Today I’m talking about DIY upholstery fabric pumpkins. Yes, there are loads of instructional videos and posts explaining how to make DIY fabric pumpkins. Does the world really need another tutorial? Absolutely, because we’re focusing on DIY upholstery fabric pumpkins.
My pumpkins — 3 so far — resulted from a conversation I had with my son:
Me: Should I order some Etsy pumpkins for our booth? It’s that time of year.
Michael: You know, Ellen (another dealer) makes pumpkins over the weekend, puts them in her booth, and they sell during the week.
Oh! Sure. Why not? There’s no reason I can’t whip up a few, I suppose. In fact, let’s do it with the leftover upholstery fabric used to recover dining chairs:
DIY Upholstery Fabric Pumpkins Tutorial
First of all, I looked at several DIY pumpkin sites and modified the design so it would work with thick upholstery fabric.
Make sure you cut your fabric twice as long as its width. I went with 16″ x 8″, but it’s your choice.
By cutting on the bias, you’ll create the greatest amount of stretchiness for your pumpkin. I based my very rough template on Made To Sew’s cut-on-the-bias one.
Line the arrow up with the fabric’s selvage — that’s the side with a frayed edge or white band. Use chalk, marker, or pencil to outline this template on the right (pattern) side of your fabric.
Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides together, and pin.
Hand Stitch – No Machine Needed!
Don’t knot your doubled thread, just put 3 small stitches on top on one another to anchor it.
I sewed a running stitch using regular thread, then went back and filled in the spaces between the stitches with filament thread because I don’t want visible gaps. Unfortunately, my incredibly fine filament thread became nearly invisible while I sewed.
Press open the seam.
With your thread doubled, sew a running stitch along a single side of the fabric. Leave thread tails at either end because you’re going to gather. Note: You are not sewing sides together. Simply sew along the circumference. You can see my stitching and tails along the bottom of the fabric:
Pull the threads to gather the fabric. Since you’re working with thick fabric, don’t expect a perfectly tight circle.
Once gathered, tightly wrap thread around the fabric.
Flip the pumpkin right-side-up. Here’s how it will look empty:
And filled with poly fiberfill:
Begin to stuff with poly fiberfill. No matter how much you put in, it won’t be enough. Keep going.
For the top of the pumpkin, sew a running stitch along the top circumference, but first turn over about 1/8″ of fabric.
Gather your fabric with the two thread tails. Remember, it won’t close tightly because of fabric thickness. Mine had an opening about the size of a quarter.
I used a limb clipper to cut a wooden branch for the stem, then plugged in the hot glue gun. After slathering hot glue on the base of the branch, I pushed it down into the pumpkin as far as it would go.
After the stem was in, I sewed a few stitches around the opening to tighten it a bit more.
It’s time to decorate with fall decor! I assembled leaves, ribbon, and picks of berries and reached for my glue gun.
After decorating, I decided I didn’t like the length of the stem. It needed trimming, courtesy of the limb cutter. Frankly, I think the stem is too thick for this pumpkin, but since I’m working on a deadline to bring you breaking tutorials, I can’t be choosy.
Ta-da! One of the DIY upholstery fabric pumpkins sits on scattered autumn leaves.
Thanks for stopping by. Right now, all 3 pumpkins are in our booth at Avonlea Antiques & Interiors. Let’s see if anyone else thinks they’re charming.
Ann Marie and David
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