Are you looking for a sewing project that will enhance your fall or Halloween decor? Try these easy instructions for a friendly pumpkin pillow. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. I adore the colors of changing leaves, the pumpkins and gourds, and all the holidays from September through November. To celebrate, I create crafts that are sometimes elegant and sometimes silly. I bet you can guess which this pumpkin pillow is! He was so much fun and there are others coming right behind him. So, if you enjoy autumn holidays and being a little silly sometimes, pumpkin pillows might be the project for you. Best of all, they are inexpensive to make out of felt, embroidery floss and a little stuffing! Have fun.
- ½ yard 60” wide felt
- Various 9” x 12” sheets of colored felt for eyes, nose and mouth
- Paper for a template
- Several colors of embroidery floss
- Bag of polyfil stuffing
- Matching thread
- Buttons & pipe cleaners
- Sewing machine
1. Start your pumpkin pillows by creating paper templates of the pumpkin shape. Pin the templates onto felt which has been doubled so you create a matching front and back. Cut around the template and remove it from the felt pumpkin pieces.
2. Next, start playing with face designs. I added an orange cutout to the black pumpkin and used my pinking shears and button for eyes on the round pumpkin. Search through your craft boxes for other interesting materials to enhance your pumpkin’s faces!
3. Once you are sure of your design, glue the felt pieces in place.
4. Sew on any buttons, feathers, or bows….
5. Now start your outline stitching. This consists of small 1/8” – 3/16” stitches that run perpendicular to the edges of the shapes. Space them every ½” or so. I only put the outline stitching on the yellow pieces.
6. Measure around your pumpkin face to determine the length of the boxing. Then, cut a strip the circumference of your pumpkin, plus seam allowances of 1 ¼” and make the boxing 3 ¼” wide.
7. Pin the boxing to the pumpkin front with right sides facing each other. Start at the center of the bottom of the pumpkin so the seam where the ends of the boxing meet is at the bottom.
8. Machine stitch the boxing to the front of the pumpkin.
9. Pin the loose ends of the boxing together and machine stitch closed.
10. Pin the pumpkin back, with the right side facing in, to the boxing and machine stitch in place. Remember to leave an opening large enough at the bottom to turn the pillow right side out!
11. Before turning right side out, clip the rounded corners to help prevent any puckering.
12. Turn the pumpkin pillow right side out and stuff it with polyfil.
13. Once you have it stuffed the way you like it, pin the opening and hand stitch it closed.
14. Pinch the seam around the pumpkin together and use 6 ply embroidery thread and the blanket stitch to outline the entire pumpkin, front and back. Tip: When creating the stem of your pumpkin, which comes next, be mindful of the size and shape you really want. I feel my stem was a bit too bulky for my pumpkin once I had the whole thing finished. My suggestion is to make the stem a little narrower than the pumpkin boxing and perhaps make your rectangles slightly pyramid shaped as a stem would decrease in size as it leaves the pumpkin. Be careful of how high you make it as well. My pumpkin is 10” tall and the stem is 4”. I think it would have looked nicer if the stem was between 2 ½” and 3” tall. Just thought you’d want to know!
15. With leftover felt, create a cube which will be the stem. I used a piece of my leftover boxing and two rectangles to make my cube. Just pin the boxing around one cube and stitch, close the boxing where the ends meet and add the other rectangle.
16. Leave an opening to turn the stem right side out and stuff. Pin the opening closed and hand stitch shut. This is basically a repeat of the construction of the pumpkin!
17. Hand stitch your stem to the top of your pumpkin using matching thread to conceal the sewing.
18. If you like, your pumpkin can be complete with step 17. However, I felt I wanted to add a few more details. So, I cut some leaf shapes out of green felt and I doubled them.
19. I held the two leaf pieces together with some stitching that resembles veining.
20. I hand stitched them to the pumpkin and stitched on a green, curled pipe cleaner as well. Remember, it’s all in the details!