How to Make a Fabric Pumpkin | Madam Sew

Make Little Fabric Pumpkins for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and it's the perfect time to get creative and make your own festive decorations. Fabric pumpkins are a charming addition to any Halloween or Fall decor. They're a fantastic way to use up fabric scraps you may have lying around. In this tutorial, we'll walk you through the steps needed to create your very own fabric pumpkins. You can use various shades of orange, brown and green fabrics, with or without a sewing machine. Anyone with some basic sewing skills can tackle this project. Let's get started!

Three diy stuffed fabric pumpkins for Halloween or Fall

My finished pumpkins are 4 to 6 inch wide and 2 to 3 inch high. It is definitely easier to make smaller sized pumpkins with this technique as you have to pull a threaded needle right through the pumpkin to create the pumpkin ‘sections’. With a bigger pumpkin, this is harder to do.


Let me walk you through the whole how to make a fabric pumpkin in eight easy steps.

Step 1: Gather The Materials To Make a Pumpkin
Step 2: Cut The Fabric for the Body
Step 3: Create a Fabric Tube
Step 4: Turn and Stuff The Tube
Step 5: Gather the Top End of the Fabric Pumpkin
Step 6: Create the Pumpkin Sections
Step 7: Create the Stem of the Fabric Pumpkin
Step 8: Attach the Stem to the Fabric Pumpkin

Step 1: Gather The Materials To Make a Pumpkin

Collect all the materials listed below.

  • Assorted orange, green and brown fabric scraps in different shades, both woven and stretch fabrics are ok. You can even use bath towel fabric or wool. Make sure you have enough scraps to create the pumpkin's body.
  • Some green or brown fabric for the stem. Felt is also a good option for the stem as it doesn’t fray.
  • Polyester fiberfill or stuffing
  • Sewing thread in matching colors to sew the seams, make and attach the stem.
  • Firm thread like embroidery floss (6 strand) in matching colors to make the pumpkin sections
  • Hand-sewing needles: a big long needle for the floss and a smaller one for sewing thread
  • Scissors, pins and a sewing machine (optional)
Fabric pieces in orange and green and matching threads to make fabric pumpkins
Material you need to make a fabric pumpkin: fabric and threads

Step 2: Cut The Fabric for the Body

Depending on what you want and how big your fabric scraps are, you can make a mono color pumpkin or assemble different scraps into 1 pumpkin. My fabric main pieces are between 5 x 10 inches and 8 x 16 inches.

Rectangular orange fabric piece to make a pumpkin
Folded rectangular orange fabric piece to make a pumpkin

You need a fabric piece that is rectangular in shape to start from. When you fold it in half, it needs to be a square shape, or close to a square. It can be a little rectangular like you can see in the images above. The fold will be on the side of the pumpkin, from stem to bottom. So if you are using different strips of fabric or fabrics with a print, the direction may be important. The strips should be between 5 and 8 inches long and when put together make the 10 x 16 inches wide fabric piece.

If you are using different scraps to make one pumpkin, begin by cutting your fabric scraps into strips. When sewn together, these strips will form the pumpkin's body. You can vary the widths to add texture to your pumpkin. I used strips that are roughly 2-3 inches wide.

Folded rectangular orange fabric piece to make a pumpkin

Take two fabric strips and sew them together along one of the long edges, right sides facing each other. Repeat this process until you have a long, connected strip of fabric. This will be the base for your pumpkin.

Fabric scraps in orange, red and brown sewn together to make a fabric pumpkin

Step 3: Create a Fabric Tube

Fold the rectangular fabric strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew along the open edge to create a tube. You can use a sewing machine to sew this seam, but if you don’t have a machine at hand, it is also possible to hand sew this seam with a full backstitch.

Sewing a seam with a sewing machine, you see a hand and fabric piece and orange thread
A sewn orange seam with orange thread and thread sips and a hand needle

Gather the bottom end using a basting stitch all around, pull the threads firmly and make a knot. This is the bottom of the pumpkin. I used embroidery thread for this because it is a little firmer than my polyester sewing thread. Leave the other end open for turning and stuffing. To cut little threads, I like to use Madam Sew thread snips, they are much faster and more comfortable than big heavy fabric scissors.

A hand holding a fabric tube with orange thread sewn all around
Hands pulling orange thread to gather the fabric of a fabric tube
Hands pulling orange thread to gather the fabric of a fabric tube and tying a knot

Step 4: Turn and Stuff The Tube

Turn the fabric tube right side out. Now, it's time to stuff your future pumpkin. Start by filling the tube with polyester fiberfill or stuffing. Pack it tightly to achieve the desired shape and firmness for your pumpkin.

Hand holding an orange fabric bowl that will be stuffed, right side out
Hands holding an orange fabric bowl being stuffed with polyester filling

Step 5: Gather the Top End of the Fabric Pumpkin

Once the tube is stuffed, gather the open end using a hand basting stitch, pull and sew/or knot it closed. Make sure it's securely closed. Push the raw edges inside the hole in the middle.

Hand sewing stitches around the opening of a stuffed orange fabric bowl-shaped piece
Hand holding the thread that is gathered before securing the thread
Hand gathering the fabric and closing the opening of a sewing project by pulling the thread until the hole is closed
Top of the closed fabric pumpkin, raw edges tucked inside the pumpkin

Step 6: Create the Pumpkin Sections

To give your pumpkin its distinctive shape, use a length of strong thread or embroidery floss. Pull it through the middle of the pumpkin with a long hand needle and wrap it tightly around the stuffed ball. First make a cross and then divide each quarter into eights pulling the thread tightly to create the sections just like a real pumpkin. Just keep going through the pumpkin and pull and place the thread at another part of the ball. Make sure to hide the sewn seam with the thread. You can move the sections around a bit afterwards and flatten out the wrinkles in the fabric. Knot the thread securely to hold the shape.

Hand holding a big needle threaded with embroidery floss ready to pull it through the stuffed fabric pumpkin
Hand tying a knot in the embroidery floss around the fabric pumpkin
Hand pulling a big needle threaded with embroidery floss through the stuffed fabric pumpkin
Making pumpkin sections by hand sewing through the pumpkin with embroidery floss

Step 7: Create the Stem of the Fabric Pumpkin

Now, it's time to make the stem for your fabric pumpkin. Cut a rectangle of green or brown fabric and fold it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Roll it up tightly until you get the desired thickness. Cut excess fabric off and hand sew the raw edge to the stem.

Hands folding a green fabric strip in half for the stem of the pumpkin
Hands rolling up the fabric strip and cutting the excess fabric off
A green fabric strip folded in half for the stem of the fabric pumpkin
Hand-sewing the stem for the fabric pumpkin

Step 8: Attach the Stem to the Fabric Pumpkin

Hand-sew the stem end with the raw edges to the top of your pumpkin, ensuring it's centered. Use strong stitches to secure it in place. If you use a matching thread and stay close to the center, you won’t see the stitches.

Hand Sewing the stem to the stuffed fabric pumpkin
Two finished fabric pumpkins made out of orange fabrics

Your DIY fabric pumpkin is now ready to be displayed as part of your Halloween decor! Make a whole set in different colors and sizes. Place them on a tabletop, mantel, or even hang them as a charming Halloween or Fall decoration.

Three finished fabric pumpkins made out of assorted orange fabric scraps on a white table

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I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial on how to make a fabric pumpkin. Creating a fabric pumpkin is a fun and creative way to get excited about Halloween or Fall and decorate your house without having to worry about fresh pumpkins that go bad fast. You can start decorating early this year! Using fabric scraps in various shades of orange and green will add a unique touch to your decor and won’t cost you much. Whether you're an experienced seamstress or a beginner, this Halloween craft project is manageable and enjoyable for everyone. So, grab your materials and get crafting to make a delightful DIY stuffed fabric pumpkin that will brighten up your Halloween or Fall festivities!

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!


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