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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sweater Pumpkins

Knit One, Pearl Two, Three, Four, Pumpkins!
You've seen them before on Pinterest and some blogs.
Sweater pumpkins...I just had to make some of my own.
I'm doing crafts this fall using supplies that come from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.
I had fun gathering my supplies at Jo-Ann for this grouping of pumpkins.

I'm actually going to be showing several crafts in the next few days using supplies from Jo-Ann.
Well, really over the next few months.
I'm officially blogging about Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts as part of their 
"Celebrate the Season" blogger campaign.

Back to the craft at hand....
I found several cable knit sweaters at a thrift store to use for this project.
A couple of the sweaters were from my own old sweater stash.
Like that creamy cable knit above.
This little one above is actually a knit hat from Walmart.
I just stitched up the opening and stuffed it.
This small blue one is a sleeve from the sweater I made the big blue one from.
This one is another little hat. Super easy to make a pumpkin from a hat. 
Much of the work is already done for you.
I'll tell you exactly how I made these at the end of this post.
Jo-Ann's has some wonderful Halloween charms that were perfect to add to them.
Feathers and buttons make great embellishments for them.
That blue one sports a vintage broach given to me by my Grandmother long ago.
It's just pinned on...it will go back into my jewelry drawer after Halloween.

I had a great time making these. They are very easy and quite addictive once you start making them.
They are a quick craft too unless you are taking tutorial photos.
Taking photos as you go...slows down the process by a lot.
So the one that I made while taking photos took about four times as long as the rest.

Here are the instructions on how to make them....
These instructions will give you nice weighted floppy pumpkins with firm stable stems. 
These are the supplies I picked up at Jo-Ann.
I also mixed in bits of my old costume jewelry.
Jo-Ann's has a huge selection of gorgeous jewelry findings and gems.
I found many many things I'd love to add to my pumpkins but I did have a budget.
As I said, I am participating in the "Celebrate the Season" Holiday campain with Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts.
They supply me with a gift card to buy supplies at their store and I create something.
This is just the first of several Halloween crafts I'll be doing using Jo-Ann supplies.
1. Start by cutting a large section of your sweater. This one used the basic body of the sweater.
But I didn't want it to be tall so I cut it down. 
2. Zig zag the cut edge. I did so a couple of times to ensure it was stable. Then with right sides together stitch up one side. Now you have a tube.
3. I used embroidery thread to sew the ends up. It's a heavier weight and not so slick as regular thread.
I've seen many bloggers suggest using a rubber band over the ends.
I'm sure this works fine but rubber bands disintegrate over time. 
And in not much time...like a year.
And when that band goes...your whole pumpkin will go. So I suggest sewing your pumpkin instead.
4. Start a running stitch in the zig zagged edge.
5. I kept the zig zag edge as the bottom and used the ribbed sweater end as the top of my pumpkin.
Gather up the whole end using a running gathering stitch, pulling it tight, once you've run the stitch all the way around.
6. Once it's gathered up, run your needle and thread back and forth through the gathered edge making it a tighter and tighter gather. 
7. You'll have a tight little bunch when done.
8. Turn your sweater tube right side out.
Now we'll make the stem. 
9. Take your aluminum floral wire and cut a long length, bend in two. 
10. Push each end of the wire through the bottom gathered edge.
11. Once it is in place it will barely be visible. 
12. Take a plastic shopping bag (like Walmart) and put a handful of river pebbles or bean bag filler in it.
You could use beans or rice but your pumpkin might draw bugs and that is not a good thing.
13. Here's the pumpkin so far with the wire in place. 14. Place your little bag of pebbles in the bottom of the sweater tube resting between the wires. 15. Cut the excess plastic bag off above the knot.
16. Now just fill in and around with polyfill till you have a nicely rounded shape.
17. Now start another gathering stitch around the top edge. 
18. Pull it tight once you've gone all around.
19. Once it's tight go back and forth with your thread to make the opening super tight and secure.
Twist the wire and trim to the desired length for your stem. 
20. Now it's time to decide how you want to embellish. A doily makes a nice base for the stem.
Just cut a slit in the center. Secure with hot glue. I crumpled and gathered the doily and hot glued in 
place on the pumpkin. I didn't want it to lay flat.
On some of my pumpkins I used a stretchy tan ribbon I found at Jo-Ann's. I failed to get a photo
of the package but it was with the ribbon. I think. It might have been with the floral.
I also used stretchy velour for others.
21. An old velour jogging suit had to be cut up to make this stem and base. I just cut it into strips.
22. This orange pumpkin has the velour stem and base. Cut a circle out of the velour and hand
sew a running gather stitch along the edge. 
23. Pull it tight. You now have what is called a yo-yo. 
24. Flip it over and snip a whole in the center and push the stem wire through. 
Secure it to the top of your pumpkin with hot glue. 
Again...I kind of crumpled and scrunched my velour so my topper didn't lay flat on the pumpkin.
26. Starting at the bottom of the stem, near the pumpkin...wrap the strips of velour or ribbon around the wire. Overlapping itself. (just like how you'd use floral wire on a flower) 
I went all the way up and then turned over the end and came back down again.
Stabilize by using hot glue at the beginning and a little here and there and secure at the end.
Now you have a pumpkin all set for embellishing.
That is the fun part!
I hot glued most of the trinkets and leaves on but the charms got whipped on with a little thread.
Those berry stems also came from Jo-Ann. 
I just loved the little Oct 31 charm and the old skeleton key from Jo-Ann. 
I added a vintage button to this one.

Oh...I forgot...I used wired raffia that I twisted around the bottom of the stems and then wound the ends 
around pencils to form tendrils too.

I ended up with a whole pile of these pumpkins.
Like I said...they are addictive and I couldn't stop making them!

Next I made bats to fly above and around them.
I'll show them close up and have a tutorial on how I made them in a day or so.
They also were made using supplies from Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Store.
Have you shopped at Jo-Ann lately? It is so full of great crafting supplies. 
The hardest part for me was deciding what to make there were so many inspirational things with which to create.

So I started with these pumpkins and then I'll have the bats and then more to come.

Oh...it's fun to make Halloween stuff!

Check out all the other great Halloween decorations other bloggers are creating using Jo-Ann supplies at

This is Jo-Ann's website to inspire you for the holidays.
There will be all kinds of great ideas showing up there from now through Christmas.

Get your craft on by using this coupon at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts!

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Boxwood Cottage said...

Hi Nita,
your sweater pumpkins came out really beautiful and they look great in your vignette!
Sending you Happy Hallween wishes from Germany

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial, Nita. They are beautifully cozy, colorful and autumnal!

Unknown said...

These are gorgeous!!! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later this evening that links to your tutorial:

Adam Hazlett said...

Amazing! Those look great Nita, what a wonderful idea. I bet copies of these will be showing up in stores next year for sure! They give fall a warn cozy feeling.

Sharon Rexroad's Bringing Creativity 2 Life said...

Nita -- SO pretty and a great tutorial. I hadn't thought about weighting the bottom before.

Sonia said...

How absolutely fun and beautiful! I just love them! Great project..thanks for sharing!
Miss Bloomers

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

I love anything cableknit.
These are just adorable, Nita.
LOVE this vignette!

Diane said...

Your sweater pumpkins are adorable. Love the charms you added. I'm sure these would fly out the door if you opened an etsy shop. Love your colorful halloween vignette!

Scribbler said...

You have really outdone yourself! Maybe you should sell some of these. I don't have any patience to do crafts any more. Would you believe that once upon a time I actually had an arts and crafts store, and now I do almost nothing? You are truly an artist.

vintage girl at heart said...

these are the cutest version i've seen! you are so talented. love the hat turned into pumpkin too!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

I love the pumpkins, so many ideas, so many pretties, I love the sweater ones the velvet ones, I just must try them all,,so creative.,Phyllis

Kate said...

Gorgeous pumpkins! Thanks for the how-to.

Ricki Treleaven said...

Oh, Nita....these are all darling! I loved the striped one. Thanks for posting the tutorial. The idea of using the hat appeals to me because it does seem easier.

Cute display, too!

Thanks, Nita!


Tanna said...

Nita, your pumpkins are SOOOO cute. Amanda and I made some on my recent visit to Virginia! They are too fun! blessings ~ tanna

Cindi Myers said...

Very cute!
I would like some in very bright colors, like green, turquoise, orange and white!
Great tutorial!

Andrea at Opulent Cottage said...

These are great! You really kicked it up a notch :) Cute cute display!

Our photos said...

Lovely are your pumpkins!
Greetings, RW & SK

The Charm of Home said...

Fantastic pumpkins Nita and I love the display at the end! It's fabulous!

Laurel Stephens said...

You have a style all your own, Nita, and I just love it! Your sweater pumpkins are so cool, and your tutorial rocks!

DIYbyDesign said...

I love your colorful pumpkins. They came out great. I will be featuring this tonight at my Fall into Fall party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks.

Lorraine said...

Yoour pumpkins are lovely, and your tutorial is terrific!! Have fun at JoAnne's ;)
Happy Pink Saturday!! ~Lorraine ♥♥♥

Ann said...

Oh those are so darling!!!!!!Makes the holiday so warm and fuzzy.