Googling around I came across purl bee's great instructions for "very easy pincushions" - easy is good for a Sunday. A few modifications were needed as my craft supplies in HK are almost zero i.e. she used a piece of felt to top the cushion - I used a big red button instead.
Check out purl bee's blog for her version and see mine with modifications below:
1. Supplies:~ square of fabric (from a 100 Yen shop in Hiroshima)
~ Embroidery needle & cotton (the cotton's colour graduates from white to pink - so sweet)
~ strong cotton thread
~ clean old pantyhose (for stuffing)
~ cereal bowl (to make the template - use whatever size circular object you like, the finished size will be about half the original diameter)
2. Trace around the cereal bowl onto the fabric with a pen or pencil
3. Cut out the circle, fold over the fabric edge about 5mm and create a hem using running stitch (I used cotton thread for this)
4. Once you've hemmed all the way around, gather the fabric up to create a pouch - stuff this with the pantyhose
5. purl bee said to leave an opening, but as I only have the button I pulled the thread tight enough so there was no hole. Make a few stitches to keep this hole closed, knot then push the needle through the middle to come out the other side and cut the thread
6. Using the embroidery cotton, create a knot and push the needle through the middle of the top-side to come out the bottom. Wrap the cotton once all the way around the cushion coming back to the bottom. Pull the thread tight to create a slight dimple in the cushion. Catch the thread up under the original thread coming through the bottom, then wrap it around twice more (catching under the original thread at the bottom each time). The cushion should look segmented - almost like a peeled orange
7. Secure with a small knot as close to the bottom of the cushion as possible. Then push the needle through the bottom, coming out the top. Sew on the button, make a knot on the underside of the button then cut off loose threads. Pop in your pins and its done!