Turns out chintz pumpkins are not easy to find. So I had no choice but to DIY them.
I used to refrain from fall decorating because I wasn’t really into the various shades of orange decor that most retailers sell. There are more color variations nowadays. Yet, most of it isn’t really my style.
That’s why I decided to sew my own pumpkins. This way, if I wanted chintz or gingham pumpkins, I could have them.
This is a simple project that doesn’t take much time once you’ve got all your materials. And you’re only limited to your fabric choices – so there aren’t many limitations here.
- Matching String or Embroidery Floss
- Large Needle
- Polyester Stuffing
- Sewing Machine
- Dried Pumpkin Stems, Sticks or Clay
- Hot Glue Gun
Cut Your Fabric
The size of your pumpkin will depend on the size of your fabric. There is no definitive size here. Just keep in mind that the length of your fabric will be the approximate circumference of your pumpkin – minus 1/2” for your 1/4″ seam.
As for the height, you want enough to stuff your pumpkin, so about half your length is a good place to start. This will produce pumpkins that are short and stout. If you prefer taller pumpkins, consider making the height .75x or 1x the size of the length.
I cut my fabric to be 10″ high by 20″ lengthwise. The finished pumpkin was approximately 4″ tall and 6″ across the top.
How to Sew Fabric Chintz Pumpkins
To begin, fold your fabric in half lengthwise, backside facing you. Use pins to keep your fabric folded and prevent it from moving. The top and bottom of the folded fabric should be open.
Next, sew a straight stitch on your opening. I stitched a ¼” seam. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitch. Trim your thread.
After, open up your fabric so that your new seam is flat and positioned in the middle. You will now gather one unfinished end of your fabric with a running stitch.
If your fabric has a direction, you will add your running stitch to the bottom of the pattern.
You can do this step on the sewing machine or by hand. Do not backstitch at any point. I handstitched mine as I prefer a bigger running stitch. I sewed through both layers of fabric at once, but this will make it more difficult to make the pumpkin ridges later. The best method is to make a running stitch through one layer of fabric, all the way around the circumference.
Do not knot off the end. Trim your thread and leave a tail.
Next, pull on your thread so that the fabric gathers. Once gathered, thread a needle and stitch the gathered end closed.
You should now have a pouch. Turn it right side out and fill your pouch with stuffing. Fill it approximately ¾ of the way full.
Once again, thread your needle. Make a running stitch across the top circumference of your fabric to seal your pouch. Finish stuffing the pumpkin to your liking. I suggest you get a pencil or crochet hook to shift the polyester filling around. Otherwise you might have odd clumps.
Pull on the ends of the thread. Then use a needle to sew the opening closed.
How to Add Ridges on Your Chintz Pumpkins
For this step, you will need a large, thick needle. Preferably a large one to push through the center of your pumpkin. If you are making a large pumpkin, you may need an upholstery needle.
Thread your needle with embroidery thread or yarn that matches your fabric. Do not knot it. Next, push the thread through the center of the pumpkin until it comes out the other end. You can then tie the ends together.
You can leave a bit of a tail if you’d like. Just make sure you have enough left over to make the remainder of the ridges.
Shift the knot you’ve made to the bottom of the pumpkin. You may have to pull on it to get it to slide.
For the first ridge, ensure that your embroidery floss sits atop the vertical seam on the pumpkin. This helps hide the stitch and makes it less noticeable.
After, continue to sew ridges around your pumpkin. To sew even ridges, ensure to sew a ridge directly across from the previous ridge. Six to eight ridges are best, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
Once done, knot off your thread and cut.
Attaching Your Pumpkin Stems
Now, you have some options on how to top your pumpkins.
You can use real pumpkin stems if you’d like to go through the trouble. This option looks best, though I do recommend being cognizant of the proportional relationship between the pumpkin and the stem. You can buy them online or you can dry them out yourself with the help of an oven.
Alternatively, you can also use sticks to fashion a pumpkin stem. You may need to use pruning shears to cut your stems to size but this is a cheap and readily available option for most.
If you’re crafty, you can also make them yourself out of clay.
Hot glue your stem to the top of your pumpkin and you’re done.