Today, I'm sharing how to make a fabric pumpkin. If you enjoy simple sewing crafts you will love this easy fabric pumpkin DIY. These fabric pumpkins are so quick to make that you can have them finished in fifteen minutes. I used a sewing machine to sew the short end but if you can sew tiny neat stitches you can also sew them by hand instead.
Once you've learned how to sew a fabric pumpkin, you can use them to create beautiful vignettes and decorate your home for Fall and Thanksgiving.
The inspiration for making these cute fabric pumpkins came from my idea to add a little bit of subtle colour to my neutral and natural Fall décor this year.
Pumpkin blog hop
I've joined up with some crafty blogger friends to bring you this pumpkin decorating blog hop. Don't forget to check out their pumpkin ideas at the bottom of this post.
Before you make a fabric pumpkin – Tips & Tricks
Before you start making your fabric pumpkin, here are some tips for success.
Don't make your fabric pumpkin too large. Of course, you can sew your pumpkin any size you like but there are two things to consider:
- The larger the pumpkin, the more stuffing you will need. Even small fabric pumpkins use up a lot of stuffing material - you'll be surprised!
- You will need to push a needle through the middle of the fabric pumpkin many times. It's easier to get a needle through a smaller pumpkin.
- If you are set on making larger pumpkins, a long upholstery needle with a large eye will make your life much easier!
A QUICK REMINDER: When attempting any DIY project, please take care to undertake the necessary safety precautions. You should always follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations when using any product or tool. When following my instructions for a DIY project, you are doing so at your own risk.
Love the look but don't have time?
If you love the look of these fabric pumpkins but don't have time to make one, take a look at the bottom of this post for some gorgeous ready-made options.
Save this idea for later!
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Which fabric can I use to make a fabric pumpkin?
You can make a fabric pumpkin with recycled linens. The pretty fabric I used for this project is actually a second-hand duvet cover. The duvet cover was given to me to rip up for rags to use for my furniture projects! Luckily, I haven't done that yet, so I've been able to use some of it to make these lovely DIY fabric pumpkins.
You can find very affordable fabric to turn into pumpkins at your local thrift store. Look for sheets, duvet covers or even men's flannel shirts. Cable-knit sweaters can be used to make gorgeous DIY pumpkins too.
More pumpkin decorating ideas
I use pumpkins of some sort to decorate my home every Autumn. Last year, I used stencils to make glamourous pumpkins in black and gold. Those stencilled pumpkins were gorgeous! They lasted such a long time too!
Easy to make Fabric Pumpkins
This DIY fabric pumpkin tutorial is super easy to follow although, you can also make no-sew fabric pumpkins.
To make a no-sew pumpkin, you will need to use one of these:
- Shirt sleeves
- Sweater sleeves
Simply put, to make a no-sew fabric pumpkin, you will need to use fabric that is already in the shape of a tube.
We're not making a no-sew pumpkin today. Our pumpkin involves a little bit of sewing with a sewing machine.
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Supplies for making a fabric pumpkin
- Paper template
- Thread to match your fabric
- Paper scissors
- Fabric scissors or
- Rotary cutter and
- Cutting mat
- Tailor's chalk or
- Fabric pen
- Tape measure
- Upholstery needle or
- Long sewing needle
- Wool or cooking string (that will fit through a large needle)
- Polyester filler material
Shop fabric pumpkin supplies
What do you need to decorate a fabric pumpkin?
Supplies for decorating a fabric pumpkin
- Small sticks (For making the stem) or buy dried pumpkin stems
- Small twigs (bound up with raffia)
- Ribbon (This is the one I used)
- Cooking string (I used this) or
- Cotton thread (doubled up) or
- Embroidery thread
Shop fabric pumpkin decor
What can I use for pumpkin stems?
In this pumpkin making tutorial, I'm using some small sticks from the garden to make pumpkin stems. Here are a few more ideas for how to make pumpkin stems from items you may already have at home:
- Rustic Cinnamon sticks (the lovely aroma is a bonus)
- A piece of rolled-up fabric felt or jute
- Save the stems of real pumpkins
- Buy real pumpkin stems
How to sew Fabric Pumpkins
Creating a Fabric Template
Fabric pumpkins can be made any size you want. The only thing to remember is that the width of your fabric should be at least twice as wide as the height.
It's best to make a template with paper or baking parchment before you start. Measure and cut out your template and pin it to your fabric.
- Draw around the template with tailor's chalk or a disappearing ink pen.
- Remove the template and cut the fabric along the lines you just drew.
Here are the measurements I used for my fabric pumpkins:
18 inches wide (46cm) and 7 inches tall (18cm).
If you want to make a more rounded pumpkin, you could make it 18 inches wide (46cm) and 9 inches tall (23cm).
Instructions for sewing a fabric pumpkin
Now that you have your fabric rectangle, turn the fabric so that the right side (pretty side) is facing downwards.
Fold the fabric
Fold the fabric in half and pin the short sides together.
Take the fabric to the sewing machine and sew a quarter inch seam down the length of the short side (which you just pinned).
If you prefer, you can use a DIY hemming guide like the one I used in my last post when making fabric napkins.
Press open the hem with your iron. Now you have a 'Tube' of fabric.
Next, we're going to make a running/basting stitch along one of the short edges. (This will be the bottom of the pumpkin).
Thread a hand sewing needle with a long length of thread. Double the thread and make a knot at the end of it.
Sew a running stitch about a quarter of an inch down from the edge of the fabric. You are not sewing the two sides together here, you are just sewing around the single layer of fabric. (We will be drawing in the running stitch to close up the bottom of the pumpkin.)
Once you've made a running stitch all the way around one of the short edges of the fabric, pull the needle tightly to gather the fabric together.
Hold the thread tightly in place and sew the gathered area together.
Repeat the running stitch on the other end of the pumpkin but this time, don't gather the fabric together when you are finished.
With your needle and thread still attached, turn the fabric the right way out. (Raw seam on the inside, pretty fabric on the outside).
Start making your fabric pumpkin by adding your stuffing material and pulling the thread closed as you go. Keep adding stuffing until you find it hard to keep the pumpkin closed. Push the filling down and out to the sides, then add some more if there are gaps. You will need to pack the fabric pumpkin really well before we move on to the next step.
How to close the fabric pumpkin
Once the fabric is packed full of stuffing, pull the needle to gather up the fabric.
Once the fabric is tightly gathered, hold it tightly closed with one hand whilst you sew back and forth through the gathers with your needle.
Now you have the base of your fabric pumpkin, it's time to add some definition to it.
How to make segments
I used white cooking string for this part but you can also use embroidery thread or cotton thread doubled up. By the way, I was only able to use cooking string because I used a long upholstery needle for this part. If you are using a smaller needle, make sure it's one with a large eye which will make it easier for you to thread.
Also, as I mentioned above, the longer the needle, the easier this part will be.
First, make a knot at the end of your thread.
Push your needle through one end of the fabric pumpkin (through the gathering) and pull it out through the other end.
Pull your thread/string down over the side of the pumpkin to the bottom and hold it tight.
Push the needle back up through the gathered fabric and out of the top again.
Repeat the above process until you have made as many segments as you wish (six to eight looks good). Making the segments was easy with my striped fabric because I could add a segment between each stripe (eight pumpkin segments).
If you are making these fabric pumpkins with a solid coloured fabric it might be easier to do it this way instead:
- Make two segments opposite each other (half).
- Turn the pumpkin around and make another two segments in the opposite direction (quarters).
- Split the quarters in half again to make eight segments.
Make a few stitches through the fabric to finish then, cut your thread. I switched needles for this bit. I found it easier to use a smaller needle rather than my large upholstery needle. The smaller sewing needle I used had a large enough eye that meant I could thread the cooking string through it.
How to make a pumpkin stem
As I explained above, I used small sticks to make stems for both of my pumpkins. You will need a glue gun for this bit.
Add a small blob of hot glue to the middle of the pumpkin (over the gathering) and pop a small stick into the hot glue. Hold the stick in position with your hand until the hot glue is cool enough that the stick stands up by itself (about 30 seconds).
How do you decorate a fabric pumpkin?
There are many ways to decorate a fabric pumpkin. You could cut out leaves from book pages or felt and glue them next to the stem. You could also decorate your pumpkin with dried, pressed leaves.
I decorated my first pumpkin with a tassel, some raffia and two short pieces of ribbon.
How to make a tassel:
- Wrap some thin string around your fingers a few times.
- Snip the ends with the scissors.
- Tie another piece of string around one end and make a loop for hanging.
To make curly ribbon:
- Wrap a short piece of ribbon around a pencil.
- Spray the ribbon with hairspray and let it dry.
- Once the ribbon is dry, pull it off the pencil and arrange it however you like.
- Attach the ribbon to the fabric pumpkin with a glue gun.
For the second pumpkin, I added a small bundle of twigs wrapped with some raffia to the top of the pumpkin.
That's it! Now you know how to make a fabric pumpkin! Have fun crafting these Autumn pumpkin decorations with all kinds of fabric.
Watch it on YouTube
Where to buy fabric pumpkins!
Do you love the look of these fabric pumpkins but don't have time to make one?
Here are some gorgeous ready-made pumpkins you can purchase online.
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More pumpkin ideas
Here are some more ideas for creative pumpkin crafts from some of my crafty friends.
Embroidery hoop paper pumpkins
Kippi from Kippi at home shows us how to craft easy paper pumpkins with embroidery hoops, floral, and a gorgeous bow. These cute pumpkins are perfect for fall decorating.
Yarn wrapped pool noodle pumpkins
Olivia from Olivia O'Hern shows us how to create glam pumpkins using supplies from Dollar Tree. This simple sequin craft will be a lovely addition to your Fall decor.
Braided yarn pumpkins
Visit Janet of A Life of Balance to find out how to turn Dollar Tree foam pumpkins and yarn into easy DIY pumpkins for your fall decor. These pumpkins have lots of texture making them the perfect fall decoration.
Ombre sequin pumpkin
Create your own glam pumpkins using supplies from Dollar Tree. This simple sequin craft from Rebecca at Zucchini Sisters will be a lovely addition to your Fall decor.
Chalk painted pumpkins
Chalk painting pumpkins is a great way to make fake pumpkins look real. In this tutorial, Cindy from Cloches and Lavender shows us how to mix colors and techniques that are easy to follow and do. She also adds real stems to them to make them look more real.
Beach vibe pumpkin
For cottage beach style Fall decorating, create a one-of-a-kind Sea Shell Pumpkin. It's an easy craft that anyone can do. With a faux pumpkin, a dollar store shell necklace and a piece of driftwood you can design a beautiful and unique style for your Fall style. Vist Meegan of Meegan Makes to find out how it's done.
Chunky Knit Pumpkin
Spruce up a plastic pumpkin with beautiful chunky knit yarn. Following the easy tutorial, very few supplies, and about 45 minutes and you will end up with a beautiful farmhouse rustic-looking pumpkin. The perfect craft to decorate for fall. Visit Kristin of My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia to get the tutorial.
Pumpkin tea towels for Fall
Learn how to make beautiful DIY tea towels with a pumpkin theme using transfer sheets. It only takes minutes to add this farmhouse-style accent to your seasonal home decor. Crissy of First Day of Home shows us how.
Now you have lots of pumpkin crafting ideas for Fall, all I can say is...........HAPPY CRAFTING!