With fall being here, I am excited for some festive decorations! But I like them to match my decor too. So I decided to make my own fabric pumpkins in colors that will match my house. This is a pretty easy project and I’ll walk you through each step.
how to make fabric pumpkins
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
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I picked the fabric based on the colors of my rainbow stairs! I think seasonal decor- even fall stuff doesn’t have to be any particular color if it doesn’t work in your house. I’m going for a pastel autumn look!
- Fabric- 1/3 yard will make 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small pumpkin
- Embroidery Floss Golden Olive DMC 832– I used 3 packs
- Doll Needle
- Fiber Fill– I used 2 bags
- Small Sticks (I got mine from my garden)
- Rotary Cutter
- Cutting Mat
- Cutting Ruler
I spent around $50 on fabric (I got a full yard of each fabric, but only 1/3 yard is needed so that can save money). $2 on embroidery floss. $4 on a doll needle. And $14 on fiber fill. For a total of around $70.
step 1- cut fabric
Start by cutting the fabric. Use a cutting mat and rotary cutter for quick cutting. I cut my pumpkins in the follow measurements-
- Large 11″ x 21″
- Medium 9″ x 17″
- Small 7″ x 13″
To begin, I folded my fabric on the salvage edge (since it was too big to cut un-folded on my mat). Then I cut my first piece 11″ wide. After that, I trimmed the fabric down to 21″ long. This creates the pattern for the large pumpkin.
Next, I trimmed down a 17″ long piece. The width needed to be trimmed down to 9″.
Then, one small piece was left- usually 6″x11″. It ended up being a little smaller than I was thinking for the small pumpkin, but I loved that I could used all of the 1/3 yard of fabric to make 3 complete pumpkins.
step 2- sew fabric
Next, press the fabric so there’s no fold marks. Technically, it’d probably be better to do this before cutting, but I forgot and better late than never! I didn’t want fold marks on the final pumpkin (they were pretty deep).
Sew the body of the pumpkin. To do this, fold one piece of fabric in half with the right sides together.
Then, on the short side, sew a 1/4″ seam. It’s pretty quick to run all the fabric through the sewing machine one at a time.
step 3- gather and fill the pumpkin
And now it’s time to really see the pumpkin come together! First, thread a needle with a string as long as your arm. Knot the end.
Start at the seam and sew a super long stitch 1/4″ up (also known as a running stitch). Sew the seam all the way around the base of the pumpkin. Once the bottom has a long stitch all the way around, gather the stitches tight. Knot the thread a few times and trim the excess string.
Once the bottom is gathered, turn the fabric right side out.
Then, fill the pumpkin with fiber fill.
On the top of the pumpkin, repeat with another long stitch.
Lastly, gather it tight and tie a knot to secure the stitch.
Repeat with all the pumpkins. I made 27 pumpkins and this took a few hours to just stitch and fill them.
step 4- create the veins
Cut a piece of embroidery floss that’s 6 times the length of the shortest side of the fabric. Twine would also work nicely for this.
Thread a long doll needle and tie a knot at the end. Start at the top of the pumpkin and stitch just off center to start the thread. Then stitch the first vein by going down the side of the pumpkin.
Push the needle all the way through the pumpkin while squishing it and holding the tension in the string.
Keep going from top to bottom until there’s at least 5 veins. I like the look of more veins for bigger pumpkins.
Hold the string tight as you go- this will give the pumpkin it’s shape. I also liked to make sure to cover the seam on the fabric with one of the veins.
Once all the veins are all complete, tie a knot and trim the extra embroidery floss.
This is when the stuffed fabric starts to actually look like a pumpkin! Before this step, I was worried about how they were looking. Once the veins were added, I thought they started looking really great.
step 5- add the stem
Finally, go outside and look for a few twigs. I used older ones so the bark could be peeled off.
Cut the sticks with a miter saw (or any saw that’s handy. An exact-o knife would work too). Make them 2-3″ long to work with the different sizes of pumpkins.
Hot glue the twigs to the tops of the fabric pumpkins to work as a stem.
Here are the complete fabric pumpkins! I love how these turned out- they’re sweet, perfect for fall, and still work with my decor! Plus they’re nice and small so they’ll be easy to store.
To be honest, as I was making these, I was worried if they’d turn out cute. They look rough until they’re almost done! But now that they’re sitting on my mantle, I love them!
What’s great about this project is that they could be made with ANY fabric! I went for a variety of textures- fleece, flannel, and cotton. They all worked great. I think using velvet would look really high end! Plus since they can be made with any fabric, the customization options are endless!
If this a project you’d make?
I love how the colors look with my stairs. I think this is such a sweet autumn look! What do you think?
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