How to Recycle/Upcycle a Soda Bottle Into a Pin Cushion

5 Materials
2 Hours

Unfortunately, discarded plastic soda bottles usually end up as litter, in landfills and sadly in seas. And there are lots of companies trying to do their best to recycle plastics into additional useful products. I'm all for recycling plastics into fun craft ideas! Making a pin cushion from a soda bottle was shared with me by my sister-in-law several years - a craft she picked up while visiting her hometown in Brazil.
Let's begin by washing a 2 liter soda bottle (coke brand) with dish detergent and water to remove any stickiness and grime, then let dry. Next, cut the bottle in half following the lower edge of the label on the bottle. Draw a pattern outlining a chair on the bottle using a black marker.
Next, cut out the pattern and use a cotton ball dampen with nail polish remover to remove the marker lines.
The original chair pin cushion had bias tape glued on the edges. I didn't have any, but had some woven 5/8" trim from a previous project and used that to glue on using fabric tape.
I think this trim was much easier to apply than bias tape. And look how pretty the trim looks!
Next, trace the outline of the circle templates on the wrong side of the fabric and cut out.
Starting with the larger circle, make a running stitch around the folded inside edges of the fabric going around the entire circle . . .
and then pull the thread to gather the fabric into a circle. Sew a few extra stitches where the threads meet and knot to secure the gathers and cut off excess thread. Next, stuff filling into the fabric circle making sure to push it is as tight as possible until you can't get anymore filling in! Be sure that it's even and fluffy like a pouf, all around. Then sew a few more stitches and knot thread to secure the cushion gathers, cutting off the excess thread.
Next, cut a circle of fabric, folding edges under and glue in place over the cushion opening to complete the bottom cushion.
Repeat the same steps using the next size circle to make the smaller back cushion.
Then make three yo yo's by sewing a running stitch along the folded edge around the smaller circles.
Gently pull the thread to gather the fabric toward the center. Adjust and flatten the gathers to form a circle or yo yo. Once satisfied with the look, secure by stitching close to the gathers, knot and cutting off excess thread. Hand press the yo yo flat with gathers in the center. Repeat for the other two circles.
With needle and thread, attach top cushion to plastic back through center of yo yo, making a recess in front center of cushion - then sewing back and forth several times and knotting to secure.
Fold over side arm flaps sewing back and forth several times, securing through the center of the yo yo's, and knotting in place.
What an adorable recycle/upcycle project using a soda bottle!
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Gail@Purple Hues and Me

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Gina
    on Mar 29, 2020

    What did you stuff it with? I wondered what the stuffing is... something that sharpens needles/pins. Maybe sawdust?

    • Gail@Purple Hues and Me
      on Mar 29, 2020

      I just stuffed it with poly-fil that I had on hand. I don't sew that much and rarely need pin or needle sharpening. But several suggested other stuff that sharpens pins and needles that I am not familiar with. Sorry.

Join the conversation

4 of 33 comments
  • Susan
    on Feb 28, 2020

    This would also be really cute doll furniture!💜

  • Robin
    on Mar 14, 2020

    i honestly read the title & thought “some people have way too much free time” and “who uses a pincushion anymore?!” LOL... Then I read through & saw the pictures of this ADORABLE project! Ill start saving 2L bottles now & make a bunch for stocking stuffers 😂 Kudos for recycling plastic and fabric scraps, too!!

    • Gail@Purple Hues and Me
      on Mar 15, 2020

      Thanks Robin! I'm so glad you changed your mind and gave my post a chance! Yes, they will make nice stocking stuffers!

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