To this day, my most popular project ever…of all time…is the vintage bandana bowl covers I made in 2015. Unsurprisingly, I snap up soft, worn bandanas whenever I see them at secondhand shops- but usually only use the red and blue ones for bowl covers. So, when I was digging through my fabric stash, I realized I had a glut of black and orange bandanas…and an idea started to form.
Now, these easy, low-sew fabric pumpkins are not a new idea and are all over the blogosphere. In fact, Martha Stewart might be the originator of the idea…but anyway, I don’t think anyone has ever used bandanas for them. So here goes nothin’… This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.
Before I get into the tutorial, I should mention that I also gathered up embroidery floss in matching and contrasting colors.
NOW. To create a Halloween bandana pumpkin, you need a rectangle of fabric that is twice as long as it is wide (14” x 7”, 13” x 6.5”…you get the idea). So I cut out my bandana rectangle– unironed and patterned unevenly, because it really won’t matter in the end!
Then, I folded the rectangle over on itself, short ends together and “good” sides of the fabric facing together (on the inside). And then I stitched along those short edges on my sewing machine so that it formed a fabric tube/cylinder.
After that was done, I ran a wide running stitch along one edge of the fabric, all the way around the “tube”.
I gathered the fabric (that’s why you use a wide running stitch) and pushed my needle through the ruffled fabric a few times before knotting off the end. This will hold the fabric together.
Now it was time to turn my tube-turned-pouch inside-out (or, right-sides-out) and stuff FULL with fiberfill. Then, once again, I ran a wide running stitch along the raw edge.
I gathered the Halloween bandana fabric like I had before, tucking the fiberfill in and stitched the opening closed before knotting off the thread.
Now comes the fun part- turning my bandana sphere into a bandana pumpkin! This is where the embroidery floss comes in handy…and other tutorials recommend a regular embroidery needle for this, I highly recommend a doll needle for the extra length. First, I pulled a long strand of floss (triple-knotted at one end) through the center and pushed it back into my bandana sphere at the top (like a loop).
I pushed the doll needle all the way through the other puckered end and pulled the floss super tight, squishing the bandana sphere, and then came up with my floss and needle and did the same thing again from top to bottom- but with the floss over to the side, creating pumpkin ridges.
I’m telling ya, the doll needle made this SO much easier than an embroidery needle…I tried it with an embroidery needle and nearly lost it inside my Halloween bandana pumpkin!
Anyway, I went in-out-over with my floss and needle about 6 or 7 times before knotting off the end. THERE- a perfect little bandana pumpkin!
To finish them off, I just needed “stems”. And, umm, while you were taking a sip of coffee, I made a few more. Sorry- they’re super easy and addictive to make! But back to the stems- I wanted a rustic look to complement the bandanas and literally grabbed some sticks from the yard. Can I check “yard work” off my to-do list now?
Aren’t they adorable?? I think the bandana fabric is just divine, and you can get at least 2 pumpkins out of each bandana, which makes this a really affordable DIY craft project, as well. Now I can fill a bowl or small vintage crate with my bandana pumpkins and they’ll look wonderful for autumn and Halloween.
And if you don’t want to make your own, I have some of these very pumpkins available for sale in my Etsy shop!