Terry Knit Sweater Pumpkins with Cabinet Knob Stems

Instead of throwing out that old sweater with the stain, recycle it! They make the cutest sweater pumpkins or cozy pillows for Fall. With one cotton knit sweater, I was able to make four pumpkins in different sizes. So grab some old sweaters and I'll show you the steps for making terry knit sweater pumpkins and how to use old cabinet knobs for the pumpkin stems!

Cotton Terry Knit Sweater Pumpkins

Sweater Pumpkins with Cabinet Knob Stems

What I love most about these is that everything has been recycled, even the pumpkin leaves are salvaged upholstery fabric.

Recycled Sweater Pumpkins

It's a great way to salvage ruined sweaters so they don't end up in the landfill, making them an eco-friendly craft idea.  

Don't fret if you don't have cabinet knobs to use for the pumpkin stems. Things like small tree branches, chair spindles, large Fall bows, or real dried pumpkin stems are perfect too.

Old Sweater Pumpkins

I love the texture of the looped cotton terry knit used for my pumpkins. But sweaters with texture like cable knit, ribbed knit, and multi-stitch patterns are lovely too. While soft fine knit sweaters add elegance to the pumpkins. 

Sweaters with patterns or multi-colored yarn add a playful touch. A solid neutral color like mine, or earth tone fall colors are so pretty too. 

White Sweater Pumpkins

Whether shopping your closet or shopping the thrift store aisles look for sweaters with textures and colors that work with your home decor. 

Eco-Friendly DIY Pumpkins

The inexpensive sweater I'm using lost its shape after the first wash. Like I mentioned earlier, I was able to get four pumpkins out of this sweater with short capped sleeves. With long sleeve sweaters, you can get several more small pumpkins from the sleeves. 

Fall Pumpkin Crafts

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. At no cost to you, we receive a small commission if you make a purchase.

Supply List


How To Make Sweater Pumpkins


The sweater pumpkins are made much the same as my Farmhouse Ticking Fabric Pumpkins so they can be made with fabric too.

Step 1 - Salvaging The Sweater

Cut along the seams with sharp scissors or pinking shears to eliminate fraying. Remove the sleeves and cut along the side seams.

Fabric Pumpkins From Sweaters

Step 2 - Measurements For Different Pumpkin Sizes

The trick to measuring your sweater fabric is to divide the width in half to get the height. I recommend making the pumpkins in multiple sizes.

Sweater Pumpkins Tutorial

Large Fabric Pumpkin: 20-inches wide x 10-inches tall
Medium Fabric Pumpkin: 16-inches wide x 8-inches tall
Small Fabric Pumpkin: 12-inches wide by 6-inches tall

  1. Starting at the bottom of both the front and back of the sweater, measure the width.
  2. Divide that measurement in half to get the height. Eg; if your sweater is 20-inches wide then the height of this piece will be 10-inches.
  3. Repeat that same formula moving your way up to the neckline.

Step 3 - Sweater Pumpkin Side Seam

How To Make Sweater Pumpkins

  1. Fold each piece with the short sides together inside out.
  2. Sew the short sides together. If you don't have a sewing machine you could hand stitch the side seams or use fabric glue for a no-sew option. 
  3. Leave one end open with a raw edge.
  4. Sew the other end using a tacking or basting stitch (largest stitch setting), leaving long strands of thread on either end (pictured above).

Step 4 - Sweater Pumpkin Bottom Seam

Sweater Pumpkin Tutorial

  1. Gently pull on one strand of thread and gather the fabric.
  2. Repeat by pulling the top strand of thread on the opposite side. 
  3. Tie each end to secure the gathers.
  4. Turn the pumpkins right side out.

No-Sew Option

Gather the fabric in your hand and tie it off tightly with an elastic band.

Step 5 - Fill The Sweater Pumpkins

Fill each pumpkin with batting (I used what I had on hand).

Recycled Clothing Pumpkin Craft

Step 6 - Sweater Pumpkin Top Seam

Sweater Craft For Fall Decorating

  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 (pictured above).

Step 7 - Sweater Pumpkin Ribs

Take caution during this step or like me, you'll be sporting a bandage.

Fall Craft Idea With Sweaters

  1. With 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 the bulk of the pumpkin as you work, like a plastic cutting board.  
  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 (the first 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 like pictured above and tie in a knot to secure.
  7. There should be two long strands of twine hanging from the center of the pumpkin.

Step 8 - Sweater Pumpkin Cabinet Knob Stems

  1. Poke a hole through the top and down to the bottom of the pumpkin with an Awl.
  2. Squish the pumpkin as tight as you can and pull the stem of the cabinet knob through the hole and out the bottom of the pumpkin.
  3. Place the nut onto the stem and tighten.

Step 9 - Sweater Pumpkin Tendrils

Autumn Craft Idea

  1. Pour some white craft glue or Mod Podge into a small bowl.
  2. Rub the twine with a generous amount of glue with your fingers. 
  3. Wrap the twine around wooden skewers or pencils.
  4. Before they are completely dry slide the tendrils off and let them dry completely while still curled.

Step 10 - Sweater Pumpkin Fabric Leaves

The leaves are leftover upholstery fabric from our Queen Anne Armchair makeover.
  1. Using a fabric leaf as a template and trace the leaf pattern onto the back of a fabric remnant.
  2. Cut two leaves per pumpkin.
  3. To give the leaves some shape, brush the back of each one with Mod Podge and let it dry overnight. You can skip this step if you prefer floppy leaves.
  4. Glue the leaves under the knob stem with a hot glue gun. 
  5. Loosen the twine tendril curls to your liking.

That's it, we're done.
There may appear to be a lot of steps for making these sweater pumpkins but they really don't take that long to make. Once you've mastered one, I promise you'll be looking for other sweaters to make more. I also made some Burlap Pumpkins.

When creating Fall vignettes around the house I will pair my sweater pumpkins with painted dollar store pumpkins on trays.
Sweater Pumpkins With Cabinet Knob Stems

I hope I've inspired you to shop your closet for some old sweaters. If you have any questions about this sweater pumpkin tutorial, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!
If you enjoyed this sweater pumpkin idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Fall Decor Ideas or DIY Pumpkins board on Pinterest.

Easy Cotton Terry Knit Sweater Pumpkins


Recycled Sweater Pumpkins For Fall

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.

8 comments

  1. Boy, what a great idea---if you are lucky enough to find a high content cotton ---the urge to whip up a batch of walnut juice/salt, or onion skins/salt---to make some natural stained pumpkins is so great. I will just have to try that....Fun and easy post!

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    1. Glad you like the sweater pumpkins, Sandi! Walnut juice & salt or onion skins & salt to stain fabric? Never heard of it but now I'm intrigued. LOL

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Anita, I'm glad you like my sweater pumpkins and thanks for the pin!

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  3. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

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  4. Marie, the cabinet knobs put through the fabric and secured with nuts on the other side of each pumpkin is BRILLIANT!!! Sooo glad you shared this week to Share Your Style #220. Happy to share your post for next week's features at SYS #221!

    Happy getting-closer-to-fall!
    Barb :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like the cabinet knob stem idea for the pumpkins. Thank you so much for featuring them this week, Barb, much appreciated! xo

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    2. You're welcome, Marie! Happy to!!! <3

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