Autumn Pumpkin Tutorial with Mary-Ellen

DIY Fabric Pumpkins

It’s pumpkin season! Autumn is my favourite season; the freshness of the cooler days, the crunching leaves of leaves under foot, bringing out the boots and cosy knitwear, movie nights snuggled on the sofa watching Halloween movies with a glass of wine… I like something to work on when I’m watching a movie or binging on the latest Netflix series, so these little fabric pumpkins fit the bill. They are so relaxing to make and look great as autumn decorations around the house, whether it be the mantle, console table or bookcase. They would make a lovely table centrepiece, too – so if you’re reading this from the States, think Thanksgiving table decor. You can make them from the scraps that are left over from your larger sewing projects and whatever size you like. Just take this gentle warning; once you make one, you won’t know when to stop. 

You will need:

  • Fabric – I think The Rag Shop’s wine and rust gingham were perfect for this 
  • Thread
  • Hand Sewing Needle
  • Toy Filler
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Doll Needle
  • Cinnamon sticks or twigs
  • Glue Gun


1. Cut your rectangle(s) of fabric – you can make these pumpkins as big or a small as you like, just make sure the width of your fabric is double the depth (60”x30”, 50”x25”, 30”x15”, etc.)


2. Using your machine, right sides together, sew the short edges. This is all you will use the machine for, and I suppose you could hand stitch it if you wanted to. 

3. Taking into account the direction of the print of your fabric (if it has one), sew a running stitch around the circumference of the bottom of your pumpkin making sure to secure at the start. I like to double up the thread to make it stronger. Pull tight and tie off a few times to secure. Turn out the right way.


4. Repeat for the top of the pumpkin but don’t pull it closed.


5.Stuff the pumpkin with toy filler.

Note: you can also use the scraps that are too small for anything else (for example, from overlocker trimmings) but I recommend using the filler for the centre as you do have to get your embroidery floss through it and if you use just scraps you may end up getting some resistance. 


6. Pull up the running stitch and secure – don’t worry if it looks untidy. Very soon you won’t see it. 

7. Having threaded your doll needle with embroidery floss, secure it at the top and make sure to tie off tight as you’re going to be tugging at it to create the ribs. 

8. Wrap the floss around to the bottom and pull the thread through the centre and back through the top. Complete this as many times as you want and then tie off the floss. 

9. Using your glue gun (you can use fabric glue, but it takes a bit longer for things to adhere) stick your cinnamon stick (or twig) in the top centre (the ‘penduncle’, I believe it’s called). 

Voilà! You’re done – unless you want to get a little bit extra you could needlefelt some tendrils and leaves.

Check out Mary-Ellen’s Instagram @shesewshappiness

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