having in a pin cushion.
3. Prym Wrist Pin Cushion Magnetic
I love the use of magnetic pin cushions in a sewing room, they are highly useful and practical, especially if like me you are a little clumsy. I often do a variety of different types of sewing from homewares to patchwork and making clothes.
With this in mind, this magnetic wrist pin cushion is perfect for those looking to make their own clothing, do fittings and need access to pins quickly and safely.
The band is easy to wear and super comfortable so you don’t have to worry about it being in your way, being uncomfortable and hurt while you work. The magnetic pin cushion is a small surface area which resembles a watch size.
4. Rosenice Flower Wrist Pin Cushion
As I mentioned above I love the practicality and usability that a wrist pin cushion offers. This one is a little different from the previous as it is soft and more lightweight and a little cuter.
This pin cushion has a soft elasticated band which sits comfortably on your wrist and is easy to wear.
I love this wrist pin cushion as it is a traditional style with the fabric outer layer with the soft lightweight filling in.
The Rosenice wrist pin cushion is no bigger than the main palm of your hand so it has plenty of surface space for your pins but not so large that it would be in the way or uncomfortable to wear.
5. Singer 1-Inch Ball Head Jar with Pin Cushion
I love Singer products, especially the sewing machines so it’s not surprise that this super handy great quality pin set is in my top 5 pin cushions list.
I like this set as you get a small container with a lid which doubles up as your pin cushion along with ball head pins included.
This makes a great gift for someone who is just getting into sewing and crafting. I also think this makes a great set that you can use when you are travelling, heading to work and want a place to store your pins with the option of a pin cushion for ease of use.