October Craft Night: Velvet Pumpkins

October 27, 2015

Our monthly craft nights resumed from a summer hiatus this month with more velvet than an Elvis Presley painting. Jealous? You should be! They're velvet pumpkin with REAL pumpkin stems and they turned out fantastic. So easy that each person was able to make and take home between 7-12 pumpkins each! Tutorial below.

We used faux velvet which I have to admit doesn't look as good as real velvet especially when making these pretties but it was MUCH cheaper at only $2.99 per yard as opposed to the $17.99 price tag for real velvet. To me the difference in quality wasn't worth the extra cost. Plus the real velvet only came in dark red and brown at JoAnns. The cheap faux velvet came in every color we were looking for. But if you're doing this project and can find REAL velvet for much less then I would recommend using it instead.
I personally really struggled with whether or not to do all white or green, brown and white. In the end I decided not to do all white but I still loved how Mandy's all white pumpkins turned out.
Can't you just picture them in a pile on a Thanksgiving table setting?!

Crafting 101: Whenever making velvet pumpkins don't forget the wine! ;-)
Ally made hers in harvest colors which also turned out lovely.
Here's the tutorial below.

Real Pumpkin Stems
-Velvet (one yard of velvet will make approximately one large, one medium and one small pumpkin)
-Poly-fil (I'd estimate one 16 ounce bag of poly-fil will get you  2 large pumpkins, 2 medium pumpkins and 2 small pumpkins)
-Beans (About 2lbs will fill 2 large pumpkins, 2 medium pumpkins and 2 small pumpkins. We used pinto beans. They were the cheapest for volume filled. You can buy them at Walmart for less than $1 per pound. You can also use any other type of small bean or even those beads used for beanie babies but pinto beans were the cheapest way I've found to fill the pumpkins)
-Thread, needle (a longer needle is better)
-Hot glue/ Glue gun

First get a whole bunch of REAL pumpkin stems. To get mine I went to a "Pick-Your-Own-Pumpkin-Patch" and while I was choosing my pumpkin I looked for any rotten or smashed pumpkins and pulled their stems. In fact rotten pumpkins make it easy to pull the stem. I also would recommend bringing a knife or sharp scissors to cut the top of the vine. I forgot mine and it made things a little more difficult. I got quite a few. About 35 total. 
Then I dried them in my oven for a day. I just set the oven to 150 degrees then let them sit for 24 hours. By the end they were nice and dry. Ideally it's best to let them dry naturally because the bottoms tend to curl in the oven but it usually takes several weeks to get the stems to dry completely. PS. They stink. Maybe it's because I got them off rotten pumpkins but I kept an essential oil diffuser running in my kitchen all day to deter the odor.

Now to make the velvet pumpkin portion. Cut a circle of velvet. Doesn't have to be perfectly circular. I pre-cut all the circles for the craft night girls so I had about 75 circles to cut. I found it was fastest to fold the fabric into four layers or more and cut all at once. Like I said it doesn't have to be perfect.
Now take a needle and thread and knot the end, then stitch along the edge of your circle the whole way around. The smaller your stitches the more puckers you will have at the top of your pumpkin. More puckers=prettier pumpkins:-)
Cinch the thread so that the opening of your pumpkin is totally puckered.
Now fill with your beans. Fill about 1/4 of your pumpkin. Just enough to weigh down the bottom. Not too much.
Now fill the rest of the way with your poly-fiber fill until your pumpkin is stuffed.
Cinch your pumpkin opening tight and make a knot to keep it in place.
To get that nice indented top to your pumpkin, take your needle and thread it into your opening....
And out through the bottom/middle of your pumpkin. Pull it tight and thread your needle back through the bottom back out the top.
Your bottom should look like this.
Thread the needle through a pucker of fabric while keeping it tight and then make a knot to hold everything in place.
Finally take one of your dried pumpkin stems and use hot glue to glue it to the top of your pumpkin. Done!

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