Easy Pumpkin Craft with Plastic Bottles

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Originally published September 12, 2012 and updated September 7, 2021.

Make this easy pumpkin craft for fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving. It’s adorable, fun to make for adults and kids and can be made in a variety of sizes.

3 crafted yarn pumpkins in different sizes on wood table with title text reading Easy pumpkin craft from a plastic bottle

I got the idea for this easy DIY pumpkin craft from the Creative Jewish mom. She used plastic bottles to make apple gift boxes. I still can’t get over how brilliant, adorable and earth-friendly the apple project is. I saw it in the fall, so of course my mind immediately turned it into a fall craft idea.

Easy Pumpkin Craft


Plastic bottles – I used 2-liter soda bottles, but any flexible plastic bottle will work

Orange Yarn – the amount you need is dependent on the size bottle you choose. Any type of yarn will work, so look for discount yarn unless you want to choose a more textured yarn.

Green felt – only a small piece is needed for the leaves

Green Pipe cleaner – You need one pipe cleaner per pumpkin

Small Stick or Dowel (optional) – if you want to add a stem to the pumpkin

Upcycled Halloween Pumpkin Decoration from repurposed soda bottle

Pumpkin Craft Tutorial Steps

I was able to make these 3 pumpkins with a half a skein of yarn, pipe cleaners and 1 piece of green felt with enough supplies left over to make more.  You could get 6 or more pumpkins from the skein of yarn and felt, depending on the size bottles you use. 

I created these 3 bottle pumpkins for under $5 in supplies and could have made several more.

Step 1

Carefully cut the top off of the plastic bottle. 

I cut the top 1/3 of the top off the 2-liter bottle. You can cut it any height  to create the size pumpkin you’d like. 

The 2nd bottle I tackled was a 2-liter one that I cut shorter to make a smaller pumpkin. 

The 3rd bottle was a smaller 1-liter size so it made an even smaller bottle. 

You can pick the size and the height of the pumpkin you want to make by the bottle you choose and how short you cut it.

plastic 2-liter bottle with top cut off

Step 2

Next I cut vertical strips about 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch wide down the bottle.  Create thinner strips for a narrow bottle and wider strips for a wider bottle.

Make sure you have an odd number of strips or you won’t be able to weave the yarn around.  Having the strips different widths makes it look more authentic so don’t worry about creating perfectly even strips, just make sure you end up with an odd number.

Step 3

Once you have the strips cut into the bottle, it’s time to weave the yarn. 

Simply weave in and out of the strips going around the bottle continuously (as you see around the bottom part of the bottle in the picture) until you reach just short of the final height you want your pumpkin.  It’s important that you’ve continued around and around the bottle weaving in one direction.

This portion will make up the body of the pumpkin.

When you think you’re near the height you want for your pumpkin, try folding down the strips to the center of the bottle. Check if you’re happy with the height and shape of the pumpkin.

At this time, you need to start weaving the yarn around 2 or 3 of the vertical strips.  Choose to wrap around 2 strips if they’re wider and choose 3 if they’re narrow.

Step 3

I used a hole punch to punch holes in the top of all the vertical strips.  This allowed me to tie off the yarn after each vertical section so that it wouldn’t unravel.

a blue arrow pointing to holes punched in the top of a plastic bottle with orange yarn wrapped around it

Step 4

After wrapping each set of vertical strips, I tied the yarn off on the inside of the bottle.  Be sure to trim the yarn tails so they won’t show at the bottom clear portion of the bottle.

showing where to tie off the orange yarn in a plastic bottle

Step 5

Once all the vertical strips were wrapped with yarn, I folded them down to the height and shape I wanted for the pumpkin.  This part will require a little fiddling to get it just right.  I used the pipe cleaner laced through the holes on the top of the strips to lace them together and hold them in place. 

On the 1-liter bottle, I just folded the strips down inside the bottle and they stayed in place so I didn’t have to lace them together.

showing strips of orange yarn folded down on a plastic bottle

Step 6

After I tied the strips down and the pumpkin formed into the shape I wanted, I drew some pumpkin leaves freehand on a piece of green felt. 

If you’d like to add a stem, add it to the center of the bottle and then add the leaves around the stem.

I chose to hand stitch the leaves to the top of the pumpkins.  You could easily use fabric glue or hot glue to attach the leaves. 

Step 7

I finished by curling the pipe cleaner around a pencil to give it a little character.

Upcycled Halloween Pumpkin Decoration from repurposed soda bottle

More Pumpkin Crafts

Be sure to pin this pumpkin craft using plastic bottles so you can find every autumn when you’re looking for pumpkin crafts to make.

You can see all our repurposed crafts in the table below. Scroll through the table and click on the fall craft ideas that interest you. Simply click on the link in the card that opened up.

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  1. So cute! I hope you will link up to my Wickedly Creative Halloween Ideas Party if you haven’t already.

  2. Hi, I love this pumpkin!! How original is this? Would love to have you link up to my PUMPKIN PARTY going on for the whole month.

  3. Brillliant and so glad you were inspired by my apples! Thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling Sunday!

  4. Cute! You should enter your photos from this project into Craftbaby’s DIY a Pumpkin Challenge! 🙂

  5. Hi found your post via Here Comes the Sun blog – I love to UP cycle, and your pumpkin and apples are too cute!! great idea.

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