Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Drop Cloth Pumpkins

Hi there!

Welcome to our brand new blog, where we are hoping to document our DIY and reno journey for our new (to us) home!  You can read a bit more about us here, if you would like to. 

We have a lot of projects on the go, and somehow not many of them get 100% finished before we move onto the next reno.  That is not really planned or ideal, but more a product of jumping in with both feet to fix the next problem that crops up!  This is life, am I right?

Anyway, Ian is super handy and that is awesome because it saves us a ton in labour costs, plus I can tell him what I want or show him a drawing and he gets it, so that works out really well.  Most times the first plan doesn't end up being the final plan, once Ian puts his spin on my initial idea and then we source out materials and try to get the whole concept to come in on budget, things end up changing a few times before the project is started and then finished.  This is all part of the journey and so far we are having a ton of fun; mess, sore muscles, draining pocket book and all!

The very first project we are sharing is a super easy one and inspired by fall. Drop Cloth Pumpkins!  We recently picked up a drop cloth for another project, which we will share at a later date, we had so much left over that I decided to make some pumpkins to decorate our home for fall.  The drop cloth is perfect as it is a soft oatmeal colour and our main floor will be a mix of oatmeal, grey, white and mossy green.

We got our drop cloth from Home Depot, it was about $30. and it is a lot of fabric! The fabric is soft (that surprised me) and washable, plus it is hemmed on all four sides.  This is not really a plus for this project but it will be for the next drop cloth project we share with you, promise!

I did mention this project is easy, it really is - despite my long, and convoluted at times, tutorial.  Follow along to make a pumpkin trio (or more) for yourself.

Supply List:  drop cloth, polyester filling, brown felt, twigs, needle and thread, hot glue gun, Optional sewing machine and leaf die.

I created a pattern before starting to  create this project, we have it free for you to download to make some of your own, just click on the image below to be taken to our download page.


The pattern includes options for small, medium and large pumpkins, I created one of each.  For the small and medium pumpkins you will simply need to print the pattern onto an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of copy paper.

The large pumpkin pattern has an extra step, you will need to print two image, as each image is a half of the pattern, then trim and tape the two pieces together, overlapping a half inch in the  centre.  You can get the idea with the (crappy) image below.

After getting your patterns ready to work with, the next step is to cut out the pieces for your pumpkin, you will need to cut 6 pieces for each pumpkin.

Cutting the pieces is a quick step, but it made me realize that I forgot rule number 1 when sewing - I didn't iron my fabric first!   The pieces do not line up nicely to each other if you don't ensure you are working with nice smooth fabric.

So, I took a minute and ironed up all the pieces.  I also did my regular household ironing.  I don't iron much and as a result the ironing that I do have tends to hang around and wait for a while (read weeks!).  It was nice to cross that off my to do list, too!

Now you are ready to sew.  You can use a machine or hand stitch, which ever suits.  If you use a machine it is obviously much quicker and you can get through these next steps in no time at all.

Starting with two sides of a pumpkin, facing right sides together, go ahead and sew from the start of the curved edge at the top, down the side and around to the end of the curved edge at the bottom. Note, you will need to leave the top and bottom open, for now.

I should have used contrasting thread so it would be easier for you to see the stitching, but I hope you can get the idea.

Repeat the last step, until all 6 pieces are stitched together .

Then sew the first piece to the last piece in your length of sides, in the same fashion as before.  You will end up with a tube of sorts.  This is what it looks like when you turn it right side out.

Now we are going to switch to hand stitching (if you weren't already doing that) and stitch up the bottom.  I ran into some trouble with my thread breaking as I was making gathers in the fabric, so for the second pumpkin I doubled the thread before threading the needle, it solved the problem completely.

A loose stitch is fine for this step, working your way around the bottom opening of the pumpkin.

As you stitch, gently gather the fabric into folds.

Continue cinching up the fabric as tight as you can.  Leave enough thread to tie some really good knots at the end. 

Tie a good sturdy knot. (You can see the one problem about working with drop cloth is the stay fibres that can get in your way, they clean up nicely enough at the end.

This is what my first sewn bottom looks like from the inside, a little messy but not bad.  The second and third pumpkins looked so much better as my thread didn't break.

And this is the outside, not perfect, but not bad.

This is my second pumpkin, much tidier!

Now begin filling your pumpkin with polyester filling, you do not want it too tight. I have had this filling kicking around for almost ten years!  Yikes!  So nice to finally use some more of it.  I may have purchased too large of a bag when I bought it ;) .

Once your pumpkin is stuffed, begin stitching around the top opening. similarly to the bottom, in nice even and well spaced stitches.

When you cinch up the top, do not close the opening all the way, you will want to leave a bit of an opening to insert your twig stem.

Our youngest son (he is 12 and the only one that is still at home) cut the twigs to size for me, then I hot glued them into place.

Because I am a papercrafter / scrapbooker, I have these Tim Holtz leaf dies ....

... so I used it to cut some brown felt leaves to adorn my pumpkins.  The felt is just a scrap left over from another craft, but it was originally picked up at the dollar store.  You could always hand cut a simple leaf for yours.

A bit of hot glue secured the leaves into place.

I am linking this tutorial up at Home Stories A to Z, for their Tutorials and Tips Link Party 229.

Thank you for visiting us on our very first post, we hope you follow along with our journey into DIY!
Ian and Laura


  1. Congratulations on your new home and this new DIY blog, Laura and Ian! What a great idea to document your journey and share your ideas with others at the same time. I will be watching with interest. :-)

    1. Thank you Janice, we are pretty excited about our adventure in reno land!

  2. Super cute pumpkins! I love the rustic design. Thanks for sharing! :)