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DIY Recycled Sweater Pumpkins With Wine Cork Stems

To make these recycled sweater pumpkins I covered foam pumpkins with thrift store sweaters. I have to say they are much prettier than the plush pumpkins I  spotted at Anthropologie for $42. Would you pay $42 for one smallish plush pumpkin? Not me. I made 3 sweater covered pumpkins for less than $8.

pumpkins for diy project using recycled sweaters

Today is Thrift Store Decor Tour Day and the links to all of the fun makeovers are at the bottom of the post. Before you head out on the tour let me tell you how I made my recycled sweater pumpkins. I started the project with three foam pumpkins I found packed away with my Fall decorations.

Anthropologie plush pumpkin
Anthropologie plush pumpkin cost $42.00

The $42  plush pumpkin in the photo above was my inspiration for this project. You can see it on the Anthropologie website here.

thrift store sweaters to make a soft plush pumpkin

I shopped the thrift store clothing racks looking for soft sweaters to make recycled sweater pumpkins similar to the expensive plush pumpkins. I found two pretty sweaters in great Fall colors. The multicolor piece in the photo is a scarf I thought I would use to decorate the pumpkins but in the end I decided not to use the scarf.

cut the sweater to fit the pumpkin (2)

The first thing I did was kind of wrap the sweater around the largest pumpkin to get an idea of how big to cut the fabric. You guys know I am not into preciseness! My only concern was cutting the fabric piece too small…..and I almost did.

use a hot glue gun to glue sweater to pumpkins (2)

Next I applied hot glue to the top of the pumpkin and glued the fabric to the top. The fabric is doubled and bunched in places but that’s okay. It gives the pumpkin dimension and well……makes it look like a pumpkin.

hot glue a recycled sweater to a foam pumpkin for a fun pumpkin decor

Then I did the same thing to the bottom of the pumpkin with the hot glue.

blister from hot glue

I have a love hate relationship with my glue gun. I love the ease but I hate it when I burn my fingers. That blister popped right up after I accidentally came in contact with the hot glue.

how not to burn your fingers with hot glue
how not to burn your fingers with hot glue

When I started working on the second pumpkin I found a wood clothespin to hold the material in place instead of my fingers while the glue dried.

how to make a soft pumpkin using recycled sweaters

I planned to paint the faux wood stem but then decided just to clip it off and add a wine cork stem adhering it with hot glue also.

a wine cork makes a great diy pumpkin stem

I like using wine corks in my diy projects. We have an occasional glass of wine and I save the wine corks. If you aren’t a wine drinker you can usually find corks at the thrift store.

how to make soft plush pumpkins
how to make soft plush pumpkins

I covered two more foam pumpkins using the same technique then I spruced them up a bit with ribbon and faux foliage.

how to cover artificial pumpkins with recycled sweaters

I really have a thing about this blue ribbon with the floral print. It came from Hobby Lobby, on sale of course! I’ve used it in multiple projects.

diy soft pumpkins

The shiny metallic faux Fall leaves were perfect for the yellowish pumpkin. As I mentioned earlier I found a fun scarf at the thrift store and I thought of using it to decorate the pumpkins but the ribbons and leaves looked much better and added different textural elements.

make Fall decor using recycled materials

I’ve already set the sweater pumpkins on my fireplace mantel in anticipation of Fall decorating. Don’t know yet when that is going to happen.

wine cork pumpkin stems

I like my pumpkins much better than the Anthropologie plush pumpkins. So, what do you guys think? Anthropologie pumpkins or Petticoat Junktion Pumpkins? For more pumpkin fun you can see my quilt and wood pumpkins here……Make These Dreamy DIY Pumpkins Using A Recycled Quilt And Pom Pom Fringe     Leave a quick note if you have time before taking off on the tour or email me at kathy@petticoatjunktion.com

sweater pumpkins with wine cork stems


To take the Thrift Store Decor Tour just click the text links below the “before” makeovers photo collage……

thrift store decor team photo september 2022

The Thrift Store Decor Tour….
Desktop Hanging Clock Makeover – Domestically Speaking
Rose Back Chair Makeover – My Repurposed Life
Framed Wedding Seating Chart – Our Southern Home
Recycled Sweater Pumpkins – Petticoat Junktion (you are here)
Modern Fall Decor For The Fireplace – Sadie Seasongoods
Large Thrifted Wooden Tray Makeover – Organized Clutter
Transfer A Recipe To A Cutting Board – My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Window Art With Glass Plates – House Of Hawthornes
Vintage Trash Can Upcycle – Shop At Blu

As always thanks for being here, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com


  1. ouch! I’m glad you found the fingertip covers for hot gluing. I guess you’re not a true crafter if you haven’t burned off a few fingerprints.
    I love your recycled sweater pumpkins Kathy. The plushiness and the colors are perfect for those cheap foam pumpkins.



  2. I wouldn’t pay $42 for a trunkload of real pumpkins 🙂 I love the idea of the wine corks as stems. I was just getting ready to donate some olf corks to Goodwill and I think I’ll take them out of the donate bag and put them back in my crafting hoard!

  3. Kathy, Your pumpkins are darling and who wouldn’t love a chenille pumpkin! I wonder if you could cut the shape of leaves from that cute blue ribbon and attach to the pumpkins? I’m not sure why we keep burning our fingers with our glue guns. I bought those little rubber finger protectors but forget to put them on. When your in the creative zone, your there. Lol

  4. Kathy, you lucked out finding those sweaters in just the perfect colors to make the pumpkins and they turned out great. Sorry you burned your finger, though! Maybe you could wear rubber gloves next time! Just teasing–using the pins like Mary suggested is probably a better suggestion. The rubber gloves might get permanently adhered to the pumpkin. Then, what??

  5. Love how the pumpkins turned out. I use small greenery pins (the u-shaped ones) to hold the sweaters in place when I’m making sweater pumpkins. They stick right into the foam. I’m a klutz with hot glue so I try to stay away from it.

  6. Love your pumpkins. Try using real pumpkin stems. Find them anywhere they sell real pumpkins, on the ground and in or on the display area. Happy Fall!

  7. These turned out so cute! I can’t believe they are that much at anthro, crazy! I have a love-hate relationship with my hot glue gun as well, got a few burns yesterday

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