Vintage Spindle & Spool Pumpkins
Aren’t these Vintage Spindle and Spool Pumpkins adorable? They were so much fun to make and I love how they look in my home! The combination of vintage fabrics, with the autumn colored flowers, the rambling grapevines, and the antique chair spindles and spool bobbin stems, fit in perfectly with any country or vintage fall decor! The spindles and bobbin spools create a long stem for the grapevines to ramble and curl around, giving the pumpkins a natural, country feel. These would make fabulous gifts too! If you would like to make your own pumpkin, see my step-by-step tutorial below.
Vintage Spindle & Spool Pumpkins Tutorial
- Vintage fabrics (I used vintage Chenille and Linen fabrics) – You will need enough fabric to cut out a 17 inch or a 22 inch circle, depending on if you want to make the large or the small pumpkin.
- Vintage Chair Spindles or Bobbin Spools – You’ll need one for each pumpkin you make. These can be found at antique stores, garage sales, ebay, etc., but you can also get them by pulling apart an old chair.) If you can’t find vintage ones, you can always buy brand new chair spindles found HERE
- Polyester Fiber Fill (found at any craft store or you can buy it HERE)
- Grapevine Wire (found at Hobby Lobby or you can buy it HERE) and Pip Berry Garland (found HERE).
- Flowers. I used 1-2 medium sized flowers for the flower glued directly onto the pumpkin and bought them at Hobby Lobby. The small flowers I found as a small bouquet (flowers and sprouts together) so I just separated them as needed.
- Burlap Garland (found at Hobby Lobby or you can buy it HERE) (1 package per 4 pumpkins)
- Rafia (found at any craft store or you can buy it HERE) – 1 package
- Jute Twine (found at any craft store or you can buy it HERE) (1 spool)
Tools and supplies:
- Long Yarn Needle (1)-found at any craft store or you can buy one HERE
- Embroidery Floss or thread to match pumpkins. Embroidery Floss is a lot stronger and is better to use, but I didn’t have any when I made these and just used what I had.
- Rice or Beans (1-1/2 Cups to 2 Cups for each pumpkin)
- Hot Glue gun and Hot Glue Sticks (found HERE)
- Wire Cutters (found HERE)
- Fabric Scissors (found HERE)
- Butcher Paper (found HERE), paper scissors and tape (you’ll also need a pencil)
- a. Vintage Linen fabric (Found at Goodwill) shown in top picture (I cut 1 small circle from this fabric. b. Lower picture shows the vintage chenille fabric. I actually ended up only using the last two chenille fabrics shown on the right. The yellow-orange one came from my grandmother’s old bedspread. The others belonged to my mom. (I cut 2 large circles from the white dotted one (farthest to the right) and tea-stained one of them).
2. Vintage Bobbin Spools and Chair Spindles. You can paint them too if you want as shown below.
3. Polyester Fiber Fill
4. Grapevine Wire and Pip Berry Garland.
6. Burlap Garland
8. Jute Twine
Tools and Supplies:
1. Longest Yarn Needle you can find. Mine was about 4 inches long.
2. Thread or Embroidery Floss. Embroidery floss is much stronger than thread so it is probably best to use because it won’t break, but I didn’t have any and used regular doubled thread.
3. Rice or Beans
4. Hot Glue gun and Hot Glue Sticks
5. Wire Cutters
6. Fabric Scissors
7. Butcher Paper, paper scissors and tape (you’ll also need a pencil)
Vintage Spindle & Spool Pumpkins – Instructions
Drawing a Pattern using Butcher Paper:
Note: It is so much easier if you can find something large and round to trace around for your pumpkin circles. We had a large 21 inch, trash can lid, which we used for the large pumpkins, and a 17 inch pizza pan for the small pumpkin. If you don’t have a circle large enough, you will have to make one.
First, tape 2 pieces of butcher paper together to make the paper larger.
Next, tie string to both the pencil and to a marker or another pencil. Your string length after tying should be half the length of the desired circle. For instance, if you want a 21 inch circle, you will need 10 1/2 inches of string from pencil to marker. I had trouble with the twine coming untied so make sure to triple your knots or use a smaller sized string.
Now, hold the pencil in the middle of the paper and draw the circle with your marker. This is MUCH easier if you have someone help you.
Your circle pattern is drawn.
Next, cut out the pattern with your paper scissors.
Now you can place this pattern on the fabric, pin it on and cut out the pattern needed.
Drawing a Pattern using Lids or Pans:
Note: If you have a circle big enough, you can just trace the circle directly onto the pattern. Remember, we had a large 21 inch, trash can lid, which we used for the large pumpkins, and a 17 inch pizza pan for the small pumpkin. (This lid is used for my horse feed and I really did wash it with soap and water, but it was stained. lol Don’t judge!)
Set your lid or pan on the where you want to cut it. Trace it with a pencil or marker.
Now you are ready to cut out your fabric.
Next, cut out the circle with your fabric scissors.
Your circle is ready!
Sewing your pumpkin:
First, assemble your fabric circle, a needle and embroidery floss or thread.
Next, double your embroidery floss (or thread), knot it and start sewing it along the edge, sewing in and out, and gathering it tightly towards the knotted thread as you go.
Finally, when you are finished, tie it off securely.
Stuffing the Pumpkin:
First, add 1-1/2 cups (for small pumpkin) to 2 cups (for large pumpkin) of rice or beans to your pumpkin to give it some weight.
Now it’s time to stuff your pumpkin with the polyester fiber fill. Just take small clumps of your fiber fill and stuff it inside the gathered pumpkin until it is firmly, and evenly filled.
Next, insert your vintage spindle or bobbin spool. I added more fiber fill into the sides of the hole until the spindle was firmly planted and able to stand erect by itself.
Now, you are going to secure the spindle inside the pumpkin. First, pinch one side of the pumpkin together and sew it shut. Then, do the same for the other side, enclosing in the stem spindle.
Now your stem is secure.
Creating the sections in your pumpkin:
For the small pumpkin, I made 4 sections. The large pumpkin has 6 sections each. I’m going to show you how I made the small pumpkin sections in the following directions because the fabric is not so fluffy as the other fabrics and you can see what I’m doing a little better.
First, measure off several yards of twine (4 yards for the small pumpkin and 6 yards for the large pumpkin). Thread the needle and double the thread, but don’t knot it. Stick the needle into the top hole next to the spindle and poke it all the way through the middle of the pumpkin so it pokes out the center of the bottom of the pumpkin.
Now, pull out the needle, and start pulling the twine through.
Make sure you leave about a 6 to 8 inch tail.
Next, stick the needle again through the top of the pumpkin and poke the needle out through the center of the bottom.
This is what it should look like.
Now, holding on to the 6 inch tail (on top), and the end with the needle (on the bottom) pull the twine tight enough that you clearly see some cleavage.
It should look like this after tightening it. (I know, it looks like a cute little bum crack…LOL)
For the second section, bring the needle around from the bottom, and poke the needle through the top again and repeat, poking the needle out the bottom, and pull the twine tightly. Bring the needle around again, from the bottom, and stick the needle down the top (opposite side), while continuing to pull the twine tightly so it tightens on the opposite side of the pumpkin, then pull it out the center of the bottom of the pumpkin again. Tighten this section to match the first. Now you have 2 sections made.
For the third section, bring your needle back up to the top, then stick the needle down again through the center and out the bottom a 4th time. Tighten twine to make a 3rd section.
Now repeat again to make your 4th section. When you have completed your 4th section by poking it through the bottom, pull everything tightly, then stick your needle back up througn the bottom to the top.
Now pull the needle up and out of the top.
Tighten and even out all the sections so they look similar.
Last, tie off the end twine with the first piece of twine (the 6 inch tail) to secure.
I used a triple knot.
Pull the knot tight.
Now, cut the ends off to leave a 3/8 inch tail.
Last, secure the knot with a spot of glue, then glue inside the hole around the spindle to secure the spindle, making sure it is standing straight.
You are finished making the pumpkin!
Adding the Burlap Leaves:
First, cut out some burlap pieces to sort of look like leaves. I used 4 on the small pumpkins and 5-6 for the large ones.
Next, hot glue the burlap leaves around the top of your pumpkin, covering up the hole. I hot glued them with a tuck in the middle of them so it looks more like a leaf. Be careful here. I burned my fingers a couple of times so I started using a wooden skewer to poke the burlap into the hot glue.
After gluing the leaves on, I cut about a 5 to 7 inch by 3 inches wide piece of burlap.
Then, I folded it in half.
With the fold towards the stem, hot glue the piece around the stem and trim to fit.
Adding the grapevine tendrils:
Fist, find a bottle or something close to the size of the tendrils that you can wrap your grapevine garland around.
I wrapped the entire strand of pip berries on the bottle. For the grapevine garland, you will have to wrap enough to make the amount you will need and clip it.
Slide off the tendrils.
I forgot to take the rest of this with the pip berries so I will show you the rest with the grapevine garland. I put the tendrils on the pumpkin and figured out how long I wanted each to be, and cut it down to where I wanted it.
Now, wrap the center of the 2 tendrils around the spindle (or spool) and twist to secure.
Stretch and widen the tendrils to your desired width and length. Two of the pumpkins I made have only one tendril. Just get creative and play around with it until you like it!
Finally, add a spot of glue around the bottom of the place where you started your tendrils to secure to the burlap.
Adding Rafia Bow:
First, take a small amount of rafia and place the centers of each length together.
Now, bend it in half and pinch it where you want to tie it.
Next, take another piece of rafia and tie it off, making a half bow. Sometimes the rafia has been folded so I stick this bundle under water and get it wet so I can smooth out the folds a little.
Now you are ready to glue the bow to the spindle. Note: (I did not use this much rafia in the pic below. I ended up taking this piece apart and halfed it). You can fluff out the rafia bow after the glue dries.
Last, add the flowers, leaves and sprouts as you like. Hot glue them in. I started by hot gluing a medium flower in the center of a section (they look better from the front). Note: Also make sure your spindle holes (if your spindles have them) are in the back so they are not seen. Add small flowers, leaves and sprouts as desired. Keep it simple! You want most of your pumpkin showing (not a lot of flowers and foo foo)!
You are finished! Enjoy!!