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Thursday, November 8, 2012

lovely, easy velvet pumpkins.

are you as obsessed with velvet pumpkins as I am? well, it's very easy [and inexpensive!] to make your own...bonus is that you get to pick your very favorite colors and make any size you want.

step #1: choose your material.
I purchased crushed polyester velvet. I prefer it over silk velvet because no silkworms have to die to make it, and it's about 1/4 of the price. shazam!
I chose a deep olive, silvery-blue [double yum, my fave], creamy champagne, a deep dark chocolate, and rich burnt orange.

step #2: root around your house to find something round that approximates the size you want. 
remember that your finished pumpkin will be about 1/2 the size of the fabric circle that you cut, because you're going to gather up the ends and sew them at the top, effectively halving it's size.

the biggest circle in my house is a plastic bowl that's about 11.5 inches across so I used that, placing it on the back side of my fabric and tracing around it.
but I wanted my fabric circle to be a bit bigger so when I actually cut the fabric, I used my traced circle as a guide and cut an inch or so outside the tracing, making my final cut circle about 14 inches.

step #3: sew a really easy running stitch.
hand sew a running stitch all the way around your fabric, leaving long tails at each end so that you can tie it off.  I inexplicably have a lot of embroidery floss [why in the world? I don't embroider] so I used that to do my stitches. it's strong and I need to get rid of it.

your stitches definitely don't have to be perfect, believe me mine weren't!
the smaller and closer your stitches are to each other, the more pleats your pumpkin will have.

step #4: fill.

place a good amount of beans in the bottom, enough to weight the pumpkin and give it balance on it's bottom.
cram polyester fiberfill in, filling it all the way.
remember those ends we left nice and long? grab those puppies and tie a really tight knot. if you're like me and you don't have 3 hands, enlist some help to tie that final knot because the stuffing's going to be pushing back at you! cheeky stuffing.
trim off the excess ends of the string.

step #5: hot glue the stem on top.

for me, this was the hardest part, not because it's difficult to actually accomplish, but because I forgot to save my pumpkin stems from last year. duh.
so I cut some stems off this year's pumpkins. remember later on when you're composting your pumpkins: cut those stems off and hoard them!
don't be shy with the hot glue...really load it all over the base of the stem.
once you've got your stem all nice and gluey, press it down hard on the top of the pumpkin, holding for about a minute.

once again, here they are in all their glory! each of these took me less than 15 minutes.
and they look so lovely all piled on the dining room table.

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