How to make Biscornu

You'll love this 3D stitching idea. We show you how to make up your beautiful biscornu pin cushions - just follow our simple step-by-step tutorial.

How to make Biscornu

What is Biscornu?

A biscornu is a small, octagonal pincushion, usually made from aida or linen and decorated with embroidery stitches or cross stitch. The cushion is finished in the middle by being pressed in the centre with a button or other notion.

The examples you can see in this post were first featured in Cross Stitch Crazy magazine issue 232, designed by Cheryl McKinnon. These prettiest of pin cushions make great gifts for stitch friends. Read on to find out how to make them.


Step 1

Stitch two of the designs for the top and the bottom of the biscornu. Cut both you front and back pieces leaving approximately 1cm (½in) of fabric from the edge of you stitched piece.

How to make Biscornu step 1


Step 2

Fold back the edges of each design along the square backstitch outline, in towards the ‘wrong’ side of your stitching. This will make the next steps much easier.

How to make Biscornu step 2

Step 3

Use a pin to mark the middle of the top design. Thread your needle with two strands of floss in same color of backstitch outline. Join the corner of the top piece with the middle of the bottom piece.

How to make Biscornu step 3

Step 4

Start assembling your biscornu by passing your needle through the backstitches of both parts from top to bottom, making sure to pick up the backstitches only.

How to make Biscornu step 4

Step 5

Stop stitching when you have completed the seventh side, leaving a 4cm (1½in) gap. Stuff the biscornu, then continue stitching to close the gap. Secure your thread.

How to make Biscornu step 5

Step 6

Sew two buttons at the centre of each side. Keeping your thread taut, pass the needle from button to button, crossing through the centre to create the dimple in the middle.

How to make Biscornu step 6

Biscornu tips

  • When stitching your biscornu pattern it is important to stitch the backstitch border over only one square at a time.
  • Use your biscornu as a pincushion or as a scented sachet for your chest of drawers.
  • Add a loop of ribbon to make a scented hanging
How to make Biscornu tutorial