Felt Pumpkin People
These felt pumpkin people, created by artist Jennifer Murphy, are a charming Halloween decoration perfect for the home.
- Straight coffee or "cushings" dye
- Sewing needle
- Long, large needle
- Dental floss or waxed thread
- Excelsior (wood shavings)
- Black floss
- Small black pins
- Pinking sheers
- Heavy wire
- Black pipe cleaner
- Two small velvet leaves
Begin by making the pumpkin body and head. Dye felt by dipping in straight coffee or "cushings" dye. Cut two felt circles, 4 inches and 5 1/2 inches in diameter.
Thread a needle with a doubled length of dental floss or waxed thread; knot. For head, make a running stitch about 1/4 inch from edge of smaller circle. Pack excelsior (wood shavings) into a ball slightly larger than the desired size for finished head. Place excelsior ball in middle of felt circle and pull thread tightly. While holding the felt ball, stitch around the opening again and knot closed. If needed, stitch around the opening a third time to pull the opening securely closed; clip thread.
Repeat above steps for the larger circle to make the body.
To make vertical lines on head, insert a needle threaded with black floss from the bottom opening to the center top of the head. Bring the needle back through the bottom, up through the top; repeat several times to create the vertical "ribs" of a pumpkin.
Next, make the pumpkin face. Cut 2 small triangles for eyes; place triangles on head. Secure triangles with a drop of glue and small black pins to hold in place. Insert black pin in the middle of head for nose. Cut a strip of felt about 1 inch long with pinking sheers; round the bottom by cutting with a regular scissors. Secure with a dab of glue; hold temporarily in place with pins.
To assemble, take a piece of heavy wire about 2 inches long and stick one end into the bottom of the head; fill the opening in the head with glue. With a large needle, make an opening in the top of the body; fill that opening with glue, then connect the head and the body together by inserting the other end of the wire into the body.
Thread a large, long needle with a black pipe cleaner. To create arms, make another opening in the body at "armpit position" with the needle; pull through other side of body. Repeat to make legs.
Cut the arms to desired length. Fold the pipe cleaner legs in half; push ends of pipe cleaners back into holes in side of body. If you are using fluffy pipe cleaners, trim the ends to be slimmer; bend into place.
Trim a small velvet leaf into a bow tie shape. Place a small paper fastener or gold pin in the center and press into pumpkin at base of neck; dab a little glue onto back to hold in place. Insert three more pins as "buttons" down the front of the pumpkin; glue as needed.
Cut down another fabric leaf to approximately 1/2 inch, leaving the long wire end attached. Bend about a 1/4 inch below the leaf. Make an opening in the top of the head and with a dab of glue, stick the leaf and wire into place. Once dry, spiral the wire around a needle.
Create a paper greeting banner for your pumpkin to hold. Glue in place.