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Crafts 101- part 2

Since standing on my feet in the kitchen for long periods of time is out of the mix at the present time, how about a holiday craft? Now, I already told you in the first installment of Crafts 101, I am not a crafty person… not by a long shot.  In fact, for this particular craft, I needed professional help. Recently, Peggy and I took a class from the very talented Cindy and Lin Sue of Sweet-Stops on how to make these luxurious fabric pumpkins, which are perfect from the first day of fall, all the way through Thanksgiving. Now that’s some bang for your buck! And when I say “buck” –  I literally mean about one dollar! Depending on the fabric you use, or if you use scraps you already have on hand, these beautiful pumpkins may cost no more than that. If you’ve seen them in boutiques, you already know they go for anywhere from $20 to $40 each! That’s just crazy talk!

Not that it’s all fun and games, but the hardest part is hunting for and gathering up the pumpkin stems. But, it can be done. In fact, just yesterday, I was shopping at Food City for an upcoming cooking class with a southwest menu. While in the produce section, as I passed the bin of pumpkins, I found 4 detached stems pushed off into the corner of the bin. I asked the produce-man if I could have them and he looked at me with a questioning face and just shook his head yes. Score! Plus, I save the stems from large squash and pumpkins I purchase, so I’ve already got quite a collection. Get busy and start your collection the next time you’re in the market.

Photo courtesy of Sweet-Stops

Although I’m calling them “Velvet” Pumpkins, any fabric that you love, will do. In fact, I think chenille makes THE most lovely pumpkins of all!  And upholstery fabric … absolutely too die for! I even made one out of scraps from a burlap coffee sack. I can’t show it to you though because it’s a gift and I don’t want the recipient to see it before I give it to her. 🙂

Photo courtesy of Sweet-Stops

I purchased the pinto beans, in bulk, at Food City. They were only 49 cents a pound and it took 3.25 pounds to make 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small pumpkin. That’s right, less than $1.75 for all three gorgeous homemade creations!

Velvet Pumpkins

Velvet, or any fabric of your choice
Needle and thread (thread does not need to match fabric, it will not be seen)
Dried pinto beans
Thick rubber bands
Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive (available at craft stores, such as Hobby Lobby or Micheal’s)
Pumpkin stems
Silk leaves or other trimmings (optional)
Ribbon (optional)

Cut the velvet into circles; 16-inch diameter for large, 12-inch diameter for medium, and 10-inch diameter for small.

Thread the needle and double the thread, about the length of your arm. Tie a knot at the end, leaving about a 2-inch tail.

About 1/2-inch from the edge of the fabric, on the “bad side,” begin stitching. Space the stitches about 1/3 to 1/2-inch apart, which will make it easier to gather later. Once you’ve gone all the way around the circle, gently pull on each end of the thread to gather, leaving about a 2-inch opening in your newly formed pouch.

Use a funnel (or a rolled piece of paper made into a funnel) to fill the pouch with pinto beans. Do not overfill the pouch, you want your pumpkin to be slightly floppy like a soft bean bag, not rock hard.

Now, pull on each end of the thread (leaving the needle attached) and tie it into a knot.

With the needle end, stitch the top in a crisscross pattern to completely enclose and secure the pouch. Trim off the ends of the thread.

Pick out a pumpkin stem from your stash and dab the flat end of the stem with a small dollop of the adhesive. Center the stem over the stitching and secure the stem onto the pouch with 2 rubber bands, as shown.  If you would like to slip in a silk leaf, this would be the time to do so. Allow to dry for at least one hour.

Carefully remove the rubber bands and add a bow, if desired. Isn’t it gorgeous? Good job!

OK, if you don’t have time to gather stems, go to the craft store for the adhesive, and the grocery store for pinto beans… how about this idea… I saw this on the web – Pure Genius!

Recycle or purchase a pair of fancy lace nylons and fit them over a white pumpkin, it’s that easy! Wowza!!!

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1 lisa { 10.26.11 at 10:52 AM }

Love, love, love this!

2 Amy Kilpatrick { 10.26.11 at 12:02 PM }

Ok, I’m in… Ready to craft with you my friend 🙂

3 Kim Tunheim Salmans { 10.26.11 at 12:04 PM }

Those are beautiful! I think I will have to make them! ahhh sigh

4 Ronnie Jaap { 10.26.11 at 5:33 PM }

Love these! I’ve made them in the past and love yours even more!

5 Ginger Tunheim { 10.27.11 at 8:26 PM }

What a great idea! Now I need to find the time to make them.

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