A Stuffed Fabric Pumpkin for Decorating Your Home
This free pillow pattern creates a pumpkin that will allow you to decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving. There are two sizes available and you can use plain or calico fabric, or even mix the two. Create an entire pumpkin patch by using various orange prints!
Being familiar with soft sculpture techniques will help you create these pumpkins but they are also a great way to experience how soft sculpture transforms a stuffed item. And as you can see, there will be some variations in sizes and shapes due to how the "pumpkin" is stuffed or pieced.
Pumpkin Pillow Materials
- Orange fabric (calico or plain orange) - 1/2 yard will yield a large and a small pumpkin
- Orange thread
- Poly-fill or stuffing (the better quality stuffing gives you a smoother finished project.)
- Orange embroidery thread or Perle cotton
- Green fabric (calico or plain green) 1/4 yard
- Green Thread
- Very strong thread or button and carpet thread
Cutting Pumpkin Pattern Pieces
The small pumpkin section should measure about 8" long and the large pumpkin section should measure about 11" long, however, the sizes don't need to be precise.
Cut eight sections of the pumpkin body piece. These may be cut on the lengthwise or crosswise grain of the fabric. They must be cut on a straight grain to avoid the pumpkin twisting.
Cut two pieces of the stem.
All directions refer to using 1/4" seam allowances.
Pumpkin Body Assembly
Begin by joining two pumpkin sections, wrong sides together, on one edge. Be sure to back stitch at the ends. The seams will come apart when you are stuffing it if you do not back stitch.
Open the joined section and join another pumpkin body section to one side.
Repeat the above step until all sections are joined together. Join the two ends together to form a ball. One end of the ball will be closed and the other will have an opening for you to stuff through. Check that the bottom of the pumpkin is sewn closed completely.
Stuffing the Pumpkin
Turn the fabric to the right sides out.
Stuff the pumpkin. It should be semi-firm, with some give but still firm to a light touch.
To obtain a smooth exterior on the pumpkin, add the stuffing in small pieces, starting at the center and working the stuffing out to the sides.
Closing the Opening
Thread a needle with VERY strong thread. Leave a 6" tail on the thread by knotting (large knot) the thread at least 6" from the end. Make a running stitch around the top opening.
Pull the thread to gather the opening closed. Tack the threads to tie it off and use the long tail to knot and anchor your stitches as you close it. This will be hidden under the stem so neatness is not imperative, but you do want to draw it tight so you can hide the stitches under the stem.
Shaping and Sculpting the Pumpkin
Roll the ball on the floor or with your hands to smooth out the ball and obtain the basic shape that you want for a pumpkin. Try to roll out as many hollows as possible.
Thread a large-eyed needle with 6 strands of embroidery thread or Perle cotton. Tie off the embroidery thread where you pulled tight gathered the top closed. A tail on the thread is also helpful here.
Wrap the embroidery thread around the seam lines on your pumpkin. Pull the thread tight, so that the seams indent and tie off after pulling over each seam.
Tie off and cut remaining tails of thread.
Sewing and Attaching the Stem
Sew the two stem pieces together and turn right side out. Be sure to get the top point turned all the way out.
Stuff to a semi-firm stage.
Use straight pins to hold the stem in place on the top of the pumpkin, making sure that all of the stitches on the pumpkin are covered.
Use a slip stitch to attach the stem.
Enjoying Your Finished Pumpkin Pillow
These pumpkin pillows look great paired with other autumn pillows on a sofa or overstuffed chair, and they also work for making a table centerpiece. They're even fun for kids to have a soft pumpkin to hug or snuggle with.
They don't take long to make, so you can grow a patch full of stuffed pumpkin pillows!
Options for Making Your Pumpkin Pillow Extra Special
Adding a Pumpkin Face
Cut felt shapes, such as triangles, circles and a mouth to create a jack-o-lantern face. Spray the back of the felt with temporary basting spray and press in place on the pumpkin. Using the temporary spray allows you to also use the pumpkins for Thanksgiving decorations.
For a more permanent face, use a fusible web or a slip stitch to attach the face pieces.
Adding Leaves and Vines
Cut out a few felt leaves to attach near the stem. You can also add pipe cleaners to make curly vines.
Use a small amount of hot glue to anchor the leaves.
If you want your pumpkin to be taller and more round, use fewer pumpkin sections. The example above has seven sections instead of eight, but you could make yours with fewer still!
You can add extra sculpted sections to your pumpkin by repeating the sculpting step evenly between the seam lines as well as on the seams. Or, skip the sculpting entirely for a different look.
Updated by Mollie Johanson