Buffalo Check Jute Pumpkin
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
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Lately I have been seeing buffalo check everywhere for fall and I decided I wanted to try my hand at making a decorative pumpkin from some recycled fabric I had on hand. This project was so much fun to make and it came out better than I imagined! If you want to add some checkered plaid charm to your decor this fall season, here is a tutorial on how to make an upcycled no sew buffalo check fabric pumpkin.
4 wire coat hangers (all the same size is best)
~1 yard of black & white plaid fabric (or recycled scrap fabric)
A roll of light jute twine
Hot glue gun
Large rubber bands
Any newspaper, plastic bags, shipping packaging, shredded paper for filling
Once you have gathered your supplies, it’s time to get started! Both the fabric and filling used for this project are recycled. For the fabric you can use any scrap fabric that you have on hand, just be sure that it will cover the entire frame. The scrap I used measured approximately 20.5 x 46.5 (old skirt) and the filling I stuffed it with was actually foam packing sheets that were shipped with my son’s crib. You could fill this with anything you like from a bag of recycled shredded paper to old newspapers - anything you have on hand really.
First, you will need to build the pumpkin’s frame. The wire coat hangers will serve as both a skeleton for the pumpkin to give it shape and also the decorative jute “ribs”. Bend each of the hangers into a circle, leaving the hanging part intact for the time being. Try to make them as similar in shape as possible.
To put together the frame, you will need some good thick rubber bands to hold things in place. Take the first two circles and place them criss-cross with one inside the other. Rubber band the two hangers at the top. Next, cut a rubber band to use as like a “string” and then tie the hangers at the bottom where they intersect.
This part can be a bit tricky as the hangers will slip a little while trying to tie them. You likely won’t be able to pull the rubber bands very tight without them breaking so just tie them as tight as possible. This is only to hold the frame in place while we build out the pumpkin. Repeat this process for each hanger until all four are in place, bending each one to fit slightly as needed. Once the basic frame is in place, bend the wire until you are happy with its overall shape.
Now you can stuff the frame with as much filling as you like to help fill out the shape. If you use something like crumpled newspapers, you might want to put a few smooth sheets on the outermost layer to help it look more smooth underneath the fabric. I have used newspaper under smaller pumpkins and they ended up being too lumpy. I was able to solve this issue by making the papers into as smooth of a ball as possible and then putting the ball into a plastic shopping bag.
When you are happy with the amount of filling, you can start weaving the fabric under the wire ribs. You will need to make sure the ribs are all on top of the fabric so they can be wrapped with the twine later. Once you have weaved all the fabric under the wire, you will need to pinch the fabric into sections in between each set of ribs at the top and use the hot glue to glue them together. I also put a glob of glue to stick each one to the hanger “stem”.
Repeat this process for the bottom. Pleat the fabric into sections and glue them together but be sure to leave the wires exposed until later because we still need to cover them with jute.
Now that the fabric is mostly in place, it’s time to cover the wires with the jute twine. Start at one of the bottom wires and then wrap the jute all the way to the top. It helps if you put a tiny dab of hot glue to hold the jute in place while you get started. Try to wrap it tightly so that none of the hanger is showing through. When you get to the top of the wire, wrap any extra around the “stem”. This will help to form the base of the stem. You can tuck the ends under or dab a small bit of glue to hold them in place. Repeat this process for each of the wires until they are all covered.
Now that the wires are all covered with the jute twine, you can go ahead and seal off the bottom. Glue the sections of pleats together until all that is left is a small round section where they all meet. You could try to glue this completely shut but my pleats were a bit too thick so I decided to make a small jute decoration to finish it off. To make the round piece, I glued some of the jute together until it was large enough to cover the opening.
All that is left at this point is to finish the stem of the pumpkin. This was definitely my favorite part of the process! I bent the curve of each of the hangers up into a straight wire and then twisted them together with a pair of pliers. I then bent the wire over to form a loop. Wrap the jute around this until you have the thickness and shape of the stem that you like. To finish, I dabbed a bit of hot glue on the end and folded the end over it. And with that, you have the finished product!
I love the way this pumpkin turned out and I am definitely using this for my fall decor this year! I also made some mini pumpkins with the leftovers from this fabric. See the tutorial on DIY No Sew Mini Fabric Pumpkins. I hope you give this tutorial a try - good luck and happy fall decorating!