Sunday, 31 May 2015

How To... Make Biscornu

I've been having fun making biscornu this week and want you all to share the fun so I've made this handy guide.  Have fun!

1. Stitch the two halves of the biscornu - make sure the two squares are exactly the same size.

Don't forget the backstitch line around the boarder - this is really important for joining the two halves together.

2. Trim the two halves, leaving a 1/8" boarder - I found a 3 square boarder worked well.

3. Fold down all edges.  Make sure you create a sharp crease - this will make your job easier.

Depending on your design you may also want to fold one side in half in order to find the middle of the edge for the next step.  The lines on the back half of mine made this step easy.

4. Use two strands of the same coloured thread as the backstitch line.  Tie a knot in the strands (the only time I ever recommending using knots!) and push it through a corner of one side of the biscornu.  Then push the needle through the middle of the edge of the other half.  Use the picture as a guide.

Bring the needle back to the front of the biscornu by coming out one square below.

5. Bring the two edges together and line up your back stitch lines.  Thread the needle through the back stitch lines, working your way along the edge

6. Watch your corners - if you just keep taking it one backstitch line at a time you will be fine.  Eventually your biscornu pillow will start taking shape, turning into an 8 sided square.

7. Leave yourself an opening - I left one side (or two half sides) open

8. Stuff your biscornu with wadding.  I find the stuffing from a cheap pillow works really well.

Then finish stitching the edges together.

9. At this point there are two different ways to go, depending on how long the remainder of your thread is.  If your thread is pretty short, thread the needle back along your seam tos ecure it before cutting off any left over bits.

With a new double thread, push your needle in through the seam and then out through the centre of the cushion - this is to attach the button (as per step 10)

10. If your thread is still long enough after finishing the seam, push your needle into the finished pillow and bring it up through the centre of the piece.

Attach a button to either side of the pillow by pushing your thread from one side to the other.  Do this several times to ensure it is secure.

If you are making a pincushion, end by bringing your needle back out through a seam before trimming the thread.

11.  To make your biscornu into a hanging decoration, bring your needle back out through one of the corners of the biscornu, and then tie the ends of the threads together to create a hanging point.

There are lots of biscornu patterns available on pinterest, Esty and other on-line locations (I've seen some Doctor Who ones with weeping angels).  I'm also working on some patterns for my Etsy store (I'll keep you posted!).  In the mean-time you could always try my very basic pattern to get you started.

Happy stitching!


  1. How cute! I've never hear of these before!

    1. Thanks! They seemed to be very popular in the cross stitch magazines/facebook pages a couple of years ago. My first attempt was a couple of weeks ago :)

  2. Yep...still looks scary, but great job!

  3. When I saw your post title I thought you'd decided to go in for cooking! Have never heard of this name before - do you know where it originated from? They look lovely and very old-world charm - remind me of corn dollies and stitched samplers :) Lovely work & thank you for posting - I might try this during the summer months! Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

    1. :D I've no idea where the name or the item originated from. I remember them being very popular in the cross stitch magazines a couple of years ago. I agree that they are very old-worldy. The problem is working out what to do with them once they're done. Hanging ornaments seemed the best idea :)

    2. It would take forever to stitch, and use a lot of material, but I think a giant-sized one would make a really cute cushion for a more formal living room.