How to Make Sweater Pumpkins for a Cozy Fall Home Accessory

See how easy it is to turn a secondhand sweater into a tiny patch of cozy pumpkins and discover your new favorite way to repurpose clothing.

After a long, hot summer, we're looking forward to wearing cable-knit sweaters and spending time at the pumpkin patch. We've also made a conscious effort to create more sustainable projects and home decor lately—so naturally, sweater-covered pumpkins are one of our favorite fall decorating ideas.

You've likely spotted these on the shelves at your favorite home goods stores over the past few seasons, but it's just as easy to make your own. Plus, it's a great way to make good use of a sweater that's no longer wearable, rather than just throwing it away.

These faux pumpkins come together in just a few minutes, so you can make several in an afternoon. Hit the thrift store or sort through your donation pile, then grab a few faux gourds and start creating your own mini pumpkin patch with these simple instructions.

sweater pumpkins
Matthew Clark

How to Make a Sweater Pumpkin

Supplies Needed

  • Sweater
  • Scissors
  • Faux pumpkin
  • Hot-glue sticks and glue gun
  • Twine or yarn
  • Burlap ribbon (optional)
  • Faux leaves (optional)

Step-by-Step Directions

Follow these easy instructions to make your own fall pumpkin decorations. You should be able to cover and decorate one pumpkin in less than an hour.

Step 1: Find a Sweater

The first step of this easy pumpkin craft is to find a sweater you don't mind cutting up. Dig through the back of your closet or browse your local second-hand store to find sweaters made from colors and materials that match the look you're going for. Sweaters that aren't wearable anymore (with holes or tears) are a great option for this project, because you'll be cutting up the material anyway.

We recommend choosing a medium or large sweater that's made from a thick material with a little bit of stretch. Also, keep in mind that a sweater with ribbing or a vertical stripe pattern will help hide the seams you'll glue later. You can also complete this project with other clothing items, like a worn flannel shirt or a soft t-shirt.

Step 2: Cut and Glue Sleeves

Once you've found the perfect sweater, it's time to start crafting. You'll need a faux pumpkin ($9, Oriental Trading Co.) that's made from a lightweight material. For a medium-size faux pumpkin (ours was approximately 10 inches in diameter), one sweater sleeve should cover the surface. Start by using sharp crafts scissors ($8, Amazon) to cut off one sleeve, then cut the sleeve in half lengthwise.

Set the pumpkin in the center of the cut sleeve piece and bring one end up to the base of the pumpkin stem; hot glue to secure. Bring the other end of the sleeve up to the base of the stem (you'll probably have to trim this end) and secure with hot glue ($3, Walmart).

Step 3: Close the Gap

After you've glued both ends of the sweater sleeve to the pumpkin, there will be an open gap on either side of the pumpkin—this is where having a somewhat stretchy material will come in handy! Stretch each side of the sweater material to meet in the center and hot glue to secure. Your pumpkin should now be entirely covered with the sweater.

Step 4: Add Embellishments

When the pumpkin is covered, use a piece of thick yarn or jute twine ($5, Michaels) to cover the stem and hide the glued edges. Use a bead of hot glue to secure a long piece of yarn at the base of the stem, then wrap the yarn around the stem until it's fully covered. Secure the end with hot glue. Once you're done, it's time to accessorize! We cut a leaf shape from a wide burlap ribbon ($5, Michaels), but you could use any kind of faux leaves or greenery to finish your pumpkin. Add your sweater pumpkins to a fall mantel display or sprinkle them around your home.

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