How To Make Sweater Pumpkins With Vintage Cabinet Knob Stems

Hello friends, it's Frugal Decor Tuesday and today I'm going to show you how to repurpose kitchen cabinet knobs and an old sweater. I didn't invent the wheel with this project and if you're an avid Pinterest user, you've probably seen and pinned a few. Pinterest was my inspiration last year when these were becoming popular and I've been wanting to make some ever since.

I debated whether to write a post about this project because of its popularity but then I got to thinking that perhaps not all of my readers follow Pinterest. There could be a chance that some of you haven't seen this idea yet and so I write this tutorial with you in mind.

So without further ado, here is my tutorial on How To Make Sweater Pumpkins but with a twist, using old kitchen cabinet knobs for the stems. They cost me nothing to make as everything was found by shopping the home.

Sweater Pumpkins with cabinet knobs

How To Make Sweater Pumpkins

Last year I impulsively purchased this inexpensive short sleeve sweater at a discount store. It lost its shape after the first wash and has been sitting on the bottom shelf of my closet ever since.

Sweater Pumpkins from an old sweater

Today we're going to give that sweater a new life, along with a hand full of kitchen cabinet knobs that a friend gave me when they refinished their kitchen.

Sweater Pumpkins Fabric Close Up

I think the kitchen cabinet knobs make adorable pumpkin stems.

Sweater Pumpkins with knob stems

The leaves are leftover fabric from our Living Room Armchairs makeover.

Sweater Pumpkins with fabric leaves

Materials List

  • White sweater
  • Needle and white all-purpose thread
  • Batting
  • Twine
  • Needle with large eye
  • Long Upholstery needle
  • Kitchen cabinet knobs
  • Awl
  • Fabric swatch (for leaves)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Hot glue gun

Step 1: Taking apart the sweater

Cut up sweater for Sweater Pumpkins

Cut away the seams with sharp scissors (I used pinking shears to avoid fraying). If your sweater has sleeves, unlike mine, cut them along the armholes but don't remove the side seams, they will make at least two pumpkins.

Step 2: Cutting the sweater for each pumpkin

Sweater cut into pieces for Sweater Pumpkins

  1. Starting at the bottom of both the front and back of the sweater pieces, measure the width.
  2. Divide that measurement in half to get the height of each piece. Eg; if your sweater is 20-inches wide then the height of this piece will be 10-inches (as pictured above).
  3. Repeat that same formula moving your way up to the neckline.
  4. I got four pumpkins out of the front and back pieces of my sweater.

Step 3: Sewing the side seams of each pumpkin

Sewing DIY Sweater Pumpkins
  1. Fold each piece with the short sides together inside out (as pictured above).
  2. Sew the short sides together. I used a sewing machine but if you don't have one available, you could hand stitch the seams.
  3. Leave one end open with a raw edge.
  4. Sew the other end using a basting stitch (large stitches), leaving long threads on each end (as pictured above).

Step 4: Gather the fabric together on one end

Gathered base of DIY Sweater Pumpkin
  1. Gently pulling on one strand of thread on each end (shown in the previous photo), gather the fabric together and tie the ends to secure in place.
  2. Another option is gathering the fabric in your hand and tieing it off with an elastic band.
  3. Repeat either 1 or 2 for all four pumpkins.
  4. Turn them right side out.

Step 5: Filling the pumpkins

Sweater Pumpkins stuffed with batting

Fill each pumpkin with batting (as pictured above).

Step 6: Sewing the pumpkins closed

Sweater Pumpkins sewn closed

  1. With a needle and white all purpose thread, draw the fabric together at two opposite points and sew together.
  2. Repeat by gathering the other two opposite points.
  3. Continue around the pumpkin until all the points are drawn to the center and sewn together (as pictured above).

Step 7: Making twine pumpkin ribs

Twine ribs on DIY Sweater Pumpkin
  1. Using a long upholstery needle, thread a long strand of twine through the eye of the needle.
  2. You will want something to help push the needle through all the bulk of the pumpkin as you work (see plastic cutting board pictured above).
  3. Starting from the top, pull the twine through the pumpkin and out the center of the base, leaving a long strand at the top (will become a tendril).
  4. Holding the tendril in place with your thumb, pull the thread over the pumpkin and insert the needle into the center and back through the base.
  5. Wrap it over the opposite side of the pumpkin and pull taut to form the first two ribs and tie in a knot to hold in place.
  6. Repeat 3-5 until you have eight ribs (as pictured above) and tie in a knot to secure.
  7. There should be two long strands of twine poking through the center of the pumpkin (tendrils).
Warning: Be cautious when pushing the needle through so it doesn't poke your hand. How do I know this? I'm still sporting a band-aid.

Step 8: Adding the cabinet knob stems

Cabinet knob stems on Sweater Pumpkins
  1. Poke a hole through the top and down to the bottom of the pumpkin using an Awl.
  2. Squish the pumpkin as tight as you can and pull the stem of the knob through the hole and out the bottom of the pumpkin.
  3. Place the nut onto the stem on the bottom of the pumpkin and tighten to secure.

Step 9: Curling the tendrils

Sweater Pumpkin Twine Tendrils
  1. Pour some Mod Podge into a small bowl.
  2. Tip the pumpkin upside down and dip the twine strands into the Mod Podge and remove the excess by running your fingers along the twine.
  3. Wrap the twine around small Dowling, wooden skewers, or a pencil.
  4. Before they dry and attach themselves permanently (around 5-minutes), gently slide the tendrils off and let them dry while curled.

Step 10: Adding the leaves

Sweater Pumpkin fabric leaves
  1. I wanted my leaves to be a little pliable so I brushed the back of my fabric with Mod Podge and let it dry overnight. You can skip this step if you prefer.
  2. Using a fabric leaf as a template, simply trace the leaf pattern onto the back of the fabric.
  3. Cut two leaves per pumpkin.
  4. Add hot glue to the wrong side of the leaf at the base and slip under the knob stem (as pictured above).
  5. Repeat for the second leaf and glue on the opposite side of the knob.
  6. Unravel the tendrils a little and Voila, you are done! 

    Four DIY Sweater Pumpkins

    Two large DIY Sweater Pumpkins

    Medium and small sweater pumpkins

    If you like what you see, please pin this to your Fall decorating board...

    Sweater Pumpkins With Vintage Cabinet Knob Stems

    Have I inspired you to go through your closet for an old sweater? If you can't find one, thrift stores are filled with them this time of year.

    I also made similar pumpkins using red ticking stripe fabric and faux fern leaves. You can find a video and a written tutorial here in my post Fabric Pumpkins With Cabinet Knob Stems.

    I also made Burlap Pumpkins, Chalk Painted Pumpkins and Metallic Pumpkins. You can find them here in my post DIY Pumpkin Patch.

    You will find this project linked to these fabulous LINK PARTIES.

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