Velvet Pumpkins DIY
Velvet pumpkins are a Halloween craft I recently fell in love with, and while I’m tempted to buy them at stores every time I see them, I wanted to see if I could make them myself. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they’re very easy to make! So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to spruce up your home for fall, consider making some to decorate with!
Here’s a list of what I used:
- ½ yard of Brown Polyester Stretch Velvet (#306825)
- ¼ Ivory Acrylic Felt (#FA15838)
- 20 oz Poly-fil Fiber Filling (#100911)
- Hand-sewing Needle Dritz Size 5/10 Sharp Needles (#100804)
- 2960 Dark Brown 100m Gutermann Cotton Thread (or other like-colored thread) (#100847)
- 1/2″ Black Single Face Satin Ribbon (#3670)
- 8″ Fiskars All-Purpose Scissors (#105467) (Scissors here for lefties!—#100077)
- Tacky Glue (#100043) (Optional)
Velvet pumpkins are made with fabric. Velvet is usually the optimal choice, because when it’s gathered it has the same look as the ridges on pumpkins, and the sheen from the fabric’s nap helps define the gathered fabric. You could use other types of fabrics, too, though—the design is very versatile. So long as the fabric type you’re using gathers together nicely, it’ll probably work!
As for the stems, people often suggest using real stems that you can break off of an actual pumpkin. This is a great option if you can get your hands on a couple of real stems, but I wanted to make an all-fabric velvet pumpkin, so I ended up making more decorative stems with felt fabric in a contrasting color! Adding some ribbon to the bottom of the stem gives the impression of vines sprouting from the stem, too.
Start off by cutting out a circle of your velvet fabric. Make sure that you don’t make a size smaller than 6 inches in diameter, or the pumpkin might turn out too small! I went with 10” and 16” diameter. The last one might sound big, but remember that the pumpkin will only be about a quarter wide of whatever diameter you use! If you want a bigger pumpkin, use a wider piece of fabric! I added a 6″ diameter in the picture for comparison.
After you’ve cut your fabric, get your hand sewing needle and thread. It’s okay if you’re not a great hand-sewer—this step is simple: sew a basting stitch along the edge of your circle of fabric, about half an inch away from the edge. Make sure to start your stitch through the wrong side of the fabric; this will keep the knot from showing on the outside of the fabric! If you’re not sure what a basting stitch looks like, it’s basically a line of big stitches used to keep layers of fabric together, like this,
(I used contrasting thread to help show the example better; you should be using your like-colored thread!)
After you’ve run the stitch all the way around, gently push the fabric together so that it gathers. DO NOT tie the thread or cut the excess thread yet! You need to fill your pumpkin with Poly-fil now! You can stuff it just a little or a lot depending on how firm you want it to be. On a scale of 1 to 10, I filled both of mine at about a 4.
After you stuff the pumpkin, make sure any loose fiber is stuffed back in and then take your thread and needle in hand again. Gather the velvet close again so that it has the pumpkin shape, and then tie a knot so the thread doesn’t go slack again. Don’t make the opening to the inside of the pumpkin too small—leave enough room so that you can insert your pumpkin stem later! From here, you also need to stick the needle all the way down through the center of the bottom of the pumpkin and then back through to the top. Pull it very gently (be careful your thread doesn’t snap) so that the bottom of the pumpkin pulls up a little to get the generic shape for the bottom of a pumpkin, like this,
Run the thread through the bottom a couple of times to secure it. After you’ve tied and knotted the thread well, cut the excess thread.
Leave your pumpkin and needle to the side and get your felt. You don’t need a whole lot of felt per pumpkin, depending on the size your making. For mine, I used 5”x6” pieces.
You can make your stems with the felt in different ways, from cutting the edge with decorative scissors to rolling the swatch pieces in different ways. Make the top of the roll or the base flared, use scissors to cut shapes into the edges, anything really! This project is really easy to customize and make unique, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Use your glue of choice to secure the shape you decide on, or you could sew it to help secure it! I did that for my stems.
After you know what shape you want the stem to be, get your pumpkin base. Take another line of thread for your needle and use it to sew your stem to the pumpkin! Make sure to start under the velvet fabric so the knot doesn’t show. Work in a circle, sewing from underneath, to sew the stem into the opening in your pumpkin. Sew it secure and tight so that the velvet fabric closes completely around the stem without any openings (otherwise the Poly-fil might fall out!).
As a finishing touch, add some ribbon around the base of your stem! And then you’re done!
These pumpkins are the cutest thing, and they’re so fun to play with and customize. You could add a short thick tree stick for the stem and make a felt flower to embellish the base of it, or use burlap for a big bow! The possibilities are actually endless. What kind of velvet pumpkin designs do you want to make?