With fall it’s easy to run for the maple leaf reds, the golden yellows, and the burnt oranges when decorating your home. But sometimes less is more. Without the bright colors, the imagery of fall can really stand out. This stitched pumpkin pillow is all neutrals and perfectly complements the farmhouse trend. Better than being trendy, is how extremely simple this is to make. You don’t need mad sewing skills to make one of these pillows. In fact, the messy stitching only adds to the handmade look. The materials are easy to find and inexpensive, and if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can either skip that step altogether or add hand stitching.
How to Make a Stitched Pumpkin Throw Pillow
- Pumpkin Applique Template- Creative Resource Library
- Fabric- Canvas Duck Fabric in Neutral, Buffalo Plaid (or this one from Amazon), or fabric of choice
- Iron or Cricut Easy Press
- Ironing Blanket (or Ironing Board)
- Iron-on (fusible) interfacing (I use heat n bond)
- Pillowcase 20″ x 20″ (I use the Vigdis cushion cover from IKEA)
- Sewing Machine
- Contrasting Thread
- Pillow Insert 20″ x 20″ (I use this one from IKEA)
Step One: Download and Print the Template.
In the Creative Resource Library find the pumpkin PDF template. Download and then print it out. If you’d like to make it bigger you can and then just tape the overlapping pieces together.
Step Two: Back the Fabric with Iron On Interfacing.
Cut a piece of canvas fabric large enough for your pumpkin. Then cut a piece of interfacing to cover the back of it. Using an iron and following the directions for they interfacing you purchased, adhere it to the fabric. Canvas fabric doesn’t have a printed front, so it’s really fine to use either side. With the
Step Three: Cut and Trace the Template.
Cut out the pumpkin shape. Don’t cut out the pieces yet. Put it on the paper backing of the fabric and trace around it. I like to use a ballpoint pen so it glides a bit. Cut the traced pumpkin from the fabric. Heat your iron if it is no longer warm.
Step Four: Prep the Pillowcase.
Using the hot iron, press the wrinkles out of the pillowcase. Make sure you have your pillowcase situated so that the bottom is nearest to you. Then fold it in half and press a small line at the top and bottom. This is your centerline and will help you position the fabric pieces.
Step Five: Cut and Arrange the Pieces.
Then using the paper template as a guide (you can hold it over the tracing) cut along the dotted lines.
Arrange them, front side up, on your pillowcase along that center line and check your placement. I like mine slightly lower on the pillow rather than smack in the middle. Keep in mind though that the pillow will be puffier with the insert in it. Then remove all the pieces except the middle section.
Step Six: Iron on the Pumpkin Pieces.
Remove the paper backing of the middle piece and iron it in place. Follow the instructions for the iron-on interfacing that you purchased. Keep your iron moving across the entire part. Then do the same with the piece on either side, moving out from that center part. Then do the stem.
Step Seven: Sew around the Pieces.
Open the pillowcase. Insert the top layer only on to the arm of your sewing machine. Usually part of the arm slides off so that you can more easily do smaller diameter items like shirt cuffs. The trickiest thing about sewing pillowcases is to make sure you’re only sewing through one layer.
Then, using a contrasting thread, start to sew around the pieces. Do a straight stitch and get close to the edges. I like to do messy stitching and go over my lines around each piece several times. I do not start and stop with each piece but I continue from one piece to the next. It’s fun to think of this as if you were sketching a line drawing that’s all one line.
Don’t be afraid to manhandle the fabric a bit. To move it, put your needle down into the fabric, lift up your presser foot and pivot the material. Then fold over the extra, bunch it to the side, whatever you need to do to make sure you only sew through the top layer of fabric. When done, clip the threads.
Pro-Tip: You don’t have to pull the pieces out after each piece is sewn. Simply backstitch and then move your pillowcase (without cutting the threads or removing the pillowcase) so you can start directly on the next section.
Step Eight: Add the Insert.
Press the pillow with the iron and then put the pillow insert (or cushion) into the pillowcase. Fluff and add to your fall décor! I have my pumpkin pillow on my couch. I love that it adds this noticeable fall element to the decor, but it does it in a way that complements the rest of the room.
For more inspiration…
For more ideas about fresh fall craft ideas for your home, you can check out at my Hello Fall! Autumn Inspired Crafts and Décor Board on Pinterest. You can also scatter a little fall wherever you are with this fun sticker set! The two sticker sheets are filled with hand-drawn original art, and you can find it as a digital download in the Shop! For more on the buffalo check trend and how to spot trends ahead of the season, you’ll want to read the post, 4 Tips to Identify and Anticipate Trends (How Small Makers can Make Trendspotting their Superpower).
PS- For Cricut Users
If you have a Cricut and would like to cut this appliqué with your cutting machine I’ve added a .png file (that does not have the dotted lines) to my Creative Resource Library. This would be suitable for uploading to Cricut Design Space, just process it as a simple image and then as a cut file. Voila! You have your own pumpkin cut file.
Love this? Share it
If you found this tutorial helpful I’d love to have you share it both on social media and on Pinterest! To make it easy we have the share buttons at the bottom of this post and below I have a Pinterest ready image for you to pin. Thank you for your help- it means a ton to me!