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How to Make Fabric Pumpkins with Real Stems

DIY Velvet Pumpkin Tutorial

Let me show you how to make fabric pumpkins with real stems. To be more specific the tutorial uses velvet to make beautiful high end looking fabric pumpkins with real stems. Fabric pumpkins come in all sizes, fabrics and stem materials, but did you ever notice the commercial velvet ones sit differently? It took me awhile to figure out exactly what the difference was and how to replicate it.

DIY velvet pumpkins for fall decor. The pumpkins are neutral coloured for neutral fall decor.

How to Make Fabric Pumpkins With Real Stems

Velvet pumpkins are made using stretchy velvet and very real looking stems, that was easy to notice, but the major difference is the expensive high end velvet pumpkins sit differently. These fabric pumpkin snuggle into the other Fall decor. , these fabric pumpkins snuggle into the other Fall dรฉcor. Next time your shopping for Fall take a look, the major difference of the expensive fabric pumpkins isn’t so much the quality of the fabric as it is the stuffing.

Instead of using polyfil stuffing, the expensive velvet pumpkins are filled with plastic stuffing pellets. These are the ones I purchased at Michaels in Canada (not an affiliate link).  The plastic weighted stuffing beads give them the weight they need to achieve that distinct look. So lets me show you how to make fabric pumpkins with real stems including todays velvet pumpkins.

DIY velvet pumpkins with candles for fall decor.

Fabric Pumpkin with Real Stems Supplies

Stretchy good quality velvet

Stuffing pellets

Preserved Pumpkin Stems  

Gold Metallic Paint

Hot glue, needle, and thread.

Stuffing pellets for DIY velvet pumpkins.

Cut the Pumpkin Fabric

Cut the velvet twice as wide as it is tall.    The fabric for the three pumpkins shown is cut  16 by 8 inches, 14 by 7 inches, and 12 by 6 inches.

(Note:  If you are willing to use more fabric,  cut a circles of fabric with diameters of 16″, 14″ and 12 inches   Then stitch along the outside edge of the circle, eliminating the bottom gathering and the seam.    The rest of the tutorial is the same.)

Sew the Fabric Pumpkin

Fold the fabric good side together,  sew along one side with a sewing machine forming a tube.  Turn it right side out.

With a needle and thread weave the needle through the bottom edge of the velvet, making the stitches about 1/4 inch.  Pull tight to close the bottom opening and then stitch closed.

Sewing the bottom of a DIY velvet pumpkin.

Fill with the pellets no more than 2/3 full.  Fold the top closure and sew together.

A sewn top of a DIY velvet pumpkin being closed.

Once sewn, twist the top into a swirl.  Hold the swirl in place by adding a few stitches.  This is important, the twist gives the pumpkin that signature twisted top you see in purchased high-end velvet pumpkins.

Twisting the top of a DIY velvet pumpkin fall craft.

Add the Pumpkin Stem

Start by buying fresh pumpkins with very long elegant stems. Try a farmer’s market or a local gardener grocery stores often cut the stems so short.

preserve pumpkins, diy pumpkin stems, diy fabric pumpkins

How to Preserve Fresh Pumpkin and Pumpkin Stems

Using real pumpkin stems,  spray paint them with gold metallic paint.  Let the stems dry.

Add the pumpkin stem using hot glue.  Make sure to apply the glue along the edges of the stem and attach the stem to the pumpkin so that it hides the gathering stitches on top.

Gluing pumpkin to DIY velvet pumpkins.

Add Pumpkin’s Feather Embellishments

Feathers or other embellishments are optional.   If you decide to add feathers, simply glue them in an arrangement on top of the velvet pumpkin.

DIY velvet pumpkins i fall decor.

Stuffed Fabric Pumpkins

Now that I have finished raving about how beautiful velvet pumpkins are, I need to tell you I love differently stuffed fabric pumpkins as well. Both types are fabric are really nice for fall decorating.  The difference lies in how you use them.  I love the poly filled stuffed pumpkins every bit as much but use them to fill a basket or to stand alone.  Stuffed pumpkins don’t snuggle into vignettes the same way as the velvet ones do.  You can see the difference in the next picture.

DIY Velvet pumpkins with real stems for fall decorating.

The stuffed ones are much better for filling baskets or standing up individually.  These neutral pumpkins are stuffed and made with simple branch stems.

Here is a vignette from my front view a couple of years ago.  In the traditional fall colours.

DIY, Sewing, Fall, Pumpkins

Other Pumpkin Craft Posts

If you’re looking for a step by step tutorial on stuffed pumpkins, I made some stuffed pumpkins last year in teal and orange.  They feature silverware stems and jewel embellishments.

DIY stuffed satin pumpkin to compare with velvet pumpkins.

Stuffed Satin Pumpkins with Silver Stems

The easiest way to get pumpkin stems is to purchase fresh pumpkins.  That’s how I got the stems for my velvet pumpkins.  In this post, I share how I process and preserved both the pumpkin and the pumpkin stems.

I hope you found this post useful, and that it helps you to have a stylish home for so much less.

Three DIY velvet pumpkins with real stems in a Fall centerpiece with grey candles.


  1. Love this material saving tutorial. And I love the gold stems and feathers. I thought about splurging on expensive feathered pumpkins, but just couldn’t justify it. Now I am inspired to make them. Thank you for sharing.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      I know Sharla, I couldn’t justify it either. Especially for something seasonal. The seam in the back isn’t a big deal and by doing it this way you can get higher priced velvet. Thank you for writing to let me know. I appreciate it.

  2. These are really cute and you did a super job.

    Love velvet pumpkins.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend


    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Cindy. I have so many pumpkins it’s ridiculous, but of course I had to figure out a DIY version of the new velvet pumpkins. The cost is just too high for the average person. Glad you like them.

  3. I knew you had to use the stretchy velvet but not about the pellets. I really like both types of pumpkins, ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      I like both types as well Debra, and have the pumpkin bin to prove it. The pellets add the weight. I considered using dried lentils or rice, but don’t like storing foodstuffs in the basement.

  4. Thank you for this tutorial, Leanna. I had no idea about the use of pellets rather than polyfill. I have some stretchy velvet in my stash and must give these a try. I love that you used real pumpkin stems and I must follow your drying tutorial so I have some for next year. Pinned ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      I ended up buying and preserving pumpkins last year to get the stems and didn’t want to waste the nice fresh pumpkin. I was honestly tempted to just go “remove” some from the pumpkin bin, but my conscious got the better of me. Enjoy your weekend.

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