Hi All! It’s Suzanne, Rebecca’s Momma, cooling things down a bit during the dog days of August. Before we know it, autumn will be here, so today I’m going to show you how to turn a plaid shirt into a trio of cute pumpkins to add a little fall flair to your home.
I picked up, for just $1 each, a couple of size XL men’s shirts at a yard sale recently with the intention of crafting with them. First, I ran them through the wash and gave them a quick ironing, just to take the worse of the wrinkles out. Today, I’m going to use just one shirt and will keep the other for another set of pumpkins.
In addition to the shirt, you’ll need a glue gun, twine, polyfill or plastic grocery bags, some fake florals and a pair of scissors.
Pumpkin 1 is going to use the sleeve of the shirt. Cut the sleeve straight from the underarm to the outside edge and straight across, just above the cuff. This will leave you with a tube.
Turn the tube inside out and lay 6 pieces of twine inside the tube. The length of the twine should be about double the length of your sleeve tube. Gather the larger end of the tube together with the twine in the center and secure the end tightly with a rubber band.
Once secure, add a little hot glue over the end to ensure that the twine does not pull out when tugging on them later.
Let the glue dry, then turn the tube right side out. The twine should now be hanging out of the bottom of the tube. Stuff the tube with polyfill to about two inches from the top. If you wish, make this an even lower cost project by stuffing with recycled grocery bags.
Once the pumpkin is tightly stuffed, gather the top of the tube together and bring the strands of twine up, all around the pumpkin, separating it into 6 equal parts. Hold everything together with another rubber band. Once the top is cinched together, it’s time to fuss with it. Pull each piece of twine and the top of the fabric bit by bit until you have the shape you are looking for.
Once you have the shape and separations to your liking, take three strands of twine to one side and three strands to the other side and tie a tight knot. Starting with one set of three, wrap the twine around the nub of fabric to start to create the stem. Secure the end with hot glue and wrap the second set of three over the first. Be sure to leave a bit of twine to circle over the top of the nub to completely cover the fabric.
Decide which side you like the best and that will be the front and the side featured by a little additional decoration using the fake florals. First, use the actual wire stem of the floral bush to make a tendril. Wrap it around a paint brush or pencil and glue at the base of the stem.
Leaf options are many. You could grab a couple from outside, cut some out of paper or, as I did, use some silk ones from the fake floral bush. Since the plaid of my shirt was a bit muted, I also added a little orange silk flower to the center of the leaves. Cute and done! Pumpkin 2 is a repeat of Pumpkin 1, since, you know, shirts have two sleeves!
Pumpkin 3 is a bonus project and one perfect for anyone who has no room to store seasonal décor. For this one, you’ll cut out the back panel of the shirt to make a square of fabric roughly 20 inches by 20 inches. The secret inside of this pumpkin is a household necessity, a roll of bathroom tissue. Unroll approximately 15 to 20 feet of the roll and reroll it loosely with a twist every now and then, to puff it up a bit.
Place the roll in the center of the square of fabric. Gather up one corner of the fabric and stuff it into the center of the roll.
Repeat with the three additional corners. Voila, a pumpkin! Tuck a stick in the hole for the stem. For this little guy, I used the same leaves and flower as the first pumpkin, gluing the flower to the leaves, but just laid that piece at the base of the stem. The beauty of this pumpkin is that since nothing is glued in place, it can be easily disassembled after the season. And here it is!
The fabric and flower/leaf can be stored in very little space and the roll of bathroom tissue can be returned to its, ahem, original use. Next year, grab a new roll and rewrap it!
Happy Fall, y ’all!
I am a 27-year-old crafter and baker from New Hampshire!