The idea to make these easy DIY fabric pumpkins with thrift store shirts came to me out of a need for a less expensive way to have a ton of groovy pumpkins. First stop for more ideas was Pinterest. There are a ton of ideas about how to make easy sew fabric pumpkins. I get so excited just imagining cooler weather and all the outdoor-activities that are too hot to do in the Florida summers. Fall beckons cozy sweaters, hot apple cider, and fun crafting and decorating projects like these cuties. I planned my shopping day at the thrift store on an extra discount day, hence more savings. You get more fabric with a larger sized shirt, therefore I choose the largest size in the plaids I loved. I even purchased two sweaters (will try those for the next tutorial). The first thing I did when I got home with my loot from the thrift store was to wash and dry the shirts.
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How to cut fabric:
Use the back of your shirt to cut out your larger sized pumpkins. I used the large pattern for one style, then used the sleeve for the other style. Both ideas were super fast and easy. As I cut the sleeve pumpkins I used the plaid as my cutting line guide. It turns out so pretty with the plaid forming a circular pattern around the pumpkins.
Next step in making thrift store pumpkins requires a thread and needle, but no worries, it is super quick and easy. I used heavy upholstery thread, however, you can also use doubled over dental floss. Cut your thread longer than you think you need so it is easier to sew and gather. Then run a gathering stitch around the cut edges about 3/8″ from the edge. The sleeve pumpkins have to be gathered at both ends, but the cut circle pattern pumpkins only have one edge to gather.
After you have your gathering stitch all the way around both top and bottom turn it inside out and gather up the bottom (larger end) by pulling the thread by both ends and tie off. Then I take a few stitches in an X shape to secure the bottom tie it off and cut your bottom thread. Turn the pumpkin inside out.
Now it is ready to stuff with fiber fill. By pulling the top gathering thread you can test the pumpkin to see if it is filled to your liking. Once filled next pull the gathering thread and repeat the tying off and sewing the X. I use a long needle to sculpt the indention in the center of the pumpkins. First tie a knot in the thread and run it from the center top through the pumpkin to the center bottom and then turn the needle around and go back through the pumpkin center to the top. Pull until you like the shape and tie off. The indention provides a valley for the stem.
First you will need to download your pumpkin patterns (small, medium and large) then place one of the patterns on the outer most part of the back of the shirt then cut out your circle. This style of pumpkin is faster to make since it requires only one row of gathering. Thread your needle with more thread than you need and run a gathering stitch all the way around the circle. Pull the gathering thread to form a little cup to allow you to stuff with fiber fill and then pull the gathering thread from both ends tie off and take some stitches in an X shape to secure your closure then tie off.
I use a long needle to sculpt the indention in the center of the pumpkins. First tie a knot in the thread and run it from the center top through the pumpkin to the center bottom and then turn the needle around and go back through the pumpkin center to the top. Pull until you like the shape and tie off. The indention provides a valley for the stem.
If you are enjoying this easy DIY for fall you are going to LOVE all the inspiration want to share with you so please join me on this creative adventure by joining the Fall Inspiration Newsletter.
Stems and leaves for pumpkins:
The sticks I used I cut off of a tree in my yard with a pair of nippers. Then hot glued them to the pumpkin in the valley formed with the sculpting stitch. While the glue is still hot I add the leaves and curly vine.
Forming the curling vine:
The curly vines add a touch of whimsy to your easy sew fabric pumpkins and are easy to make too. Cut the cord longer than you need and only glue the part to be curled. I used Mod Podge, but white glue will work just as well. I pulled part of the cut cord through the glue while using my fingers to squeeze off any excess glue. Then I wrapped the cord with glue around a pencil and secured with clothes pins. Set your timer for 15 minutes then test to see if it is holding shape but still damp. I learned the hard way if you wait until it dries it is a mess to get off the pencil. At this semi damp state you can reshape and glue or tie the cord to the pumpkin stem.
Embellishments and supplies to make easy sew fabric pumpkins:
Jute cord (from my stash)
Glue (from my stash)
Ribbon (from my stash)
Fabric plaid shirts from Goodwill Wednesday Bonus Day $3.80 each
Stems from my yard
More Fall Inspiration
I have been working on some easy gorgeous fall decorating projects you are going to love so if you don’t want to miss any inspiration join The Fall Inspiration Newsletter and get it delivered to your inbox.
Decorating with your cozy flannel pumpkin patch:
I put together my fabric pumpkins, pumpkin block sign, and the versatile one-board-bench to welcome FALL. This would be so cute in a foyer or on a porch too. The pumpkin block sign instructions are from another post see that here. The one board bench is another one of my DIY projects checkout those instructions here.
Please pin for later:
My Amazon picks:
Happy Crafting Friends. Please leave me a comment below I love to hear from old and new friends. Are you ready for FALL? Any exciting crafting projects planned?