Teachers of Good Things Fabric Pumpkins

So clearly I’m making up for lost time with the posting tonight, but it’s about to get CA-RAZY up in here, so I’m doing it while I can. I mentioned a couple posts ago that we did another Walridge Baptist Church Teachers of Good Things Quarterly Craft Meeting. You know, the WBCToGTQCM for short. This month was so fun! We made fabric pumpkins, and they turned out SO CUTE!

We took our inspiration and general game plan from this post at Coastal Farmhouse, and if I can ever get my hands on some of that gorgeous snowy vintage chenille I’m going to make some just like hers!
Rachael and I hit Joann’s for supplies and went a little nuts (within the budget of course). I’m so pleased with the fabrics we ended up with! Rachael graciously took on the task of cutting all the circles out because, hello, have you met my scissor skills? She cut 2 sizes, 18 inches and 9 inches, which made roughly 12 and 6 inch pumpkins. The tutorial linked very helpfully gives you measurements for a lot more sizes. We also cut freehand leaves out of all the fabric.

This is more of a list tutorial than a photo tutorial, because I was so busy making pumpkins that I mostly got photos of finished items. But here are the basics:

Supplies:
Fabric circles in various sizes
Polyfil
Needles and thread
Deer corn
Stems/short sticks
Various embellishments like buttons and twine
Hot glue guns

Start by threading your needle, tying a large knot in the end, and sewing a loose running stitch all the away around your circle, about a half inch from the edge. Loosely gather the circle into a pouch, right side out.

Add between 1/2-1 cup of deer corn in the pouch, then fill the rest with Polyfil. Carefully pull the thread tight to close the circle at the top. Tie the thread off, then choose a stem.

Squirt a good glob of hot glue down into the top of the pumpkin, then push the stem in all the way to the bottom and twist. Hold it there for a second to let the glue set.

Add embellishments of your choice like fabric leaves, buttons, and twine.

About our supplies:

The deer corn came in a 40 pound bag from Walmart for something like $6. We had plenty left of course, but we also play cornhole at church camp every year, and the bags have to be repaired about once a year, so any excess will be used for that. Funny detail – the first bag we bought was actually half deer kibble, which we didn’t realize until we opened it up right before the event. Fortunately Walmart is about 5 minutes from the church. 🙂

You will need lots of Polyfil for this project. If you’re doing this for a group, you will probably need more than a 3lb bag.

While we did have a few real pumpkin stems, most of our stems were just short sticks Rachael gathered from around her home, and I liked them even better than the real stems. Before using, you will want to bake any natural items like this in your oven for a couple of hours at 175 degrees or so, checking every 15 minutes to make sure they don’t catch fire. This will kill any little creepy crawlies that may be hiding in the bark. Another awesome (but more expensive) option is to use a small bundle of cinnamon sticks as a stem.

The twine was just basic $1.97 a spool stuff from Walmart. We bought a 1/2 inch wooden dowel at Hobby Lobby, and I wrapped it tightly with the twine, then coated it with fabric stiffener and let it dry for 24 hours. The dowel was 36″ long, and we cut it in small sections when it was dry, but we still ran out, so I would recommend making more than you think you’ll need.

We got our buttons in big bags at Hobby Lobby for $5.99 minus the coupon savings, and I couldn’t get enough of them! (Not an affiliate link)
This craft was a huge hit, and most ladies made more than one. My mom and my sister-in-law Leah, who is the pastor’s wife, were on vacation with my dad and my brother and nephew, so I made some for them too.
These were my Mom’s.
And these were Leah’s. When she got back from vacation, she made a couple as a thank you gift for the neighbor who got their mail while they were gone.
I made these for the sweet lady who did the cooking for the event and for a dear church sister who unfortunately lost her husband the morning of the event and of course was not able to attend.
I also made some for Lily’s teachers at school for Teacher Appreciation Week, and when I went for a parent teacher meeting this week with her main teacher she had them proudly displayed on her desk and told me how much she loved them!
This was a craft that was doable for everyone, and even Lily made a couple.

We all had a great time, and they were all so different, yet all so adorable! I just couldn’t quit with them. I think I made 15 in all. The five at the top were the ones I took home, and they make me smile every time I see them. 

A few tips:
More corn means a heavier pumpkin that is going to stay put, but if your fabric is light and thin (like the muslin one above), it may show through if you add too much. Also, if your pumpkin is heavy, you will need to leave it sitting on the table while you’re pulling the thread closed at the top so you don’t break the thread. If you are making your pumpkin from burlap, it helps to tie the end of the thread to the burlap before running your stitch so that it doesn’t just pull through. Also, burlap will tend to poke out around the stem if you stitch too close to the edge, so it’s best to make your stitching line about an inch from the edge and tuck the raw edges into the top of the pumpkin before inserting your stem.
This was such a great craft, easy and inexpensive, especially if you are doing it for a group. Of course if you are just making a few for yourself and don’t want to buy a 40 pound bag of corn, you can weight them with rice, dried beans, dried pasta, or poly pellets. Or you can leave them unweighted and just stuff them with Polyfil or scrap fabric. Rachael made a few from old sweaters as a test run that were unweighted and they turned out amazing!
Hopefully we will be in a new house next Thanksgiving, and I just want to make these and put them everywhere! And I love that they can be made to match or complement any color scheme. Make up a few for your holiday decor or to take as a thank you gift for your host on Thanksgiving – there’s still plenty of time!
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