Give your $1 plastic trick or treat pumpkin a makeover with this DIY pumpkin decor project.
Fabric covered pumpkins make great Fall decor and this post will show how you can make them on a budget. For just a few dollars you can make this pumpkin DIY that can match any decor. I love using buffalo plaid fabric for all kinds of decor makeovers, but this pumpkin makeover is one of my favorites. Don’t want to decorate with the buffalo check pattern? Try burlap, florals, and other fall plaids.
Supplies Needed for Fabric Covered Pumpkins
Gather all the supplies you’ll need for the project. I’ve put together a list of key items below.
- Plastic pumpkins (you can find these for about a dollar at Walmart and Target)
- Duct tape – or any kind of tape (masking tape, shipping tape) to cover the top of the pumpkin
- White spray paint (or white acrylic paint and a paint brush or foam brush)
- Something to weigh down your pumpkins (I put new kitty litter into a Ziplock). Small rocks also work great for this purpose.
- Fabric to cover the pumpkin (24″ x 24″)
- 5 cinnamon sticks (for stem) or another kind of pumpkin stem
- Some kind of filler for the pumpkins (papers, plastic grocery bags, etc.)
HOW TO MAKE THE FABRIC COVERED PUMPKIN
Weight it down & stuff it.
The first thing I like to do is add a little weight to the pumpkins to make them more sturdy and less likely to tip over. There are a lot of options for weighing down the pumpkin, but a great inexpensive one is to pour new kitty litter into a baggie or baggies. I then put the baggie(s) into the pumpkin.
Other filler options include small rocks, rice, beans, wood pellets, aquarium gravel, pea gravel/mini pebbles.
Once I’ve weighted my pumpkin, I tuck in grocery bags or other packing materials until the pumpkin if full to the top. The purpose of this is to keep the top from sinking down into the pumpkin. Additional filler ideas include newspaper, junk mail, paper grocery bags, peanuts and bubble wrap from shipments, and used wrapping paper.
Tape the top of the pumpkin to close the opening.
Next, remove the handle from the pumpkin. This can normally be done by twisting and and pulling the handle or poking it through the pumpkin holes to remove the handle.
After removing the handle, place duct tape over the opening, keeping each strip of tape flat on the pumpkin. The tape is what will allow you to close the pumpkin, giving the look of a full pumpkin (once it is wrapped in fabric). You don’t want the big opening in the top of the pumpkin.
Don’t worry too much about what it looks like because you’ll be wrapping it with fabric. Take effort not to have wrinkles in the tape along the pumpkin because you will want the fabric to fit smoothly against the pumpkin and wrinkles can take away from a crisp look.
Paint the pumpkins.
Often times, the orange color of the pumpkin shows through the fabric. Wrap your selected fabric around the pumpkin and assess whether your color shows through. If you can’t see the orange, you can skip the step of painting the pumpkin. Or maybe the orange color of the pumpkin peeks through, but it may not bother you. If the orange shows through the material and you don’t like that, you can paint the pumpkin.
If you decide to paint the pumpkin, determine the best color. I find that white paint works best for my fabrics. Once the top of the pumpkin is covered with tape, paint the pumpkin so that the orange color doesn’t show through the pumpkin. I normally use spray paint because it’s so simple, but you could use white acrylic paint that you have on hand. Don’t worry about perfection, one coat is good enough. I can even see hints of orange after my one coat, but that’s okay.
Cut fabric to cover your fabric covered pumpkins.
After painting the pumpkin, cut a piece of fabric to cover the pumpkin. For the most common size of plastic pumpkin, a 24″ x 24″ piece of fabric works great.
Any kind of fabric works! And you can pick whatever design fits your decor style. I love the buffalo check style and use that fabric a lot. And it’s so easy to find at Walmart, Joann’s, and Hobby Lobby.
Spread the piece of material on a flat surface (good side facing down) and place the pumpkin in the middle of the fabric.
Cut a small hole in the center of the pumpkin.
The next step is to create a place where you can tuck the fabric as you pull the fabric up around the pumpkin.
Use a knife (or sharp scissors) to cut a small hole in the center of the pumpkin. I trace a K-cup and then cut along that line to make my hole. You’ll be cutting through the duct tape so you’ll need some some sharp scissors (and maybe a knife). I start by cutting through the duct tape with a knife and then switch over to scissors.
You need the hole to be big enough to allow the fabric to tuck into it, but you don’t want it too big.
Pull sections of the fabric up to the top and tuck them into the hole.
After the hole is cut, pull one section of the fabric up at a time and tuck it into the hole. Then make a fold next to that section and pull more fabric up and tuck it in. It takes a series of folds around the pumpkin to ensure the fabric look nice, tight and folded. Watch this process on my video (linked at the bottom). Pull out the fabric and start over if you don’t like how it turns out.
I believe the key to pull up small segments at a time. This allow nice folds and eliminates a lot of bulky areas of fabric.
Create a pumpkin stem.
Once the pumpkin is covered in fabric, insert a stem. Cinnamon sticks make great pumpkin stems. I simply glued 5 pieces of cinnamon sticks together and then tucked them into the hole of the pumpkin. If your stem fits tightly into the pumpkin hole, it isn’t necessary to glue it in.
Make sure you have a good idea of the size of your hole compared to the size of your cinnamon sticks. If you have a bigger hole you can add more cinnamon sticks to your stem.
Be careful when hot gluing the cinnamon sticks. The size is irregular and glue goes through the openings and can burn your skin.
These fabric covered pumpkins turned out so cute! It only took about 10 minutes to make it (not including the painting part). My pumpkin cost under a dollar and my fabric was less than $2, making this is a very affordable DIY Fall decor project!
The fabric covered pumpkins are perfect by your fire place, on your living room tables, on bedside tables, and in baskets anywhere in your home! They make the perfect fall decor.
If you like fabric covered pumpkins, but want to make smaller pumpkins, try this smaller version of the pumpkin.
Buffalo Check Pumpkin Video
See my video below for complete instructions on this fun project.
Check out my other Halloween and Fall related posts:
- Dollar Tree Tinsel Pumpkin Makeover
- Halloween mini rolling pins for tiered tray decor
- Melted Witch Brownies
- Mummy Brownies
- Tombstone Brownies
- Skeleton Vase for Halloween
- Halloween Care Package
- DIY Candy Jars for Halloween
- Halloween Decoration DIY: Buffalo Plaid Pumpkins
- Fall Tiered Tray
- Gold and Cream Fall Tiered Tray
- Halloween Tiered Tray with Halloween glassware
- How to make a Halloween Tiered Tray
- DIY Dollar Tree Tinsel Cat
- Pumpkin Earrings DIY
- Bat Earrings DIY