September 14, 2015

Velvet Pumpkin Tutorial

Hello everyone and happy Monday. I know, not the best day to say that but I always like to wish you guys a happy day. Maybe it makes a difference, who knows.

Back when this blog was even smaller than it is now (and it's still pretty small!) I shared these velvet pumpkins, but never did a tutorial. I am making more and decided that I should show you guys how to make these on your own.

You will need a few yards of stretch velvet, colour coordinated thread, a needle, dried beans, poly fill and a dried pumpkin stem. I would recommend cutting the stem off of a pumpkin (yours preferably) and letting it air dry for a few months. I let mine dry for almost a year before I use them to ensure that they do not start to mold. It's very important to make sure that there is no pumpkin left on the stem at all and they are not left in a warm or hot place to dry. 

So onto the tutorial after my pumpkin stem lecture. You will want to make a template (if you are planning on making more than one or two) or trace a circle onto the wrong side of your velvet.

I made a template because I will be making quite a few of these pumpkins. You can use whatever you have on hand to trace as long as you are able to see your markings. I used a silver marker so that I could see my line on this darker blue fabric, but a pen would work just as well.

Once traced you can cut the circle out as close to the line as you can. The velvet is very stretchy and moves quite a bit, so try to stay on the outside of the line if you can. You want to see the line once it is cut because that will be your stitching line. The stitching is a little tricky as you need to be very careful while you are doing this so that the thread does not tangle or get stuck. You will stitch in and out with a space of an inch or so between each stitch.

The above picture is the best way without a video that I could think to show you guys. If you look closely you will see the thread is visible between the left two dots, then showing again between the right two dots. You will continue this the whole circle until you reach the beginning, and make sure to go just a little past the first stitch if possible. When you have that done, pull the string carefully until the circle starts to come together:

Next you will want to get some of the dried beans and put between an eighth and a quarter of a cup into the bottom, depending on the size of your pumpkin. This will help weigh the pumpkin down a bit and give it a good surface to sit on. Then stuff your empty pumpkin with poly fill, checking the shape as you go.
Once you are happy with the filling you will pull the stitching as tight as you can without breaking it.


Now comes the part where you will probably stab yourself a few times. Keeping everything nice and tight, start stitching the opening closed. There is no right way here, just stitch until the opening is as closed as you can get it. After you have everything closed up you will want to carefully stitch from the top through the pumpkin to the bottom and back through to the top a few times until it starts to keep its shape.

This will give it a more pumpkin shape and help it to sit better by itself. The second picture above shows the bottom of the pumpkin. Try to stitch close together but it's not a requirement. The goal it to make the velvet look as pumpkin like as possible. When you are happy with how it looks then next step is adding the stem.

I'm weird with the stems, in a "let's try ten different stems until I find the perfect match" kind of way. I like my stem to fit the depression that the stitching makes so that it looks natural. You may not have the 50 plus stems in reserve that I have, so if that's the case load the bottom of the stem with hot glue:

I don't think you can have too much hot glue (well I'm sure that there is a point that's too much, but you get the idea). Make sure to outline the stem and put at least a big gob in the centre. I cover the entire stem bottom. Then hold that sucker down for up to thirty seconds to make sure that it attaches to the fabric really well. You can see that I really push it down and hold it.

And voila! That's all there is to it. The first one will be the trickiest but you will fall into an easy rhythm after that. I can get two a night done, and that's with a baby belly in my way. The larger the pumpkin, the longer the process will take as the stitching is the longest and most tedious part. These pumpkins and in a nice navy blue, but I can't wait to get my other colours done as well. So far I don't have any red or orange pumpkins, but I'm hoping to add those colours to the mix soon.

Anyone tried velvet pumpkins? Have a different method or suggestions to make the process easier? Lay it on me!


Linking to:
Ginger Snap Crafts - Wow Me Wednesday # 224 

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