What’s a biscornu?

with 2 Comments

I’ve been asked this question so often that it’s high time I should go into a detailed answer rather than just a quick one. But what we all really want to know is what on earth you’re supposed to do with them!

Snowdrop Biscornu

Biscornu” is a funny word, isn’t it. It’s a french word, and it means “which has an irregular, strange shape” (source)

Aaaaah, now it makes more sense 😉 !

Yep, so a biscornu is a little cushion made of 2 stitched squares, like a standard cushion, except that they’re not assembled into a normal square pillow, they’re assembled into a wonky pillow.

To see how that’s done, do read the Biscornu tutorial.

I don’t know who thought this up in the first place (ie. how to make a biscornu out of 2 squares of fabric) but it’s a brilliantly fun idea. To the best of my knowledge, these cute little cushions first appeared in France in 2004, and they went viral in 2008. (source)

What do you mean “but what’s the point of them“?

They’re small & they’re cute, isn’t that enough!? No… I didn’t think so, either. There’s only so many ornaments one can put up with.  Agreed.

So let’s see what we can make with these little biscornus:

1. a plain ornament

Obviously. Still counts, doesn’t it – they can be soooo pretty 🙂

Let it Snow Biscornu

Featured biscornu: Let it Snow Biscornu

2. a pomander

You simply need to fill it with dried lavender.

Lavender Biscornu

Featured biscornu: Lavender Biscornu

3. a pin cushion

Depending on their size, you can use a biscornu as a free-standing pin cushion, or as a scissor fob (to make a tiny pin cushion). Or you can use it teamed up with a thread catcher!

Wild Rose Biscornu as pin cushion Snowdrop Mini Biscornu Scissor Fob Apple Blossom Biscornu with matching thread catcher

Featured biscornus: Wild Rose Biscornu, Snowdrop Scissor Fob (mini biscornu), Apple Blossom Biscornu

4. a wedding ring pillow

I love that idea! The shallow centre is the perfect shape to tie two wedding rings with a pretty ribbon.

Sweet Roses Biscornu White Lily Biscornu Sepia Rose Biscornu

Featured biscornus: Sweet Roses Biscornu, White Lily Biscornu, Sepia Rose Biscornu

5. a paperweight

You simply need to fill them with something heavy enough – Granulex Soft stuffing granules are perfect for the job.

Cornflower Biscornu as paperweight

Featured biscornu: Cornflower Biscornu

6. a towel holder

Especially cool if you can match the biscornu to the towel 🙂

Towel Holder - High Seas Biscornu

Featured biscornu: High Seas Biscornu

7. a necklace

And whyever not? It only works with tiny biscornus, fair enough, but nobody said tiny wasn’t allowed!!

Rose-Chocolat Stitched Jewellery Rose-Chocolat Stitched Jewellery

Featured biscornu: Rose Chocolat Stitched Jewellery

8. a Christmas tree bauble

It’s almost round in shape, so it’s pretty cool to decorate a Christmas tree.

Snowmen Biscornu

Featured biscornu: Snowmen Biscornu

9. a framed picture

Yes, some of them do look really pretty in a frame!! (I do realise it kind of defeats the object of a biscornu, but still, it’s worth mentioning that you can frame them!)

Framed Magnolia Biscornu

Featured biscornu: Magnolia Biscornu

10. a hand warmer

This is a really cool idea brought to us by Kate from Kate’s Threads: fill the biscornu with rice, dried corn (not popcorn!!), flaxseed or any other filling you can heat up in the microware, and it’ll make a fabulous handwarmer! Thanks Kate for this great idea!

Do you have more ideas? Do post them in the comments below 🙂

A few design ideas you may like, for which this method works really well:

2 Responses

  1. Kate Broughton
    | Reply

    How about a hand warmer (filled with rice or other grains that can be heated in the microwave)?

    • Faby Reilly
      | Reply

      Oh what a fantastic idea, Kate!! I love it!! Biscornus are just the right size for a hand warmer. How clever 🙂 !!

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