How to make fake pumpkins in three easy steps!

How to make fake pumpkins in three easy steps!

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Lately I’ve been rather feeling the whole ‘decorating with pumpkins’ thing. Paired with some fall leaves, they make such cute autumn decor. Then, come October, pumpkins work perfectly as a neutral alternative to the typical bright orange Halloween jack-o-lantern.

Given my current pumpkin obsession, you can imagine my dismay when I was unable to find fake pumpkins anywhere. No pretty neutral white pumpkins. No rustic pumpkins. No burlap pumpkins. Nada.

See, decorating with pumpkins isn’t really a ‘thing’ here in Australia. We’ve only recently semi-jumped on the Halloween bandwagon (I say ‘semi-jumped’ because it’s still not super commonly celebrated). In addition, unlike America, we don’t really have the cultural history around the autumn harvest. As such, despite going to nearly every craft and homewares store in a 10 kilometre radius, I’ve found exactly 0 fake pumpkins.

Well, actually, I did find one fake pumpkin. It was hot pink and glittery. Not very farmhouse.


After a few weeks of fruitless searching (I really wanted to make a pumpkin pun here, but I lack the necessary powers to reclassify pumpkins as a fruit), I decided to stick it to the pumpkin-hating man and DIY my own damn pumpkins.

Here’s the finished result:

How to make fake pumpkins - A mix of fabric pumpkins displayed on a grey tabletop with pinecones and autumn leaves

Would you believe me if I told you that it takes only three steps and less than 2 minutes to make one of these pumpkins? And that each pumpkin costs literally a few cents to make?

Because it’s true.

These no-sew fabric pumpkins are nothing if not super cheap and super easy.

So, if you’d like to make your own fabric pumpkins without sewing, read on!

How to make fake pumpkins in three easy steps

To make fake fabric pumpkins, you will need:

  • Empty toilet paper rolls. You can make two small fabric pumpkins or one large pumpkin per roll.
  • Fabric of your choosing, cut into strips. You can use any type of fabric provided that it’s not too bulky (more bulk = harder to thread through the roll). I used part of an old drop cloth and some burlap scraps.
  • A large stick or small branch.

Step 1: Create the base pumpkin shape

The first step in making your fake pumpkin is padding out the empty toilet paper roll. The aim is to give the roll a short-and-fat, rather than long-and-tall, shape. This helps the end product actually look like a pumpkin rather than a weird alien creature.

To begin, decide how big you want your fabric pumpkin. For a small pumpkin, use half of the toilet roll. For a large pumpkin, use the roll as-is.

Once you have decided what size you want your pumpkin, grab one of your fabric strips and wrap it around the toilet roll several times. If your fabric strip is significantly wider than the toilet roll, fold it so that it’s roughly the same size. You can see in the picture below where I’ve folded my fabric scrap.

Picture of hands wrapping drop cloth canvas fabric around a toilet roll to create a pumpkin shape

Picture of a hand holding a toilet roll wrapped in canvas drop cloth fabric

Once you have finished wrapping the fabric around the toilet roll, hold the fabric in place using your non-dominant hand.

Step 2: Create the pumpkin

Now that your toilet roll is the right shape, it’s time to make the fabric pumpkin’s ‘body’.

Thread a strip of fabric down through the toilet roll’s hole until a small ‘tail’ pokes out at the bottom. Hold on to this tail with your non-dominant hand.

Picture of canvas drop cloth being threaded through a toilet roll to make a fake DIY fabric pumpkin

Then, loop the fabric around the toilet roll in an over-under-over motion. You should go down on the outside of the roll, then up through the centre of the roll, then down on the outside of the roll again. After a few of these ‘loops’, you can let go of the fabric’s tail, as it will be held in place by the looped fabric.

Picture of hands looping canvas drop cloth around a toilet roll to make a fake pumpkin

Every so often, use your index and middle finger to pull on the loops. This helps the loops stay round and pumpkin-like.

Picture of hands pulling at the loops to give them a round shape

Once you have completely covered the outside of your toilet roll, tuck any excess fabric into the bottom/top of the roll. If you have a lot of excess fabric, it’s a good idea to snip off most of it so you’re not stuck trying to jam large amounts of fabric into a small hole.

Picture of a hand tucking excess fabric into the top of the DIY fabric pumpkin

Step 3: Add a stem to your fabric pumpkin

The final step is adding a stem to your pumpkin.

Snap a small piece of wood off your branch/large stick. You should aim for a piece of wood that’s roughly 1 1/2 times the size you want your stem to be, as some of it will be hidden.

To create your pumpkin’s stem, firmly push your wood into the top of your pumpkin. The fabric should hold the stem in place without the need for any glue. However, if you anticipate little kiddy fingers getting on your pumpkins, you can secure the stem using a hot glue gun.

Picture of a hand pushing a small stick into the top of the fake fabric pumpkin


Once your stem is secured, your DIY fabric pumpkins are complete! You can use your fake pumpkins in any number of ways: style them on a rustic three-tiered tray, pop a few on the mantlepiece, or glue them to a grapevine wreath for a cute fall/Halloween wreath.

Picture of a fake fabric pumpkin surrounded by other fabric pumpkins, pinecones, autumn leaves, and dried wheat

Have you made fake pumpkins before? What technique did you use? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Pinnable image for How to make fake pumpkins tutorial

Second pinnable image for fabric pumpkin project

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