Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fabric Pumpkin Tutorial

I seem to have a thing for pumpkins this year. White ones. First, the paper book ones. Now these. I've been admiring the plushy velvet ones I've seen, but didn't have any velvet. What I do have is some silk dupioni. 

So I thought I'd whip some up, and in the process, do a little tutorial in case any of you want to try them out. They are easy to make.

Supplies you will need:

fabric scraps for pumpkin
(I used silk dupioni, but you could use a print, or velvet, or whatever you have)
even smaller fabric scraps to hold rice in the bottom of the pumpkin
(tight weave - about 6 inches square)
thread to match
hand sewing needle
sewing machine
rice, flax seed, or barley
polyester stuffing
stem - either from a real squash or pumpkin, dried
OR a stick
wire for tendrils
paper for leaves

1.  For three pumpkins, cut the following:

- three circles of silk dupioni (or whatever you are using for the outside of your pumpkin) with these diameters, 9 inches, 10.5 inches, and 13.5 inches
- six circles of cotton, two each with a diameter of 3.5 inches, 4.5 inches, 5 inches

NOTE: These numbers are not set in stone - I used plates, bowls and lids that were in my kitchen 

2. Using your sewing machine, stitch the two smaller circles together, leaving about 2 inches open for filling. I drew a pencil line over the stitching so you can see where I stitched. 

3.  Using a funnel, pour rice, barley or flax seed into the circle to fill it. Don't overfill. This will sit in the bottom of your pumpkin to give it shape and a nice weight.

 4.  Shake the filling to one side and carefully stitch the opening closed. Don't run over the filling with your needle - breakage could occur.

5.  Center the filled pouch on a pumpkin circle. 

6.  Using doubled thread in a hand sewing needle, stitch, using a running stitch, around the edge of the pumpkin, folding over the edge as you stitch.

7.  Pull the stitches tightly to gather, leaving an opening for filling. Don't cut your thread.

8.  Fill with fibrefill. Don't overfill the pumpkin or it will look stiff and unnatural. You want a soft, squishy look. Push the stuffing around the edges to plump them out.

9.  Place the pumpkin stem in the opening and pull up the threads around it. When the stem is secure, tie off your thread ends and cut them.

10. Twist wire around the stem for tendrils. 

12. Make paper leaves from an old book. My book was not old so I colored the leaves with a tea wash, letting them dry naturally which resulted in a bit of crinkling that I think adds to the verisimilitude of the look. Truth to be told, I used one of my French books - one that I didn't enjoy and will never read again. 

Et voilĂ  - you have a pumpkin! Or three! Play with them as you like.

If you make these, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. Hello Lorrie,

    I love them!


  2. What fun to see the steps to the final product..... these are really cute!

  3. Those are so cute ! I am liking white pumpkins as well this year! I especially like that you used your french book for the paper leaves!!

  4. These are so simple and adorable at the same time! I love the white and the paper combo.

  5. How lovely are these? Simply gorgeous, how creative you are!

  6. Real pumpkin stems -- you're so clever. I tossed one in the compost last night, but I can still be saved.

  7. so cute ~ and such a great tutorial. Going to pin it on Pinterest.

  8. Sooo cute, I love them! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

  9. I've been looking for a pattern for fabric pumpkins - this is perfect. I need some small ones for a "photo shoot" with my dolls - so later this week or early next I will be making some. You'll see them on my blog just before Halloween. Thanks for the great instructions.


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