Monday, October 8, 2012

simple project | sleeve pumpkins

This simple fall craft uses a thrift store sweater to create plump little pumpkins.

 Well, hello fall. Yep, it's full-on here and gorgeous in Utah.

My friend Marci and I took a little jaunt to the Heber/Midway area last week. It was so, so fun. All the way through Provo Canyon, we were ewwww-ing and ahhhh-ing over the colors of the fall leaves against the dark green of the pines.

We arrived early for Marci's appointment, so we stopped at a thrift store we really like in Heber. (We may have planned it that way. ;)) The store is called St. Vincent's. We checked out the vintage clothing together and then split up.

I found some vintage ric rac and seam binding in really cool colors. At .25 each, I grabbed a few. And a few more.

Then I found this. EXACTLY what I was looking for. I showed it to Marci, who gave me a goofy confused look, and said, "Ummm, that's not a color or style I'm used to seeing you wear." Yes, it's pretty ugly. A total grandma sweater. (Oh wait, that's me.:)) Anyway, I had no intention of wearing it! Sheesh!

I know, I kind of gave away my intentions with my opening photo. It's called, "I'm so excited about how this project turned out I can't WAIT to show you!" I have wanted to make pumpkins from thrifted sweaters. The color and fabric of "the" sweater were perfect, but when I saw the ribbing on those sleeves, the wheels started turning.

These pumpkins are so simple to make and couldn't be more darling. And I love, love, love them. What makes them so easy is that all you're doing is gathering two ends of a tube (cut from the sleeve) and stuffing with something to weigh them down a bit and polyfil stuffing. The real pumpkin stem just makes them. You could also add a piece of branch like the fabric pumpkins in this post. I was able to create three pumpkins from each sleeve.

Ella and I went to a thrift store in our area, and found a lot more options for pumpkins. I found another sweater in the same fabric as my granny one that's a fall-ish green--kinda squash-like. Ella wanted to make her own set of pumpkins and chose a purple sparkly sweater in a different fabric. Now those are fun!

Looking for a tutorial? 

I decided to try something a little different and do my step-by-step instructions on a sheet you can download. I've copied and pasted my share of on-line tutorials so I could have the instructions in front of me or take them along to buy supplies. I thought this might make it a bit easier. What do you think? Just trying to keep it simple (wink, wink).

Add a gift card to a simple handcrafted item, for an extra-special birthday gift.

Ella's teacher, Marilyn Hulme, had a birthday last week. Her favorite place to eat out is Cafe Rio. (How do I know? I had her fill out the teacher questionnaire I wrote up last year.) We gave her one of my pumpkins with a CR gift card attached. I hope she enjoys it.

Happy fall!

I also shared this project here:

The 36th AVENUE


  1. I love making things out of sweater sleeves! Would love it if you would submit and share this with my readers! Pinning!


  2. These are so cute! I cam upon your blog from a Pinterest search and remember seeing your layouts in scrapbook mags. You're very creative! And if I'm not being a creeper enough, I used to work with Lynn at the health department. Tell him Rebecca says hi. I'm looking forward to exploring your blog :) have a great day!

    1. Thanks, Rebecca! Lynn says "hi" back, and hopes you're doing well. :) Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  3. Found you thru Pinterest from your advent calendar ideas from 2010! I am glad I did -- these pumpkins are too cute!!

  4. Thanks, Vicki! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. These are adorable...I know Christmas is a few months away you think this would work for snow men?

  6. These are adorable...I know Christmas is a few months away you think this would work for snow men?

  7. 1000% YES on the one page tutorial page! I have done this countless times with tutorials I find online and having it done for me is the bomb. Thank you! And kuh-UTE pumpkins...I would've posted the "done" pic first, too. :)

  8. Thanks so much for your tutorial. A few days after I'd pinned it, I went to a thrift store, and guess what I found there: the perfect pumpkin sweater. So we started work with the kids, and the result is just great. Have a look at it: . Of course, I've linked it to your tutorial!