I love fabric pumpkins for home decorations in the fall. They come in a variety of sizes and fabric and you can coordinate them with every room in your home. Year to year, I store our fabric pumpkins in plastic tubs in our garage. If you are marginally handy, you too can make your own fabric pumpkins.
This is not a DIY project I was looking forward to but was forced to try. Years ago, I purchased several beautiful fabric pumpkins at a school fundraiser. Every year when I unpack them they look fabulous. Not this year. For some reason, weevils (?) infiltrated the fabric pumpkins and had a year to reproduce. It was so gross!
So I discard the pumpkins that were badly damaged. In saving the pumpkin stems, I wasn’t sure if the weevils are taking up residence in there. Placing the stems in ziplock bags, I put them in the freezer just in case.
Since I have leftover fabric at the cabin, next on the shopping list is filler for the pumpkins. The infested ones had both dried kidney beans and rice. Unfortunately, Safeway is completely out of dried kidney beans (go figure). So I am forced to use rice. Next thing to buy is bay leaves.
Since most of the residual pumpkin stems are on the smaller side, I measure the fabric for a 10″ circle using a Pyrex bowl.
The only thread I could find up here is from the Dollar Store and doesn’t look like the best quality. So I use four strands on my larger needle. Using the basting stitch, I go around the entire circle of fabric.
By tightening up the thread, you create a pouch which is ready for the filling.
On this first pumpkin, I use only rice. In retrospect, I may have overfilled it as the pumpkin is a bit hard and not a pliable. In order to prevent future weevils, I add bay leaves too.
You will need strong thread (or 4 strands like mine) because in order to close the pumpkin, you must pull it together to minimize the opening.
Taking the needle, I sew back and forth, and side to side to securely close the top.
Using a glue gun, I affix the stems to the top of the pumpkin. (Thank you to my friend and neighbor, Kathy for letting borrow this!). If you don’t have real pumpkin stems or yours are damaged, you can find faux stems here.
Holding the stem in place for several seconds, guarantees a secure fit. If you don’t have actual pumpkin stems, you can use a stick or cork and apply it the same way.
For the next pumpkin, I use a bigger bowl to measure for a medium size one (the bowl is 13-14″ in diameter). I repeat the same process but instead of using just rice, I put about 1/2 cup of rice in the bottom and use polyester fiber fill. The combination of the two makes a more pliable pumpkin.
This one is a little more difficult to stitch due to the thickness of the fabric.
Again, secure the stem to the pumpkin with the glue gun.
Here are the results of this DIY project. It is interesting that the fabric plays a role in how the pumpkin performs. The stiffer the fabric, the less squishy the pumpkin.
In addition to adding bay leaves to the filler, I am also placing several bay leaves inside the plastic storage box. Let’s hope these little critters are dead and gone.
To see how I use these fabric pumpkins for fall decorating in previous years, click here.
Thanks for joining me today! Think of the endless possibilities in fabric pumpkin making!
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