Stray pins can be a dangerous matter, especially to those who share your craft space. While many people have the luxury of a separate craft room, I like to be out where the action is. Fortunately, I haven’t yet shared my pincidents with others, but I can’t deny that there have been some close calls. Tired of the just-old-fashioned tomato and strawberry, I decided to give a voodoo doll pincushion a try. No two alike, the voodoo doll uses up fabric scraps, keeps your pins sharp with steel wool stuffing, and saves your and your loved ones’ skin.

Project Steps

Cut out the pattern.

Cut out the body of the doll. You’ll need 2 identical pieces, one for the front of the doll and one for the back. The doll pictured was created using a fat gingerbread man shape. You can use the pattern available for download under Files or make your own.

Sew together.

Match the 2 pieces, one on top of the other, with the good/front sides facing each other. Sew 1⁄4″ in from the border, leaving a 1 1⁄2″ gap along the outside of one leg for a stuffing hole. Clip out notches around the curves to prevent bunching.

Turn the sewn pieces inside out so that the hems are on the inside and the good sides of the fabric are on the outside. A pencil or crochet hook will encourage a stubborn arm or leg to work its way through.

Stuff the doll.

Stuff the head tightly with steel wool. This will become the needle sharpener. Then fill the rest of the body with small fabric scraps. Fill the torso last. Sew the doll shut with nice big sutures. Don’t worry about leaving scars on your doll, after all, this is a voodoo doll.


Use thread, buttons, yarn, and fabric scraps to adorn your doll. For hair, run the thread through the fabric with a needle, leaving a tail out on both sides. Lay a piece of yarn perpendicular to the thread, overlapping the area where the thread runs under the fabric. Use the thread tails to tie a knot over the yarn. Trim if desired. Don’t let your first-grade botched Barbie haircuts intimidate you — doll haircuts are fun!


This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 02, pages 122-123.