DIY Decorative Velvet Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a decorating staple throughout the fall season, and you can never seem to have enough around the house. But of all the different types of pumpkins to display, these pumpkins made of velvet might be the ultimate in fall decor. With their soft touch and luxurious fabric shimmering in the light, they beautifully adorn entryways, tabletops and mantels. They're so easy to make, you may want to create an entire velvet pumpkin patch (and you won't believe what the stems are made of).

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

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Things You'll Need

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 1: Cut the Velvet

Place a large platter on top of the back side of the velvet, and trace a circle with a piece of tailor's chalk The platter for this example has a 13-inch diameter.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Cut along the tracing with scissors. This 13-inch circle makes a pumpkin that is approximately 5 inches in diameter. A 15-inch circle makes a 6-inch pumpkin, and a 17-inch circle makes a 7-inch pumpkin.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2: Sew a Basting Stitch

Thread a needle so you have a double strand of thread that is about 36 inches long, and tie a knot at the end. Try to use the longest needle you can find. I used a 2-inch needle.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

With the velvet side facing down, hand sew a basting stitch about 1/4-inch from the edge of the fabric with stitches about every 1/2 inch.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

After you've stitched around the entire circle, pull the thread to gather the fabric into a pouch. Do not cut the thread yet.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3: Stuff the Pumpkin

Place about 1/2 cup of dried beans or rice into the velvet pouch. The beans help weigh down the pumpkin.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Stuff the remainder of the pumpkin with polyester filling. You will need a lot more than you think. Remember that the goal is to create a pumpkin shape with its characteristic bumps, not a perfect sphere.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4: Sew Up the Opening

Pull the thread tightly to close the opening at the top.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Pull the needle and thread back and forth across the top until the opening is sewn completely shut. Don't worry if your stitches are uneven and unsightly. They will be covered up by the stem. Again, do not cut the thread yet.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5: Sew the Dimple

We want to create a dimple on the bottom of the pumpkin. This indentation not only contributes to the pumpkin shape, but also helps the pumpkin sit steady. Start by inserting the needle straight down into the middle of the pumpkin.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Have the needle come out of the bottom of the pumpkin. Most likely your needle will not be as long as the pumpkin is tall, so just squish down the pumpkin until the needle comes out the other side.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Insert the needle back into the bottom of the pumpkin and have the needle go back up toward the top.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Pull the thread tightly at the top, and you'll create the dimple or, as some people call it, the belly button.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6: Secure the Thread

At the top of the pumpkin, tie a knot with the thread to secure it. Now you can cut off the excess thread.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 7: Make the Stem

The stem for our pumpkins will be made of brown paper lunch bags. First, crumple the lunch bag repeatedly until the paper is soft and pliable. Of course, instead of a paper bag, you can make a stem out of a cut tree branch or re-use an old pumpkin stem. But most people have easier access to a paper bag, and the bag creates a gnarled stem that looks very realistic.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Place a quarter inside the bottom of the bag. Then twist the bag to create a narrow column. The quarter acts as the base of the stem. You can also use a metal washer.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Apply two to three coats of Mod Podge decoupage medium to the stem to stiffen and protect the paper. You only need to go up about 5 inches with the Mod Podge, as the stem won't be longer than that.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Leave to dry, then cut the stem to your desired length.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 8: Adhere the Stem

Apply hot glue to the bottom of the stem, and press the stem down onto the center of the pumpkin until the glue sets. The quarter inside the base helps the stem sit flat against the pumpkin.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 9: Distress the Stem

To add a little realism to the stem, tear along the cut edge to create tendrils and twigs coming out at the top. Apply another coat of Mod Podge to further seal the paper, if necessary.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Fluff up the finished pumpkins to accentuate the pleats, and make your velvet pumpkins in a variety of colors to showcase the jewel tones of autumn.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

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