How to make a biscornu
These little biscornu are my favorite cross stitch items to make! They make great pin cushions, ornaments, gifts. I’ve even heard of people using oversized ones as wedding ring pillows! 😮
By now you’re probably familiar with cross stitch enough to stitch up a design for this. You’ll want a perfectly square design. If you’re working on 14 count and don’t want it to be HUGE, you’ll want to limit yourself to around 50×50 stitches. This will still make a pillow around 3.5 inches big. If you’re stitching over 1 on 18 count, or even 28 count, you can fit in a bit more detail.
You’ll then want to backstitch a square around your pattern. For 28 count I’ll make my backstitching over 2 squares so they’re not too small to work with. You’ll probably also want to trim it down a bit more than this, within an inch of your square. I ended up cutting down to 5 squares out on 14 count, for example.
Pro tip: I like to do the backstitch border before I stitch my pattern, which is why I have those little lines at 5 and 10 marks to make it easier to count, as I have a grid to work with. …and also so I know I won’t run out of room on my cloth.
You’ll need a second backstitched square of the same size as well. You can stitch the same pattern or another pattern on that side, or you can simply leave it blank.
On the left, an example of a 50×50 pattern cross stitched 2 over 1 on 14 count. On the right, an example of an 80×80 pattern tent stitched 2 over 1 on 28 count. The Eevee one is a bit smaller, but has a lot more detail to it.
Once you’ve got two squares, you’re going to stitch the two together. Take the corner of one square, and come up from the very corner of your backstitch border as shown below:
You’ll then want to sew under the first stitch of your backstitch on that corner, and through the middle of one of the other square’s sides. (Or, middle+1, if your square has an odd number of stitches) This is kind of hard to explain, so take a look at the pictures below. You should then proceed to stitch all the way around the two squares. You should not be stitching into the fabric itself, only through the backstitching. Be careful to tuck in the edges, and be extra careful around corners, as they can be a bit tricky at first.
You’ll end up noticing you have 8 “sides” to this pillow instead of 4. Before you stitch up the last two sides, you should fill the ornament with some cotton stuffing. If you’d like, you can also add potpourri to make it smell nice. As you’re stitching up the final sides, you may choose to sew in a loop of ribbon or some braided thread to have something to hang the ornament with. I forgot to do so when making this example, but you can see another of my biscornu below with a ribbon loop. I typically finish off my thread by tucking into some of the stitches I’ve done along the sides to make sure it doesn’t come loose.
Once you’ve sewn the last side up, you should re-thread your needle. There’s a single step left! Make a single x stitch through the center of both pieces of fabric to create that dip in the middle and create that unique shape. (Double up that x if you want to be safe.) You’ll probably want to use whatever color thread coincides with the center of you design so it blends in. You can also sew a button or charm onto the center to embellish the biscornu if your pattern(s) don’t have much in the middle, or just on the bottom if you prefer. Be creative!
Sirithre wrote this article. She has two Hogwarts biscornu patterns available for free on her Patreon here and here, and even more nerdy biscornu patterns for patrons and on her Etsy if you need some patterns to try out. 🙂