A simple and seasonal DIY, creating a plush pumpkin rattle from scrap material with a built in crunchy leaf. No pattern needed.
It’ll soon be made very clear that I love pumpkins. Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons but this charming squash might be the main one. Most of the pumpkin décor around my house is there all year round so I have no problem adding to it.
My 4 month old girl is teething right now and we seem to have a shortage of things to chew on. So, since she isn’t ready to try the real thing yet, I figured I’d make a pumpkin just for her.
Creating a plush pumpkin rattle
This project is made entirely from cotton and scrap linen fabrics, I made her a stuffed pumpkin complete with a rattle, crunchy leaf and a nice chewable stem.
- Scrap woven fabrics in orange and green
- toy rattle
- crunchy paper or alternative
- sewing machine
- needle and matching thread
Choosing your fabric
Making a template
To make this project you’ll need to make two templates, one simple leaf shape and one oval with flat ends, the sizes you make these will determine the size of the overall project, remember to include seam allowance.
The leaf shape should be very simple so so the crunchy paper can easily be placed inside the fabric. After cutting your oval for the pumpkin body draw a line down the center vertically, then mark an inch in from each side along this center line. You will be transferring these marks to each of the cut out fabric pieces.
Constructing the leaf
First cut two pieces of your chosen leaf fabric using your template. I am using a green cotton fabric left over from some curtains. Sew them right sides together leaving the bottom open, finish the edges with a zig zag stitch. To make the leaf crunchy you will need something crunchy but sturdy, I used a piece from an old plastic bubble mailer. Cut it in the same shape as my leaf and stuffed it inside after turning it right sides out. Sew up the bottom edge then add some simple details to hold it all together and add to its leafyness.
Creating the stem
To make the stem, create a simple free form shape starting with a rectangle and curving the top edges. Use a a green or brown fabric. Fold it over right sides together an sew it up the side. This shape could be as simple or as fun and twisty as you’d like. Leave the bottom open and turn it inside out and stuff it. To make my stem a little stiffer for chewing I stuffed the stem with a rolled up scrap of linen, though you could use regular stuffing as well.
Making the pumpkin
Making the body is a bit more involved then the other pieces but don’t let it intimidate you.
Start by cutting 6 pieces total using the oval template, transfer the marking onto the wrong sides of each one. I chose 2 different colours of orange/ yellow linen in two different weights. For each piece you want to fold it in half vertically and sew a curved dart from the markings on each side to the edge. Press each piece open to help keep it smooth.
To join the pieces together start with one and sew the next one to one edge lining up the seams of the darts at the bottom, leave a small amount of space unsewn at the top. Take the next piece and attach it the same way on the opposite side. Once all the pieces are attached in a line sew the remaining side of the first and last pieces to complete the loop. Finish all the seams with a zigzag stitch. Turn it right side out and stuff placing your raddles near the center. I used two to make it louder.
Putting together your pumpkin rattle
To finish off the pumpkin rattle all the pieces need to be sewn together. This part is all hand sewn using a curved upholstery needle though a regular needle would work in a pinch. This part takes a bit of finessing, just place the stem inside the opening at the top of the pumpkin and start sewing the opening closed around stem while stitching it in place. Then sew the leaf onto the base of the stem with the same needle. I added a few intentionally visible stitches to add to the rustic nature of it and help disguise my unintentionally visible stitches.
After all is said and done, I’m happy with how it turned out and baby girl loves it. Definitely worth the effort just to see her playing with it.