Nov 16, 2011/Julie

Lil’ Felt Pumpkin

If I had to guess what question is burning in the minds of Americans right now, my guess would be–

What am I to do about my Thanksgiving dinner tablescape?!? Okay, that’s probably not the most pressing issue concerning the minds of our country unless you’re reading Martha Stewart Living magazine RIGHT NOW. And, I don’t suggest it should be. I mostly just wanted to use the word “tablescape.”  

But, since Thanksgiving is one week away, I will use today’s post to bring you a fun little project for making mini felt pumpkins!

Their primary purpose is to look cute and Fall-festive. Yep, that’s all. I had plans to turn them into a banner or garland, but instead I’ve piled them up in a bowl and called it decorating for Fall (which should cover me from late September through the end of November). Then, when I made some ginger cookies to take to a dinner party, I grabbed one to put on the plate. Now, my cookies (and by “my” I mean Magnolia Bakery’s) don’t really need any help because they’re quite delicious on their own; but, the felt pumpkin on the cookie plate was a hit. As got up to leave, the hostess gave me my plate back but demanded to keep the pumpkin. Of course, I wanted her to keep the cute lil’ pumpkin (though, I was glad to get my plate back)!

Before I direct you to the full tutorial after the jump, consider all these fabulous possibilities for your lil’ felt pumpkins:

  • Use for your Thanksgiving tablescape!!! Place on top of a folded (perhaps, handmade with fabric from Home Made) napkin at each setting or pile some up in a bowl and put in the center of the table. Even if it’s a little random, your guests will be distracted by the cuteness and be excited to take one home.
  • Turn them into earrings by adding those little hook things. I haven’t done it but I imagine it would be pretty easy and reminiscent of those holiday earrings I used to get in middle school from the Avon catalog.
  • String them together to make a pumpkin garland.
  • Give them to your child so that her/his dolls/Lego/Transformer/Little Ponies can go visit the pumpkin patch.
  • Hang a pumpkin from your rearview mirror to decorate your car. Is this legal? Don’t do it if it’s illegal.
I bet you’re not stressed out about entertaining for Thanksgiving anymore! Unless your name is Cindy Petrella (who is hosting my family’s Thanksgiving dinner), I’m sorry I can’t help you more. Like with cooking your turkey or mashing your potatoes. I wish you luck – it’s gonna be great! Just heed the warning that we all learned from last night’s epidode of “New Girl” – don’t put your turkey in the dryer to defrost it.
Now, let’s get to these pumpkins. . .

LIL’ FELT PUMPKINS

Materials: Orange felt, Green and/or Brown felt (small scraps), Cutting mat, Rotary cutter, Ruler, Embroidery floss, Needle, Scissors

Step 1:  Cut your orange felt into 2 1/2″ strips. I started with a 12″ x 18″ piece of felt. So, I ended up with a few strips that were 2 1/2″ x 12″.

You can always cut more depending on how many pumpkins you wish to make. Why not start with three? That’s a good number.

Step 2: Cut your freshly cut orange felt into 1/2″ strips so that you have a whole pile of 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ pieces.

Now, you’ve got a nice little pile.

Step 3: Stack anywhere between 6 and 10 pieces together. Why between 6 and 10 strips? Because 6 seems to be the minimum to get a pumpkin shape and seems to be the maximum number of strips before your pumpkin gets a little too dense. Knot one end of your embroidery thread and thread your needle. Secure your stack together by inserting your needle and thread in one direction at the top.

And, back again from the other side. Keep your needle and thread attached.

Step 5: Spread out your strips so that they are evenly spaced and your thread is coming up the top (not facing the table).

Step 6: Begin curling up your strips by pushing your needle and thread through the other end of your strips, one at a time.

Step 7:  Once you’ve picked up all your strips, your needle should be coming out the top of your pumpkin. Let’s secure the strips by pushing your needle and thread back through to the inside of your pumpkin.

And then back out again through the top.

Step 8: Now, cut a asymmetrical strip from either your brown or green scrap felt for your stem. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 1/2″ inches long.  With your needle and thread still attached to your pumpkin, push it through the wider end of your stem and pull so your stem sits atop your pumpkin.

Step 9:  Twist the stem as you push your needle through it. You should be able to get about two or three twists before your needle reaches the end of your stem. Knot your thread at the end of your stem and cut your pumpkin free.

Repeat a bunch more times for a whole lil’ felt pumpkin patch.

And, have a joyous, family-filled (but not to the point that you hate each other), yummy food-filled (but not to the point where you can’t walk you’re so stuffed) Thanksgiving!

3 comments to Lil’ Felt Pumpkin

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