31 January 2013

Crocheted African Flower Pincushion Tutorial

★☆ - Beginner

I love these African Flower pincushions.  They are very handy around the home and they make an excellent little gift which you can whip up quickly.

What you'll need...

Some left over yarn (I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino)
Appropriate hook for your yarn (I used 3.5mm - E USA)
Some stuffing to fill the pincushion
Yarn needle to sew in your ends

Pattern Links...

The African Flower motif is not my own pattern.  It is by Lounette Fourie & Anita Rossouw and the Ravelry page including links to the pattern and other translations and tutorials can be found here.

If you wish to download just the written directions for this pincushion you will need:

African Flower Motif pattern, which is listed on this Flickr page (scroll down for pattern). Be aware that this pattern is written in US crochet terms.
My pattern download to turn the motif into a pincushion, which can be found here. My pattern is written in UK crochet terms.


German Translation - Provided by Jessica Nitsch

The Tutorial...

If you'd like a photo tutorial to explain all this for you, then read on!

All crochet terms refer to UK crochet stitches.  (See end of post for US terms)*


Start by making a slip knot and 4 chains.

Make a slip stitch into the first chain to form a circle.


Chain 3.

Make a treble stitch into the center of the circle and then chain 1.

Continuing to work into the center of the circle, make 2 more treble stitches and then chain 1.

Continue making sets of 2 treble stitches and then 1 chain around the circle, until you have 6 sets of treble stitches (12tr's in total) and 5 chain spaces, then make a slip stitch into the top of the first chain of three to complete the circle.  You'll now have 6 chain spaces.


Cut the first colour yarn and attach the new colour into one of the chain spaces, then chain 3.

Make a treble (tr) stitch into the same chain space and chain 1.

Make a further 2 trebles into the same chain space.

Next we're going to work into the next chain space.  You need to make 2 trebles, chain 1 and then make another 2 trebles into the space.

Carry on around the circle, making 2 trebles, chaining 1 and then 2 more trebles into each space around the circle, then make a slip stitch into the top of the first chain of 3 that you made at the beginning of the round.


If you'd like to, break off the yarn and attach a new colour into a chain space at this point.  (Some people prefer to keep the same colour for this round to make more of a petal shape.)  Then chain 3.

The chain of 3 stitches you've made will count as one treble.  Now make 6 more treble stitches into the same chain space.  This is called a cluster.

Then make 7 treble stitches (cluster)  into the next chain space.

Carry on around the circle, make 7 treble stitches into each of the chain spaces of the row below, then make a slip stitch into the top of your starting chain of 3.


Break off the yarn and attach a new colour.

Chain 1 and then make a double crochet into the same stitch.

Then make a double crochet into each treble of the row below, until you have reached the end of the first cluster of trebles.

Now we're going to make another double crochet, but instead of going into the stitch of the row below like normal, we're going to put the hook into the chain space of Round Three.  I've put my hook into the space to show you where to go.

So, put your hook into that space and pull the yarn through and up to your row of stitches.  Then grab more your yarn to pull through the two loops on your hook (to finish the stitch off like normal).

Here's the completed double crochet, see how crocheting into Round Three has made a long 'stem' to the stitch.  This makes the nice petal shape that looks so good on the African Flower motif.

Continue around the circle in the same way, making a double crochet into each treble and a double crochet into Round Three, between each cluster.

Once you get around to the beginning, make a slip stitch into the first double crochet of the round and break off the yarn.


Now we finished the African Flower pattern as linked above and are going to start to turn it into a pincushion.

Attach a new colour.  (I like to start the colour I'm going to use for the sides and the base here, but there's no rule that they all have to be the same.)

Chain 1 and then make a double crochet (dc)  into each dc of the round below, until you get the the long stemmed dc.

Into this stitch we're going to make 2 double crochet stitches.

Continue around the circle like this, making 1 dc into each dc of the row below and making 2 dc's into the long stemmed stitch (between clusters).  Then make a slip stitch into the first dc of the round to complete the circle.


In order to make the sides of the pincushion, we're now going to make a round of dc stitches into the back loops only of the round before.  Have a look closely at the picture above.  See how my hook is only under one loop of the stitch, as not two as normal?  You want your hook to be going under the back part of the stitch only, not the front part.

So chain 1 and then start making 1 dc into each dc of the round below.  If you're crocheting into the back loops of the stitch only, you should see a little ridge forming between the rounds, like in this picture.

Continue around the circle, just making 1 dc into each dc of the round below and then making a slip stitch into the first dc to complete the round.

Making stitches into the back loop like that should help the sides start to form.

If you're happy with what you've got so far, now is a very good time to sew in all your ends, before the sides get higher and it gets a bit awkward.

Now we're ready to start the next round, and we're back to crocheting into the stitch as normal again.  So chain 1 and make a dc into each dc of the round below.

Do this all the way around the circle and make a slip stitch (ss) into the first dc to complete the round.

Repeat this last round four more times.  This should give you 6 rows of crochet to complete the sides.


Now we're going to repeat exactly what we did to start the sides.  Crochet into the back loop only.
Chain 1 and make a dc into each dc of the round below, using the back loop fo the stitch only.  Again, you should get that little ridge between the rows.

Carry on around the circle, making 1 dc into each dc of the round below and finish with a ss into the first dc.


Now we're going to start to decrease the number of stitches, to create the underneath of the pincushion.

Chain 1 and make 1 dc into each dc of the round below, until you have 8 dc's.

Next we're going to skip one of the stitches in the row below.  Our next stitch will be in the dc after that, where I have my hook in the picture.  Make a dc into the the stitch indicated, then carry on making dc stitches until you have made 8 again, then skip a stitch again.

Carry on around the circle, making 8 dc's then skiping a stitch, until you are round to the beginning.  You should be left with 1 stitch, which we will skip and make a slip stitch into the first dc of the round.

For the next round we do exactly the same thing, except this time we'll make 7 dc's and then skip one stitch.  Repeat this around the circle as you did before and then make a ss to finish the round.

See how our decreases and starting to bring the bottom inwards now?

Complete the next round as we have done before, this time making 6 dc's then skipping a stitch.  Then another round, making just 5 dc's then skipping a stitch.

Once we get to this stage, it's a good idea to stuff the cushion.  Get your toy stuffing or what ever you're using and pop it into the cushion.

You want to get it stuffed pretty much how you want it to be when finished at this stage so take your time and have a squash to see if it feels right.  I like to have it reasonably firm to keep a nice shape, but still with a nice amount of squishy.

Once you're happy with the stuffing, continue making decreasing rounds:
Next round - 4dc's then skip a stitch
Next round - 3dc's then skip a stitch
Next round - 2dc's then skip a stitch
Next round - 1 dc, then skip a stitch
This last round if kind of fiddly, but you don't need to worry about making the last slip stitch to finish it, which helps a bit.

Cut your yarn and leave a tail to sew up and then, using a yarn needle, thread through one loop of each of the stitches of that last fiddly round.

Pull the thread up tightly to close the little hole and weave the yarn in a bit to secure it.

To finish off and hide the end, push the needle from the underside of the cushion, through to the top.

Pull the thread tight and snip it off nice and close the the cushion.  The end should then disappear back to into the body of the cushion.

There you have it, one fabulous pincushion!

Remember if you just want the written instructions for easy reference next time, the links are at the top of the page.

I hope you enjoyed making your little pincushion and if you have any questions or spot any boo-boo's, do let me know.

S x

*For reference, the British terms that I have used are below in black and the American terms are given in green in brackets:

British (American)
Slip Stitch (Slip Stitch)
Chain (Chain)
Double (Single)
Treble (Double)
Double Treble (Treble)

Why not come and share your creations with us in Cherry Heart's Cozy Corner, my Ravelry group.  It's a great place to go if you've got any questions too!


  1. oh this is so sweet!! ahh if only I could crochet... xo

  2. Wow, a wonderful clear tutorial Sandra....I LOVE your sweet pincushion and the colours you used are gorgeous.
    Jacquie x

  3. Your African Flower pincushion is just lovely. How kind of you to do a tutorial as well! Thank you.
    African Flower is one of my favourite patterns, there is something very special about it. Those heart-topped pins are perfect too!

  4. I love this pattern. Making it into a pincushion is very clever!

  5. Stunning tutorial, beautifully presented as always!! Thank you Sandra

  6. Thank you! I recently started collecting pics of crocheted pincushion, to share on my Facebook group Ons Hekel ( - so this was just in time to be the first link to a beautiful pattern and lovely blog!

  7. Oh so sweet and pretty - thank you so much for the pattern. I'm thinking it could be turned into a paperweight too for those who don't sew but love pretty things. Add a pebble to the stuffing to weight it down.

  8. So glad you got this done. I am excited to make this.

  9. Oh that is sooo cute! Thanks for sharing the tutorial with us!! :) xo Holly

  10. They are so beautiful! Thank you so much for the tutorial.

  11. Darn cute that is. And what is NOT to love about the African Flower. So adorable. Very nice tutorial, well executed. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Thankyou!!!!!

    Have to make one for me....really soon....:0))))
    Love it!!
    kviltstina at gmail dot com

  13. a lovely tutorial! would make a perfect gift for a friend, sister or mother:) Thanks so much for taking the time to explain this.

    1. You're very welcome! I hope you enjoy it :)

      S x

  14. This is sweet pretty Sandra. Thanks for sharing. I love the colours you chose too xxx

  15. Thanks for the tutorial. This is so cute and I will have to make one soon.

  16. WOW! Thank you so much for the tutorial, Sandra!

  17. Thank you for the pictures (I'm a 'visual' learner!) And, I need a new pin cushion!

  18. Oooooo, I love it! Can't wait to make one as I desperately need a pin cushion! Thank you for the how to! Annette

  19. so beautiful Sandra....thank you!!!!
    xxxx Ale

  20. These are so pretty! Your crochet is so neat and I love the colours you've used. I really think I'll have to learn to crochet!
    Sarah xx

  21. The pincushion is gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial with us.

  22. I want to learn to crochet just so I can make one of these! So cute.

  23. Thanks a million for the tutorial....will give it a try


  24. i am so pleased you posted the tutorial! I've been admiring on ravelry for a loooong time!!

    Felicity xx

  25. Thanks Sandra, these are beautiful. I'm thinking of making my friend who's going to teach me to sew a lovely pair of these.

  26. Thank you so much for this lovely tutorial. I will be working on it this weekend. Have a great weekend hun.

  27. Hi Sandra. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely pin cushion tutorial. I'll see if this can be my next project. Have a great weekend. xxx

  28. Thanks for this fab tutorial I have just made one today xx

  29. That is so beautiful! I have been thinking about picking back up some crochet, so thank you for the tutorial!

  30. Sandra, I was so thrilled to see the tutorial for the African Flower pincushion. I can´t wait to make one. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing!!!!!
    ♥ Ana BC

  31. I love this - thank you so much for the tutorial. It is definitely going on my list of 'things to do' this month! x

  32. Oh my goodness, these are just gorgeous! Thank you so much for this tutorial, I will definitely have a go at making one.
    M xxx

  33. I've just finished making one. The pattern is so easy to follow and I am so so so pleased with the result! Thank you for sharing. Take care. Chel x

  34. I am a knitter, but have never crocheted. Your blog has totally inspired me to pick up a new hobby! Thank you!!

  35. I'm loving your colour choices, and wishing, as ever, that I could crochet. Of course it would help if I practised!

  36. Great tutorial. I don't sew very much but this would make a great gift for those friends of mine who do. Thanks so much.


  37. Thank you for sharing this tutorial, the pincushion is gorgeous, Wendy xx

  38. gorgeous thank you, this would make a nice present, Heather x

  39. Wow - this is the tutorial I've longed for! Thanks so much for the easy to follow pattern with lots of photos to help the likes of me!! Well done - this is another triumph! J9 x

  40. What a beautiful idea - definitely on my to do list x

  41. Awesome tutorial, am on my 2nd one now and I think my friends are going to be sooo jealous.

  42. Thank you for this tutorial, I have made one and am on the 2nd one. Nice to give for gifts to my friends.

  43. So beautiful! Thanks for all your hard work and sharing this tutorial!! xo Heather

  44. so nice .pretty flowers, thanks for share.

  45. I love this pattern. I made a few this weekend but decided to use them as covers for lavender sachets. and instead of crocheting it closes, I tweaked it a bit and threaded ribbon to tighten it so you can replace the lavender sachets. I absolutely adore it. Thanks for the pattern.

    1. So glad you like it! :D

      What a great idea to turn them into lavender sachets too. Love that!

      S x

  46. Hi Sandra mine is all done and I posted a picture on my blog.

  47. Great idea - thank you for this!

  48. Grazie per il tutorial! Bravissima! Ora ci provo.. Buona giornata! Pat

  49. Gracias por las instrucciones, me ha quedado muy bonito, espero que sigas inspirándonos con tus bellas obras. Hasta pronto.

  50. This is such a wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much for the time and energy you put forth into making it! I just made a tiny pincushion using size 10 thread and size 7 hook, and I love it!

  51. After figuring how to convert to american terms I made the most beautiful granny square, I used brown, yellow, green and drk beige....It looks like a sunflower!!! Thank you so much!!


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