Nothing says Fall more than pumpkins to me. But buying a bunch of fresh pumpkins each year can be expensive. So, I learned to make fabric pumpkins, using old clothes, fabric scraps or just about anything cloth—like napkins or tablecloths. There are 3 different methods to make these and the method you choose depends on the shape pumpkin you want and how much hand sewing you want to do.
Circular Pattern Pumpkins
Felt, stick, or saved pumpkin stem
Felt for leaves, or berries for top of pumpkin or ribbon
Trace a circle on a piece of paper—the size will determine your pumpkin. If you want to make small pumpkins for place cards at Thanksgiving dinner, you will want to use a circle of about 4-6 inches wide. Increase the circle size to make larger pumpkins. Using the paper pattern, trace the circle on the fabric and cut out.
With the needle and thread, sew a running stitch around the outside of the circle about ½ of an inch from the edge. Gather the edges somewhat so that you can stuff the fiberfill inside. When the pumpkin is filled to your liking, draw the thread tight. Knot the thread. Use another length of thread (or yarn) to create the pumpkin sections. Insert the needle close to the stem and go downward through the center. Loop over the pumpkin and back to the center, drawing tight enough to create an indentation in the pumpkin side, and insert the needle again, making another loop. Continue in this fashion around the pumpkin until you make 5 pumpkin ridges. Knot the thread or yarn. Place hot glue in the indention, place the stem in the glue, then hold it until it sets up. Add raffia, ribbon, tendrils, and or leaves to decorate your pumpkin.
Rectangular Pumpkin Pattern
1 rectangle piece of fabric – any size will do but 12” x 8” is great
1 8” x 3” piece of felt
Thread & Needle; yarn
Hot glue gun & glue
Fiberfill (pillow stuffing)
With your fabric lying flat on a table and the long side laying horizontal, fold the fabric in half inside out. Stitch up the side opposite to the fold. You can do this by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine.
Next, taking your needle and thread do a simple gathering stich along the bottom of your fabric. Don’t cut the thread yet. Pull the thread tight so the fabric gathers in the center. Tie off the thread and cut the extra thread.
You are ready to start stuffing the pumpkin. Try to get the stuffing placed evenly throughout the pumpkin. Now at the top of the pumpkin you are going to do the same thing with a gathering stich like you did at the bottom. Gather the fabric by pulling the stich tight, tie off the thread and cut extra thread off.
Using a large needle, thread the yarn starting at the bottom of the pumpkin up through the center. Pull tight and loop back over the side of the pumpkin back through the bottom.
Repeat 4 – 5 times around the pumpkin. Tie off with a knot. Next, take your felt fabric with the long end horizontal. Place a line hot glue along the short end and start rolling the fabric on itself. You should end up with a short and thick roll of fabric.
Cut the felt to the desired length you would like for the pumpkin stem. Attach the stem to your pumpkin with a generous dollop of hot glue.
Toilet Paper Pumpkins (NO SEW)
roll of toilet paper
rectangle of fabric approximately 18″ x 22″
stick for stem
Unroll the toilet paper about 10 times, and then roll it loosely back up to give more of a round shape.
Lay out your fabric and place the toilet paper in the center.
Grab one corner of the fabric and tuck it inside of the toilet paper roll. Slowly work your way around gathering up the fabric and tucking each corner into the roll.
Tie a ribbon around your branch piece and stuff it into the center.