In today’s post: You can make one of these easy fabric pumpkins in about 20 minutes with very basic sewing skills and our free pattern. Once you get started, you’ll want to sew up an entire pumpkin patch to decorate for fall!
These cute fabric pumpkins come together so quickly, they are one of my favorite DIYs for fall! It’s like sewing up a fabric ball, but you sew them with the seams exposed on the outside to look like the ridges on a pumpkin. You will need a sewing machine for this craft and basic sewing skills, but it’s not hard! (I think these are actually simpler than the traditional fabric pumpkin version that requires using a needle and embroidery thread to hand-stitch the pumpkin shape.)
You’ll find all the instructions in the easy to follow tutorial below. Once you’ve made one DIY fabric pumpkin, you’ll want to make a whole patch to use in your fall decor. You can make a bunch from the same color, or mix fabric colors and patterns.
Here’s what you’ll need to make fabric pumpkins:
- Fabric Pumpkin Pattern: get it in the blue box above
- Fabric: I used flannel fabric in gorgeous fall colors and prints. A quarter yard of fabric is enough to make one large and one small pumpkin, or three small pumpkins. You can also use scrap fabric in different textures for a fun look.
- Stick for pumpkin stems: I gathered some fat sticks from a park.
- Ribbon, twine, leaves, etc. to decorate with
- Stuffing such as poly fill: you’ll only need an ounce or two of stuffing for each pumpkin.
- Sewing machine and thread
Cut Out the Pieces
Once you’re printed the pattern, you can cut out the pieces. Each pumpkin needs five of the petal shaped pieces. If you place the pattern up and down on the fabric the edges will not fray as much (because they’ll be cut on the bias). If you’d like the edges to fray a bit for a more rustic look, place the pattern piece on the fabric at a 45 degree angle.
Sew Two Pieces Together
Place two pieces with wrong sides together (right sides out). You will sew them together along one curved side, from corner to corner (or point to point). The beginning of this seam should be even with the point, or center line of the petal, but the end of this seam should stop about 1/8 of an inch before center line. As you sew all five pieces together, you’ll be creating a ball. Starting even with the center and stopping 1/8th of an inch before the center will make the bottom of the pumpkin closed, but leave a hole at the top of the pumpkin for the stem. See the photo below.
Backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam. Use a 3/8th inch seam allowance for the smaller pumpkins and a 1/2 inch seam allowance for the medium-size pumpkins.
Add the Third Piece
Once you’ve sewed the first two pieces together, place them down on a table with the seam running along the bottom edge. Notice in the photo below that the beginning of the seam (on the left) hits the center line of the piece while the end of the seam (on the right) stops 1/8 of an inch before it gets to center line, as discussed in step 2. Now fold down the upper half of the piece on top.
Then place a third piece over it, matching up the top edges. Again you will have wrong sides together. Sew the new piece on, again starting at the center line and ending 1/8th of an inch before the center line.
Add Pieces 4 + 5
Now you’ll repeat that same process. Flip the sewn pieces over so the seam runs along the bottom edge. Fold down everything but the bottom piece.
Place the fourth piece over what you have, matching up the top edges, and sew as directed. Repeat one more time to sew on the fifth piece as well.
Stuff + Close
Once all five pieces are sewn together, you can spread them out and you’ll see you’ve been creating a ball.
Grab a large handful of stuffing and stuff it inside the ball, squishing it to the side. Pull the two raw edges to meet and pin them closed, pinning about an inch away from the edge. That will give you room to get this seam under the presser foot of your machine.
Sew this final seam the same way you’ve sewn all the others.
Add a Stem + Decorate
Now you’ll have a ball that is closed on the bottom but has a small hole on the top. Use scissors to trim any threads. You may want to add more stuffing, and if so you can use a pencil to squish more in via the hole. How much stuffing you use is up to you; I like them fairly squashy so I don’t use tons of stuffing.
Now you can grab a stick to use as a stem and decide how you’d like to decorate the pumpkin. For some of my pumpkins I just tied some green burlap ribbon around the stick. Then I placed a good amount of hot glue on the bottom of the stick and pressed it down through the hole in the top of the pumpkin. You can use extra glue around the hole if needed. For others I glued the stick in first, then wrapped twine around it. You could add felt leaves or even pipe cleaners twisted to look like vines if desired.
- Sticks for stems
- Stuffing (such as Poly Fill)
- Ribbon, twine, leaves, etc for decorating
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- Sewing Machine and Thread
- Hot Glue Gun
- Print the pattern (found in a blue box in this post). Use it to cut 5 petal shaped pieces for each pumpkin.
- Lay two pieces with wrong sides together. Sew along on curved edge, starting even with the center of the piece and ending 1/8th inch before the center. Use a 3/8th inch seam allowance for the smaller pumpkin and a 1/2 inch seam allowance for the larger pumpkin.
- Flip the piece over so the seam runs along the bottom. Fold down the top half of the piece.
- Place a third piece on top, matching up the top edges, again with wrong sides together. Sew along the top edge, stopping 1/8th inch before you get to the center.
- Repeat that process two more times, laying the sewn pieces so the seam is along the bottom and folding down all but the bottom piece. Add a fourth piece and sew along the top edge as directed. Repeat to sew on the fifth piece.
- Pull the pieces apart to create a ball shape. Stuff with a large handful of poly or fiberfill.
- Squish the stuffing over and pin together the last seam, placing your pins about an inch away from the edge so you can fit it under the presser foot. Sew the seam the same way you've done the others.
- This gives you a ball with a hole in the top. Add more stuffing through the hole if desire. Glue a stick down through the hole to act as a stem.
- Decorate with ribbon, twine, or leaves as desired.