DIY Fabric Pumpkins

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So by now you’ve probably seen the succulent-topped pumpkins everyone has been making…So, if you’re like me & aren’t a huge fan of traditional bright orange pumpkins or you just love things with a funky, unique vibe, this succy-pumpkin DIY is for you! & it’s honestly SO stinking simple & so CAYUTE!

As I was perusing Joann’s fabric the other day their Autumn seasonal fabrics had me heartstruck. I spotted 4 adorable flannel & fall-themed patterns, & I knew I had to figure out something fun to do with them. Then I looked over & saw a bag of faux mini pumpkins on sale & it hit me. Fabric-covered Succulent-topped pumpkins.


YOU ONLY NEED A FEW SUPPLIES

  • Faux Pumpkins of any size or color!
  • Fabric (quantity needed will depend on the size pumpkin you use. For large pumpkins you’ll need approx. 1/2yd, but for mini pumpkins like I show in this blog I used only 1/2 of a remnant square they had on sale!)
  • Hot Glue & Gun (and/or Craft Glue for glueing the succulents)
  • Moss
  • Succulents
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Scissors

Now, Grab Your Favorite FALL Latte & Let’s Get Started!

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STEP ONE: Get your fabric & lay it flat on the table (iron before you begin if needed). Set the pumpkin down toward one of the corners of the fabric to conserve fabric, you’ll have a bit leftover.  NEXT, Do a practice fold with fabric by bringing all corners of the fabric up toward the stem of the pumpkin, and adjust direction of pumpkin as needed to help you eyeball how large of a square you will want to cut.

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NOW, Time to measure & CUT! This is the hardest part of the DIY honestly, and that’s not saying much because it’s still ridiculously easy lol I’ve found as a general rule of thumb, to wrap all the way around the pumpkin, you’re going to want your fabric to be about twice the length & height of your pumpkin. If you want to be super precise you can measure the bottom of your pumpkin and multiply it by 2 and maybe add an extra inch for good measure, this should make the fabric large enough & give a little wiggle room in case you make a wrong cut somewhere down the road. AFTER you’ve measured, cut out your square.

After you’ve cut your fabric square, place pumpkin in the center of square, and do another practice run scrunching your fabric up toward the stem, just to ensure it reaches all the way around!

DSC06074NEXT, Put a small dab of hot glue on the top of your pumpkin right next to the stem, and press the fabric into it. (Hack, if your hot glue gun gets ridiculously hot like mine, use a chopstick to press the fabric down into the glue so you don’t burn your fingers, or use heat protective gloves)

Work your way around the pumpkin chunk by chunk, doing this over and over. Bunching the fabric and glueing it to the top. Feel free to scrunch up the fabric as much or little as you like as you go, whatever look you prefer. The more you bunch the fabric together, the more it will actually look like it has those pumpkin creases in the sides.

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As you’re making your way around the pumpkin, feel free to trim the excess fabric at the top, around the stem as much as needed, your square may be a bit bigger than necessary. Also, keep in mind, what the top of the pumpkin looks like doesn’t really matter, since it will get covered up by succulents later.

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Once you’ve made it all the way around the pumpkin with your fabric & glue, and trimmed what needs to be trimmed, it’s time for the FUN PART! Succulent Time!

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To prep the top of your pumpkin for the succulents, spray the adhesive around the entire top of pumpkin and stem, and press a thin layer of moss on top. This step is necessary because the moss will hold moisture to hydrate your succies when you water, without causing them to rot.

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Once the moss is on, it’s succy time! I like to start by putting my favorite and somewhat largest succulent (or 2 off-centered succulents) in the middle and then building around it. Put a generous amount of hot glue either on the top of the moss where you’ll be placing the succulent, or put the dollop of hot glue on the bottom of the succulent, and press to the moss firmly and hold until completely cooled and hardened. (Note, you can also use craft glue for the glueing of the succies, whichever you’d prefer, I like hot glue because it dries instantly so I can build more quickly) PLEASE NOTE: Glueing the succulents, even with hot glue, will not kill them or damage them. I will talk at the end of the blog about how to dismantle your succies & what to do with them after Fall is over & pumpkin season is no more.

Keep doing this until you’ve covered the top of your pumpkin and feel like it’s exactly how you want it! I loveeeee how ours turned out, and it goes perfectly styled with the lanterns we made last week and our traditional succy-topped pumpkins, (DIY on how to make those to coming very soon).

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AND VOILA’! You are now ready to get down with your Festive Fall Bad Self. I didn’t lie, that was ridiculously easy right? If you’re like me, you’ll want to make at least 5 of these cuties, plus they make AMAZING festive gifts, for house-warming or just to say I love you 🙂

QUICK NOTE on Maintaining these cuties! So in order to keep your succulents happy, try to keep your pumpkin somewhere they will get indirect bright light, not direct hot sunlight all day. Or if you plan to put them in a dark corner of a bookshelf or desk make sure they get some time in windowsill sun at least two times a week. Also, for watering, once a week or once every other week (depending on inside or outside & how hot the spot it is in will be) take a spray bottle and try to spritz a tiny bit of water around the roots of the succulents, into the moss. But not TOO much! The moss will soak up the water and keep the succy roots moist throughout the week. & That’s all!

After the fall season ends, you can simply & easily dismantle your pumpkin whenever youd like. GENTLY wiggle & pull the succulents free from the moss, and peel any remaining hot glue off the roots and plant in a good draining soil mix of 50% PUMICE 50% soil, and they will continue to grow, unharmed!

That’s it! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and I hope to see your fabric pumpkins on the interwebs soon! ❤

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Happy Fall Ya’ll!

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Oh Hey Pumpkin! ♥ DIY Succulent Pumicey-Pumpkin

          There’s a chill in the air, everything is pumpkin-spiced, the leaves are crunchy, my 2nd favorite part of the year is upon us, Happy FALL ya’ll! Though we’re only about halfway through the fall season, it’s FLYING by, & ashamedly as I type this I actually already have Christmas music blaring in the background, feel free to judge all you want LOL (I can’t help it, I have feliz navidad disease). ANYWAYS! We’ve worked on a couple fall pieces so far, and the first DIY is one that I’m sure you’ve already probably seen everywhere, however we put a little bit different of a spin on it…a PUMICE-EY spin of course!

SUCCULENT PUMPKINS

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          You’ve probably seen them on Pinterest or Instagram, because simply carving pumpkins is not good enough, us crazy plant ladies have to take it a step further & put succulents on everything, including those orange gourdy beauties. If you’ve seen any of these DIY’s, people typically use real mini/large pumpkins & use craft glue or hot glue to  attach moss to the top of the pumpkin, & then proceed to hot glue the succulents around the stem of the pumpkin on top of the moss. This way works, however the succulents cannot thrive in the soil-less environment with minimal hydration, so it is definitely meant to only be a very temporary home for the succulents. The glued succys will quickly need to be removed from the pumpkin within a few weeks and re-planted into well-draining soil as they require. HOWEVER, when I saw these pins & DIYs I was a bit flummoxed because for me, if I’m going to put my heart & soul & time into creating this fall-themed piece of artwork I want it to thrive & last! I want it to be happy & healthy, & last the whole Fall season if not longer! That’s when I came up with our take on this DIY. So grab your pumpkin-spiced latte, UGG boots, & let’s get to DIY-in’.

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WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Lots of Succulents, duh!
  • Faux Pumpkins (We got ours from Michael’s with a coupon for $5.98 each!)
  • A bag of our PUMICE, obviously! ♥
  • Quick-draining Cactus/Succulent Soil (we always use Kellogg Palm, Cactus, Citrus mix)
  • Your usual Potting Tools
  • Scissors or a sharp knife
  • A serrated knife or pumpkin carving knife
  • Chalk Paint (whatever color you’d like your pumpkin to be)
  • Hot Glue Gun or Quick Drying Craft Glue
  • Coffee, lots & lots of coffee 🙂

SO, LET’S GET STARTED!

          First things first, my favorite part of the DIY project, succulent shopping! So we bought our succulents wholesale from a local grower Rancho Vista Nursery, because we are making 11 succulents pumpkins to use as centerpieces at a party, so will need A LOT of succulents. When buying succulents for any project, my advice is always BUY MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED! The first few projects I did I bought what I thought would be the exact amount I would need & ALWAYS ran short. So now, I buy a handful of extra succulents to be safe, because it’s always better to have too many succulents than not enough right? 🙂

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          So let’s talk how to choose succulents, the general rule of picking succulents for a project like this is you want “thrillers”, “spillers”, & “fillers”. What does that mean? “Thrillers” are the eye-catching succulents, the focal point of your project that thrill the eye, whether in color, size, or texture; we chose one of these for the center of each pumpkin. “Spillers” are your hanging succulents, the sedum donkey’s tail, string of pearls/bananas, crassulas, etc. anything that will trail & hang down the side of the pumpkin to create more dimension in your piece. & lastly, “fillers“, these are going to be the bulk of the succulents you’ll be buying that actually fill your pumpkins. We tried to pick a very wide variety of succulents for fillers, so that every pumpkin looks unique & has different colors, patterns, dimensions, & textures. One handy tip for fillers, instead of buying all individual 2-3″ succulents, consider buying 4-8” pots that have a mama to use as a thriller & the babies or cuttings around her as fillers, this will save you significantly.

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This is a perfect example of a “Thriller” we picked out to use in the center of our pumpkins!

          Once you’ve chosen all your succulents, the NEXT STEP is to prep your pumpkins & soil! As I said earlier, we purchased our faux pumpkins at Michael’s,  with a coupon we paid $5.98 per pumpkin. This is the biggest difference with our DIY, instead of using real pumpkins, we are using sturdy plastic pumpkins, that are hollow on the inside so can be cut open & filled with proper draining soil & utilized as permanent container homes for your succulents!  

          To prep your pumpkins, you will need your serrated knife or carver to carve the top of the pumpkin off (like you would when you make a jack-o-lantern!) You can also drill a few holes in the bottom of each pumpkin for better drainage.

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          Once you have all your pumpkins carved, you can make them even more unique & choose to paint them. I suggest painting with chalk paint to give that rustic, farmhouse chic look. We chose to paint some rose gold, & a few with rose gold polka dots as well to give each centerpiece it’s own unique vibe!

AfterlightImage copy 7 Next step, proper SOIL. 

      Since we’ve turned our plastic pumpkins into actual permanent containers the soil we use is CRUCIAL, just like in any other succulent planter. The most important part of growing healthy succulents is your soil! Just like “you are what you eat” so are your succulents! & the key ingredient for healthy, nutrient-rich succy soil is PUMICE. Our Pumice is KEY because it creates proper drainage while getting more oxygen flowing through your soil, & it absorbs excess water so reduces the chances of overwatering & rot. Our pumice also has dozens of additional minerals that nourish the soil & plants even more. (You can read more benefits about our pumice HERE).

          So, for these pumpkins I used our size 3/16″ pumice, mixed 50/50 with Kellogg Cactus soil, as I recommend for all succulent containers & gardens. Once you have your pumice/soil mixed, you’re going to want to fill each pumpkin all the way to the brim, & create a taller soil mound in the center of the pumpkin so the middle focal succulent will be elevated higher than all the rest & create a more attractive dimension to your pumpkin!AfterlightImage

Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for, finally TIME TO PLANT!

         Time to get the creative juices flowing. I find the best way to tackle a planting project like this, especially for us doing so many at once, is to pick out all your “thrillers” first & set them next to the pumpkin you’ll be putting them in. Once you have chosen which succulent you’re going to use as the focal AfterlightImage copy 2point of each centerpiece, you can much more easily envision the rest & build around that. Once you’ve made your thriller selections, it’s time to start planting. So, start by removing the root ball from each succulent, (as pictured to the right). Gently pull the succulent out of the container and massage as much soil off of the roots as possible, you always want to do this when planting because this allows you to loosen roots that may have clumped together while growing in the nursery pot, so the roots can breathe better.

          Once you’ve gotten the soil off of the roots, create a deep hole in the center of the mound you built in your pumpkin planter & plant the stem/roots of the succulent as deep as you can, this creates a much sturdier centerpiece. I mean the last thing you want is a wobbly pumpkin, amIright? So now after you have all your thriller-focal point succulents planted start going to town with your “fillers”. My favorite go-to fillers are Zebra Haworthias, Elephant Bush, Graptoverias, & the ever-lovely Perles.

afterlightimage-copy.jpg     Always remember when planting a project like this the most important aspect of designing is HAVE FUN WITH IT! There is no science or blueprint to designing & planting a succulent container. Every single one is unique & the point of planting it in the first place is to enjoy yourself during the process & then enjoy the final product! The process is what makes it so beautiful & soul-soothing. So don’t stress out about placement, colors, patterns, or textures too much, don’t try to copy ones you’ve seen on instagram or Pinterest, build one that reflects YOU & your personality & style. Honestly just do whatever YOU like best & what combinations/colors tickle your fancy most!

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       Your last & finishing touches of your pumpkin shenanigans, are your “spillers”. As we discussed earlier, the spillers are the succulents you’ll add around the outer edges of the pumpkin’s rim that will waterfall over the side, giving a fuller dimension & will complete the look of your pumpkin. When it comes to spillers, in my opinion, you can never have too many! On some pumpkins I also used 2 different types of spillers, & I loved the results! So grab your hot glue gun, string of pearls or donkey tails, and get to spilling! You don’t HAVE to hot glue the spillers, or any of the succulents, however I knew I would be transporting this a few hours away & wanted to be sure they were all securely in tact when they get to their destination. Do not fret one bit, the glues will NOT damage your succulents, just make sure to remove them VERY carefully when/if you choose to dismantle your pumpkin in the future, and they’re ready to replant!

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& That’s It!      

     As you can see it’s really not all that complicated to build these beauties! So, run to Michael’s, grab a plastic pumpkin, a bag of pumice, & create a gorgeous centerpiece for your fall-themed front porch, office desk, or fall dinner party, or heck, since you’re planting them in a proper container with healthy soil, you can even build them this weekend & save them to use as a Thanksgiving centerpiece. It will be just as luscious & gorgeous in a month for turkey day as it is now!

     So that’s that! Thank you so much for reading & hopefully creating along! & a special thank you to the real MVP @iwasakiphotos for taking all these amazing photos & helping me build a ridiculous amount of these LOL. Also, if you end up making your own give me a shoutout on Instagram @SexySucculents_ ! I’d love to see how YOUR pumpkins turn out!

     Now if you excuse me, I’m back to stuffing my face with pumpkin pie while listening to my Christmas music & watching cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies ;P 

Until next time,

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