How to make the softest fabric pumpkin pillows without a sewing machine.
An easy knock off of the Pottery Barn teddy bear pumpkins!
These cute stuffed pumpkins are SO soft and will look great in your fall decor, or would work as cute pillows on chairs or sofas. It’s easy to make fabric pumpkins and no sewing machine or experience is needed.
I came across the most adorable stuffed pumpkins online a couple months ago and knew I had to make some of my own.
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But the price…nope. At least when I knew I could recreate them for a fraction of what they are charging.
I went to the craft store in search of the softest, fluffiest fabric I could find. I got three colors in very similar fabrics — one light cream, one medium brown and one dark brown.
They are all SO SOFT and cozy. I just loved all three. The dark fabric is what I think is considered the true “teddy bear” fabric, but they all worked beautifully for this project.
I’ve never made my own fabric pumpkins, but I figured it out along the way. My first method worked OK, but then I did a little research and will be sharing the instructions I ended up using for the rest of the pumpkins.
This DIY fabric pumpkin how-to will work with both the fluffy fabrics I’m using and thinner options for cotton or velvet pumpkins.
First up, cut a rounded square or circle out of your fabric in the size you want:
The width of your fabric will depend on the size you want for your pumpkin. I made my large pumpkin with a size about 16-18 inches across.
It turns out you really don’t have to cut down your fabric corners — I found it actually worked fine to leave it a square shape. The corners help fill in the middle part where your stem will go later.
On my first try, I just simply gathered all of the fabric at the top, wrapped it with twine to secure and then cut off of the excess.
I was left with this part:
I flipped it over and added my “stem” at the top. It was a little difficult to wrangle all of the fabric together and tie it, and the stem wasn’t secured well when I was done.
So I switched to this method, which was really easy with this fabric.
This goes super fast and I promise you don’t need to know any sewing experience to do this. Just weave it in and out like I did above.
It doesn’t need to be perfect — you won’t even see the thread when you’re done!
Once you’ve got it around the circumference of the fabric, you can take each end of the embroidery thread and pull them together to start closing the pumpkin like so:
I always recommend pulling the fill apart a few times to fluff it up before inserting:
It will go a lot further if you do this first!
I don’t recommend stuffing it completely full at this point, as it’s harder to close if overstuffed. You’ll want to add some additional stuffing to fill up parts later.
Once you’ve got it filled up to your liking (pull your thread together at the top to see how full it is), you can tie it up, but leave some some space for your stem and for a little final stuffing!
At this point you can add your stem and be done if you want — the “pillow” will have a shape that already resembles a pumpkin.
But I wanted the defined sections like the inspiration pillows, and I think they just look more like a real pumpkin anyway. 🙂
Here’s a view of the bottom of the pumpkin so you can see how I was wrapping the twine around:
Leave some excess twine at the top that you can tie each pass around the pumpkin to.
Each time you wrap the pumpkin, tie it off in a knot on top of the pumpkin to keep the jute as tight as possible:
I would wrap with twine, knot it at the top to secure, then take the twine around in another direction, knot, and repeat until I had all the “sections” I wanted.
You’ll be left with a hole that you can still fit a stem into:
By the way, I have no clue if this is how it’s “supposed” to be done. I was winging this for the most part. 🙂 But it worked well and went fast!
Before you add the stem, you’ll want to fluff up the pumpkin a bit more. Take more fiber fill and tuck it inside and up into to top of the pillow to fill in any flat parts. The fluffier the better!
For the stem you can use just about anything that resembles the shape. Cut branches from outside would work without any additional steps.
I cut them down and then wrapped with jute using my hot glue gun:
This process seems tedious but it actually goes super quick — each one only took a minute or two.
If I needed my stem to be thicker to fill the center hole a bit more, I just wrapped it with twine twice to make it a bit wider.
I loaded up the bottom of the stems with hot glue and stuck them into the middle of the pumpkins. They aren’t crazy secure — plenty enough, but I won’t be grabbing them by the stem to carry them around.
(If you know of a more secure way to add the stem, please share!)
I was planning to make three, but I loved these cute stuffed pumpkin SO much, I kept going.
They are SO CUTE!:
The fabric went a long way — I got less than a half of a yard in each color and was able to make nine pillows. I even have a little extra fabric leftover.
Aren’t they adoyable?? (As my niece says.):
They are so incredibly soft and I just love them.
The best part? I made all of mine with $30 worth of fabric and fill — and the smallest Pottery Barn teddy bear pumpkin is $29.
Soooo I got nine for the price of ONE:
No shame in buying, believe me…sometimes it’s the only way to go in my mind. But if you like the look of these stuffed pumpkins, it’s worth trying to make your own for way less!
You can’t beat nine for the price of one!
This would be such a fun craft project to do with friends or older kids for a craft night.
Try using old sweaters or blankets to make these as well!
Have you tried making your own stuffed pumpkins? Can you believe I’ve never attempted this DIY till now?
You can pin this tutorial for later using this image: