Originally published September 12, 2012 and updated September 7, 2021.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I finished by curling the pipe cleaner around a pencil to give it a little character.
More Pumpkin Crafts
- Fabric Pumpkin Tutorial – the 90’s grunge version – Easy to make fabric pumpkin made from an upcycled flannel shirt.
- Easy DIY Fabric Pumpkin Tutorial – A simple tutorial for a charming pumpkin craft for beginning level sewing skills.
- Adorable Clay Craft – An easy clay craft for kids or adults with step-by-step photos to make a cute clay pumpkin craft.
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.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.