DIY Velvet Pumpkins: Everybody’s doing it!

Velvet Pumpkin Portrait

 

 

I wasn’t going to write this post. Nope, not at all.

 

 

 

Velvet pumpkins are so two holiday seasons ago, right?

 

 

 

 

Then I spotted them, this weekend, at Lassen’s with prices like $21.99–for the smallest of the harvest!

 

 

 

 

Velvet store pumpkins

 

 

 

Now I’m considering it my civic design duty to remind everyone how easy it is to make your own. Once you get going, each takes fewer than ten minutes–promise!

 

 

 

 

And here’s how to make your own–(without spending $21.99!).*

*I have to interject for a moment. Velvet isn’t cheap. In fact, the good stuff is rather expensive. I happened to have a remnant, but if you don’t, you could check the thrift stores for velvet clothing (jackets spring to mind) and even velour zipper-pull jackets or sweats. If that proves to be a wild goose chase, I apologize, and recommend checking your local fabric store for a remnant.

 

 

 

 

To begin, cut a perfect circle by tracing around a bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

Cut velvet pumpkin

 

 

 

 

Yes you’ll read the word “velvet” umpteen times here, but you could also substitute an interesting patterned fabric such as a paisley, houndstooth, tartan, herringbone–the list goes on.

 

 

 

 

 

Velvet circleVelvet circle measuring 10.5″ in diameter.

 

 

 

Don’t worry too much about the color of your thread as it will never show. What you do need to worry about is keeping your thread doubled for strength, and keeping it threaded on the needle until we reach the end.

 

 

 

Sew up and down. I believe this is called “a running stitch”. If it’s not, someone please tell me now and put an end to my sewing illiteracy.

 

 

 

 

Sewing the velvet pumpkin

 

 

 

 

You are essentially creating a little sack. Once you have sewn around the entire edge of the circle, pull your thread to gather the fabric and it should look something like this….

 

 

 

 

Remember: do not cut the needle off your thread just yet.

 

 

 

Empty velvet pumpkin A green velvet shower cap?

 

 

 

 

Stuff your pumpkin with batting. To give it some substance and pumpkin gravitas, I added a few tablespoons of dried pinto beans. Note: If you add the beans first, they’ll fall to the bottom where they’ll be visible through the fabric. Instead, make a depression in the center of the batting and place the beans there.

 

 

 

Stuff velvet pumpkin

 

 

 

 

Once the sack is stuffed and ready, I found it helpful to squeeze it between my knees as I pulled the thread taut.

 

 

 

 

Sewing velvet pumpkin tight

 

 

 

 

Continue to tighten at the top until you have this….

 

 

 

 

Almost velvet pumpkin

 

 

See how the needle is still attached to the thread? (You may have to squint to see it, but the needle is sticking into the pumpkin like it’s a pin cushion…now that would be a cute idea!) To keep the pumpkin sewn closed, use your needle to thread through one side of the opening, then thread your needle to the opposite side. Continue going back and forth until the opening is sewn tightly shut;  knot your thread and snip away the excess–releasing the needle. (Some people like to make one final stitch down through the bottom of the pumpkin, and back up to the top, to slightly flatten the pumpkin. If slightly flattened pumpkins are your thing, you might want to try this.)

 

 

 

Pumpkin stems

 

 

 

The real stem is what pulls these pumpkins together with that dash of authenticity:  “Is it real or is it velvet?” Okay, maybe it’s doubtful that anyone will go so far as that, but it does make them look cool. So where do you get them? Salvage stems from acorn squash and/or pumpkins before you use them in a recipe.

 

 

To dry your stem, bake it in a 275 degree oven for ten minutes. When it has cooled, hot glue it to the top of your velvet pumpkin.

 

 

 

 

 

Glue on stem

 

 

 

And let the decorating begin!

 

 

 

 

Velvet Pumpkins Centerpiece

 

 

 

 

To see some fun ideas other crafty bloggers have been working on, click the link to the Sunday Showcase Party,  below.

 

By Stephanie Lynn
 

 

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2 Comments on DIY Velvet Pumpkins: Everybody’s doing it!

  1. Dana
    November 13, 2018 at 1:57 AM (4 months ago)

    I have made over 30 velvet pumpkins after seeing the prices and coveting the ones from from Hot Swatch. I could not find enough pumpkin stems (or squash) where I live. So I made my own out of clay and lots of colors of paint to make them look real. I found that poly pellets worked best for weighting the pumpkins and I wanted “shoulders” on mine which required over stuffing. Also upholstery thread and a doll making needle worked best for getting the gathering I wanted. After closing, since my needle was long I went down the center and back up to give it a squatty look. I think you might like the results, plus stretch velvet works best.

    Reply
    • Kisha Gianni
      November 13, 2018 at 5:45 PM (4 months ago)

      I wrote this post quite a few years back now, but I bring my velvet pumpkins out every year at this time (Oct/Nov) and marvel at how good looking they are–yet they were so simple and, relatively, inexpensive to make. Thank you for your great advice and tips. I think readers will find them very helpful! 🙂

      Reply

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