Home Decor: Pennie’s Pumpkins

Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to remind everyone that today and tomorrow are the last days you have to enter for a chance to win this incredible Noel Mignon Blue Moon Daily Diary kit! All you need to do is create a scrapbook page inspired by one of my pages and post it to social media with the hashtag #liveinspiredchallenge. Details can be found on THIS GIVEAWAY POST. The winner will be announced on Friday! Good luck!


I serve with the most amazing gal in my congregation named Pennie Guinn. She is a crafting genius! She is the kind of gal who can see something made on the internet and break it down into steps that our 8 to 12 year old girls can recreate.


This month she prepared the most adorable craft project for our girls to work on … Fabric Pumpkins! She saw these pumpkins presented on a local lifestyle show called Studio 5 last year and decided to make them into a class, complete with instructions, to share and teach to others. She has been so kind to share those instructions and her pumpkins with me so that I could share them with all of YOU here on my blog! Thank you, Pennie!!!

I had a BLAST creating my little pumpkin! It’s something that is easy enough to knock out in an hour or so. You could even create a whole patch of them in different sizes, if you’d like. So fun!


As the girls worked, Pennie took the time to explain to them the value of learning a skill. We discussed how you could take a skill you have learned, the running stitch with a needle and thread, and use it in new ways. Here she is showing them doll clothes that she had made using fabric scraps when she was their age.The girls were FASCINATED! It was so cute!


Let’s put one together, shall we?! 😀


Pennie was so organized! She put together a kit for each of the girls with all of the supplies they would need.

Inside the kit was:

  • An 8×18″ rectangle of fabric, with the short sides stitched together to form a tube (also, with pencil lines across the top and bottom for the girls to use as a guide later)
  • a needle and two lengths of heavy thread
  • a baggie of walnut shell kitty litter
  • a bag of batting
  • 3 lengths of embroidery floss, approximately 30″ long each
  • a 3×3″ square of hand-dyed wool fabric for the stem
  • a hand-dyed wool leaf (I’m guessing she cut these with a manual die cutting machine, but you could also find a leaf shape online and handcut one if you would like.

Let’s get started!


  1. Cut a rectangle of fabric. Size: decide width, double this measurement for length of rectangle. If the width is 8″, then the length will be 16″. Approximate measuring is good enough. Adjust the measurements and proportions to make any size or shape. Remember, the “width” will result in the height of your pumpkin. (NOTE: The fabric in our kit was 8×18″. She changed the proportions for ours a little bit because she liked the way it looked.)


2. With right sides of the fabric together, fold the rectangle in half (two 8″ edges together); sew 1/4″ seam, backstitching at the beginning and end. This will make a tube (7-1/2″ x 8″).

3. Start with wrong side of fabric out. With strong thread, hand sew a running stitch (big 1/4″ stitches are okay) all around the edge of one side of the tube 1/4″ from the edge. (Note: you are not sewing the fabric together, you are just stitching all along the top edge of the tube.) Pennie drew a pencil line as a guide for the girls to follow.


Pull to gather tight and knot well to secure. When finished, turn fabric right side out, with the seam on the inside. The gather will form the bottom of the pumpkin.


4. Put 1 cup ground walnut shells kitty litter in a baggie. Place in bottom of the pumpkin for weight.


Fill the rest of the pumpkin with batting. Don’t pack too tightly. It will need a little bit of “give” to tie the spines on later.


4. Gather the top of the pumpkin in the same way you did the bottom, stitching all along the edge…


… and then pulling together and tying knots to secure. There will be a small hole at the top of the pumpkin. This is where we will tuck in the stem.


But first, we are going to create the spines of the pumpkin!

5. Spines of Pumpkin: Cut 3 lengths of embroidery floss to about 30″ long. Using all 6 strands of the floss together, start at the top of the pumpkin, wrap all around and back to the top. Pull and knot. Do this two more times, spacing the floss around the pumpkin in equal wedges, creating 6 “spines.” Don’t cut the ends!


6. Stem: Use a short piece of a stick and poke into the hole at the top of the pumpkin. OR you can roll up quilt fabric or wool (3×3″ square), and poke in the top hole for the stem. Use a pencil or something similar to help you work the stem down into the hole.


Add a wool leaf, by tucking the end in the same hole with the stem. If desired, you can make a stitch or two to secure the leaf in place. We just tucked them in.


7. Tendrils: Dampen the embroidery floss with starch (I actually used hairspray on mine, hehe!), and wrap around a pen or pencil. Tape the ends, if needed, to hold the threads in place while they dry. (We placed a folded paper towel underneath the pencil to protect the fabric of the pumpkin.)


When dry, gently unwrap the tendrils; trim and separate as desired.


Camryn LOOOOOVED this activity! Can you tell?! She enjoyed learning how to do a running stitch and being able to create something that she will keep and use forever! I told the girls to put their pumpkins safely in their “hope chests” so that they can enjoy them year-after-year. Infact, they could even teach their own children how to create a pumpkin someday!


Pennie shared with me more of her adorable pumpkins … I love all of the different fabrics she used, and the way she adorned some of them with beaded tendrils, and even charms! So CUTE!


MORE IDEAS (from Pennie):

These cute pumpkins are great for using up your fabric stash. Consider a variety of colors, not just typical “fall” ones. I have tried different sizes; have found big ones (size of a real pumpkin) take a ton of batting and aren’t as charming as the small ones, in my opinion.

These are simple enough for a family craft. If the cutting and machine sewing is done in advance, children old enough to sew with a needle can do it with some adult help.

A small one, packed with more walnut shells and batting makes a cute pincushion.

They make nice hostess gifts, are light-weight to mail, and easy to store. Make a bunch and enjoy.


(Credits: Design: Kris Thurgood, My Girlfriend’s Quilt Shop, guest on Studio 5)


I KNOW! You are itching to go make yourself an entire patch of pumpkins now, aren’t you?! And guess what?! They are so easy to do … you could even create several of them to decorate your Thanksgiving table if you’d like. I hope you’ll share your pics with us! We both would love to see them!

Have fun!



More Fun with the eBrush!

This Wednesday is Craft Day at HSN and I will be there in the background with Lisa Bearnson to help with her shows. If you’d like to tune in here are Lisa’s showtimes.

lisa hsn blog JUNE230

Last month Lisa debuted the Craftwell eBrush Airbrush machine on HSN. Thanks to all of you it sold out! But it will be back again this Wednesday. If you didn’t catch it the first time and would like to see what it’s all about be sure to tune in! I’ve shared a few of my projects with you HERE and HERE using the eBrush machine. Here are some more things I created.

First, a few paper projects.


I created the sunset background for this card by using scraps of paper as masks. First, I cut a wavy border and sprayed tan along the bottom for the sand. I flipped the wavy strip over to cover the sand and then sprayed the top left corner of the card with yellow. Next, I used a punch circle as a mask for the sun by placing it over the yellow mist I just put down. Then, I used orange, pink and purple sprayed in concentric circles out from the sun mask, softly blending the colors into one another (I hope I’m making sense here). It was so much fun to do! Everything else on this card was cut out using my Silhouette Cameo machine with black glitter cardstock. Then, I finished it all off with a few metal flower embellishments from a past Basic Grey collection.



On this page, I used the eBrush to mist each of the hearts, giving them a dimensional look by holding the eBrush closer to the hearts along the edges.




I also used the eBrush to dress up the word “EYES” in the title and the hearts in the middle of the glasses.




Next up is a bunch of fabric projects! And no, the permanent markers I used to spray do not wash out. The eBrush comes with 6 different adaptors for popular markers you have in your stash. For the ones that didn’t fit exactly, I just used a bit of masking tape or washi tape around the barrel of the pen to make it fit. Hehe! (Hint, Hint: You can buy an AWESOME set of knock-off Sharpie pens in 24 colors for $12 at Walgreens … PERFECT for projects like these!)

Here are some fun projects I created for babies … onesies and bibs! Awwww! So cute!







I found this butterfly clip made out of feathers at Michaels’ and had fun spraying it up with the eBrush.


Look how cute it looks pinned to this little canvas bag (striped sprayed with the eBrush).


Here is another mini canvas bag that I turned into  a gift for teacher.


Speaking of gifts, here are a couple of fun gift packaging ideas.


I sprayed a plain white gift bag in a variegated rainbow. Then I cut out the flower and butterflies using my Silhouette Cameo machine. The center of the flower looks more realistic with a spray of yellow in the flower center.




Here is another paper flower.




I used the eBrush to create an ombre effect on the sides of this gift box, and then sprayed the edges of my paper flower (created with the Silhouette Cameo machine).




How about some home decor projects?




This project was inspired by THIS beautifully airbrushed cake that I found through Pinterest. I can’t wait to set this on my table in my entry way this Christmas!



One of the coolest things you can do with the eBrush machine is to use food safe marker pens! Again, depending on the brand you buy, you may have to tape up the barrel of the pen to get it to fit snug in one of the adaptors, but the Wilton pens fit great in the Sharpie attachment (if I’m remembering correctly). Here are some fun food items (smooth surfaces work best) I made with the food color pens! Now, I am not a food crafter, but I can know I will definitely be using this machine once in awhile for birthdays, etc. So FUN!


I used my Silhouette Cameo machine to cut out the mask for this flower using THIS design from the Silhouette Cameo store. I simply hid the sections for each color so I could spray the leaves by them selves, the flower, and then the entire flower (so I could cover it and do the blue background).





A simple heart on a cupcake for Valentine’s Day.


Or use your Silhouette Cameo machine to trace a logo or custom image. I used light blue for the entire logo and then gave the appearance of a darker blue around the edges, by misting the edges with a purple food marker.



You can even add color to the white writing of a premade cake from the bakery.



These cupcakes get a rainbow effect. The HSN letters a sprayed onto Necco candy wafers. using a letter mask created on my Cameo machine.




Here is the same idea using Valentine colors of pink and red. Again, the hearts were sprayed onto Necco Candy Wafers using the negative shape of a heart cut in cardstock as a mask (punches are perfectly sized for this).




I hope you enjoyed seeing what you can make using the NEW eBrush from Craftwell. Be sure to watch Lisa on HSN this Wednesday for a live demonstration of this fun machine!