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9.03.2021

time for Sweet Sweater Pumpkins!

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it's september! fall is on the way... and fall means pumpkins.
so it's time for me to share my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins!

the most famous - infamous??? - thing i've ever created,
since 2009, these cute lil' upcycled gourds have appeared in
home decor magazines, on home decor websites, in a 'designer gift crate' selection,
and have been sold in dozens of shops & shows, as well as here on the blog.

i only stopped making them for sale because my carpal tunnel was outta' control
(i was single-handedly creating hundreds of them each year),
so then i taught classes and made my tutorial available here on the blog
to help others make their own versions using my ridiculously easy method.

continue reading for more info on making your own!
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the very first pumpkins i ever made, back in 2007, were from my own sweaters.
they no longer fit me, so i surmised that they shrank in the dryer.
that's my story and i'm sticking to it!
i cut the sleeves off of the sweaters, and turned them into cozy squishy wraps on clear vases.
THEN i came up with the idea to make cozy squishy pumpkins out of them.
i still HAVE those original pumpkins, too. wink.

there was nothing else like them, made from sweaters, online or in shops
back in 2008 when i first shared them on my old personal blog, hummadeedledee...
but just a few years later, after i started selling them at large vintage shows,
they were popping up all over the innernets!

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over the past 14 years of making them, i've learned a few things:

● when using medium or large patterned sweaters,
the pumpkins look best when the pattern runs vertically with the pumpkin 'ridges'.
small patterns will work either vertically or horizontally.

● sweaters should be a tightly knit texture -
a sweater with open weaves allows the stuffing to become visible, and it ain't pretty.
however, you can line an open weave sweater with regular fabric
before you turn it into a pumpkin.

● adjust the polyfil stuffing to create different effects:
flat squishy pumpkins need loosely packed stuffing, 
while plump firm ones need full, firmly packed stuffing.
and tho i don't do this, adding some dried beans or unpopped corn at the pumpkin base
before you add the polyfil stuffing is a great way to 'weight' them.

● for the best final look, create deep ridges by pulling the twine very, very taut.
the twine should be almost invisible on the pumpkin body,
due to being pulled deep into the fabric to create the raised 'ridges'.

● you can finish off the twine-wrapped stems by hot gluing more twine in a spiral
on the top of the stem, to hide the sweater end.

i still make them as gifts and for my own decor each year, using thrifted sweaters.
these sunny yellow ones that i made this summer fit my current color obsession...
as a finishing touch, i crowned them with some royal jewels:
one of my miniature Junk Queen Crowns,
a tiny circlet of vintage chandelier crystals,
and the rhinestone 'Disney Princess' crown that my sweet Dad gave me
when i became a Disneyland Cast Member.
(i added the yellow crystals to it later)

and yeah, i DO think mine are the cutest, the easiest to make,
and are definitely the originals that started a trend!
[it's a bit like being a Mom and thinking your own kids are the best around.]

Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins ™ | © deb kennedy 2007-2021

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