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Fabric Pumpkins

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All Hallows' Eve is creeping closer, and there’s no better time to decorate! Pumpkins are a favorite of mine, in all forms, but they’re awfully hard to embroider. Since we have a tendency around here to embroider anything and everything, that obviously needs to be remedied. A simple solution is to make your own adorable plush pumpkins and repeat your favorite elegant Halloween designs to create a one-of-a-kind pumpkin masterpiece you can use again and again.


Making these pumpkins is super easy with the pattern provided. To make some pumpkins, you’ll need:

  • Printed pumpkin pattern (PDF includes large and small pumpkin patterns)
  • Orange fabric (you'll need enough to hoop and embroider 7 designs, then cut out 7 panel pieces with the embroidery in the middle)
  • Cutaway stabilizer (er... hiding)
  • Rice or beans
  • Lots of polyfill stuffing
  • Felt for stem and leaves
  • Awesome spooky embroidery designs (I used a couple from the the Gothic Gala collection)
  • Scissors and pins
  • Needle and thick orange thread (or embroidery floss) and thread to match stem

Designs Used

Let's start with the templates. I’m going to show making large and small size pumpkins. You can also scale these down to nearly any size you like, provided you’re willing to sew seams that tiny.

There are panel pieces for the pumpkin, and then a template for the stem and leaves. The stem and leaves can really be made any shape you like, but the panel pieces are what you really want to follow closely.

In order to get a cool embroidered effect all around my pumpkin, I decided to embroider a piece of a design on each panel, and stitch them together to look like one long design. This is just one way of doing it.

Mark your 7 pumpkin pieces on your fabric, but don’t cut it yet! Embroider each panel one at a time, leaving the fabric as one large piece. When everything is all done stitching, then you can cut out each of the panel pieces. It’s much easier to embroider them first!

This is the pattern I chose for my small pumpkin. I used the fancy cobweb drape and stitched different parts on different panels. When I stitch it all together, it will create a fancy spider web all along the top! This is just one way of using these designs. You can also stitch a smaller design onto each panel, staying inside the template area.

Me, however, I really loved the cool endless repeating effect that this pumpkin offers, so on my large pumpkin I stitched this spooky gate 7 times. Remember, if you want edges to line up properly on repeating designs like this, you always want to position the design in the same place on each template shape. Here's a tutorial to help with precise placement.

Here are my seven large spooky gate pieces! Where you place your design on the panels will change how they wrap around your pumpkin. These may look like they’re in the middle, but actually they’ll wrap around the bottom of my pumpkin with the curve it’s going to make. Don’t embroider any design too far down on your pumpkin or it will disappear underneath it once it’s stitched!

Now we need to assemble the main pumpkin. Start by pinning two panel pieces right sides together, and stitching a 1/4 inch seam down the side. Leave a little gap at the top to turn your pumpkin right side out!

Keep repeating this technique, adding the next panel on to the edge of the last one.

If you have a really precise design pattern to line up, take care to line up the edges of your embroidery when pinning, so things don’t end up wonky in the end!

Stitch your final panel to the edge of the very first one (in a great big circle) to close it up. You may find the bottom edge hasn’t closed up exactly (it’s OK, these things shift around). Stitch over the bottom a couple of extra times to seal up any extra holes.

Turn your pumpkin right side out through the hole you left in the top. Now you have a kinda... beach ball thing. But all awesome and Halloween-y.

Before we stuff our pumpkin, we want to weigh it down a bit so it sits nice and flat like a real pumpkin. Pour some rice or beans into the bottom of your pumpkin, just enough to weigh it down.

Now get to stuffing! Fill your pumpkin to the brim with polyfill stuffing. Don’t be shy, you want a nice plump pumpkin!

To close up your pumpkin, you’ll want to grab your needle and that thick thread. You’ll want thick (or just generally strong) thread because we’ll be tugging on it a lot and we don’t want it to break. Stitch a very loose line all around the top opening of your pumpkin.

When you get back to the beginning, grab the end of that thread and pull, cinching your pumpkin closed. Then add a few more stitches to keep it closed, and tie it off. Keep your stitches toward the center and don’t fuss too much about neatness. We’ll cover it up in a sec.

Use the template provided (or just go nuts and make your own) to cut out some felt leaves. This is also a good time to cut out the two halves of your pumpkin stem. You don’t have to make everything black like me, I was just feeling extra Halloween-y.

Stitch the ends of your leaves on top of the opening of your pumpkin. You can just stitch down the ends if you like, leaving the rest of the leaf to sit as it may.

Stitch together the two halves of your stem. Turn it right side out again and fill it with a bit of stuffing.

Place it in the middle of your pumpkin on top of the leaves, and then stitch all around the edge of your stem, securing it to your pumpkin. You’ll want to use a matching color thread for this.

That’s it! You can repeat this process on your larger pumpkin in exactly the same way.

In no time at all, you have a fancy plump pumpkin with an elegant drape of spiderwebs all around, and making more is easy to do with the pattern provided.

Make a whole patch! These pumpkins will never wilt or droop, and you can add to your “patch” year after year with your favorite new embroidery designs! Repeating elegant patterns is an amazing way to take advantage of their paneled shape, and lets you create endless borders of spooky embroidery to customize your creations. Experimenting is easy too! Try making each panel with a different kind of orange fabric for a patchwork effect, or go glam with luxurious fabrics like velvet. Plus you have seven times the chance to show off your favorite embroidery designs on each one! Spooking up your house with your favorite hobby is a great way to celebrate the season.