Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stuffed Yo-Yo Pumpkin Tutorial

We're guest posting this tutorial over at V and Co. today. I happened on her blog about a year ago, and coincidence of all coincidences, she lives in the same tiny little town as my mom and dad. I recognized the mountains and landscape in her photos before I even knew it was the same town. If you haven't visited her site, spend some time over there, and you'll feel like you have a new best friend. Thanks, Vanessa, for hosting us today!

So this is a continuation of my post last week, since I already professed my favoritism of pumpkins. For some background, a couple of years ago, I took a ferry ride with my sister and good friend to Bainbridge Island to do a little shopping around town and, by design, spent most of our time at Esther's. Seriously a jewel of a fabric shop with mostly quilting cotton but a surprising amount of wide-width fashion, exotic and home decor fabrics. And, they display quilts on. the. ceiling. I love that.
Anyhoo, I saw some cute little pumpkins scattered around the shop, and when I asked if there was a pattern, the woman working there said, "Easy! If you know how to make a yo-yo, you already know how to make a pumpkin!" The shop owner, Jennifer (don't you love her beautiful name?? :-) ), was gracious and enthusiastic about serving as the inspiration for this tutorial. If you're ever in the Seattle area, make it a point to take a scenic ferry ride to Esther's, and be prepared to be inspired yourself.

So, without further adieu, as promised, here's the tutorial for a super easy, cute's addicting. "No one can [make] just one!"

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • fabric of your choice
  • scissors
  • poly-fill stuffing
  • green floral wire
  • silk leaves (yes, I know mine are maple leaves, but with a stuffed pumpkin, I'm not exactly going for horticulture accuracy!)
  • glue gun
  • needle and thread
  • small tree branch picked up from your yard (not shown above)

1. Trace around a circular object. Keep in mind your finished pumpkin will be roughly 1/2 the size you are tracing. So, this 14" pizza pan I'm using yields a pumpkin 6-7" in diameter. Like my "helper?" Cut out your circle after you've traced it.

2. Sew around the edge of your yo-yo. Fold over approximately 1/4" to the wrong side of the fabric and sew a large running stitch all the way around. I used quilting thread because it's stronger and you'll be pulling it tight later. If you don't have quilting thread, just double your regular thread.
3. When you get all the way around, pull up on your thread to create kind of a bowl. Hold off on knotting your thread until you've stuffed the pumpkin.

4. Stuff it! Fill opening with fiber fill stuffing. It doesn't need to be stiff like you would stuff a pillow. Just fill it to your desired squishiness.

5. Tie it off. Pull up on your thread until there's just a small hole in the top. For a pumpkin this size, the hole was about 1". For smaller pumpkins it would obviously be a smaller hole. You don't want to completely close it up so you have room for the finishing touches.

6. Time for finishing and embellishing. Wrap your green floral wire around a pencil to make a curly pumpkin vine tendril. Leave a straight tail on the end to put into the hole in the top.

7. Using your hot glue gun, apply a generous amount of glue to the bottom inch or so of the tree branch. Poke it down through the hole and twist it a bit to make sure it's secure inside the stuffing. Snip off a couple of silk leaves, leaving some of the stem on the bottom. Apply glue the same way as before and place them right around the stem so they'll cover up the hole and batting. Glue the straight tail end of the green tendril the same way as the branch, and tie a ribbon or fabric strip around the stem for a final decorative touch.

Have fun making tons of these little cuties in any and all sizes!


  1. Thanks, Jen! I bought some cute fat quarters today so I can make some of these....what a cute idea. I like the step-by-step instructions, too. Love you (and yes, I love the little helper you had...) ;)

  2. these are great for v.t. gifts. I might make up a few more this year. Super easy. Go Lydia!

  3. What a great idea! I think I'll whip up a few of these tonight after the kiddos are in bed.

  4. So cute, fun, and creative! I think I might have to make myself a few of these for decor. Thanks for the cute idea! Love ya crafty woman!