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I Made Those Toilet Paper Pumpkins From Pinterest

A toilet paper roll is transformed into a pumpkin using fabric.
Shea Simmons

Let’s be honest, DIY decorations aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Most of the time, whenever I attempt them, they end up looking like something off of Nailed It. But I’ve found one easy, affordable fall DIY decoration that’s worth trying.

Tracking down where this internet craft came from is a bit difficult. There’s a multitude of iterations on Pinterest, and when you search DIY toilet paper pumpkins on Google, even more results appear. But the one thing all of them have in common is the claim that this craft is easy. And I need easy.

When it comes to crafting and anything DIY, I’m basically a walking, talking hot glue gun burn. Nearly every craft I attempt turns out looking like some sad, lopsided attempt by a fourth-grader. That’s why this Pinterest-popular DIY caught my eye. There’s zero gluing, stitching, or painting involved, and yes, even I ended up with some seriously adorable results.

If you want an easy (and affordable) fall DIY, these toilet paper pumpkins are for you.

Gather Your Materials

Photos show two cloth pumpkins next to a regular roll of toilet paper, orange fabric, a cinnamon stick, and ribbon.
Shea Simmons

First, you need to get your materials. How much you need will depend on how many pumpkins you want to make. I chose a mix of fabrics in orange, black and white plaid, and black and white flannel. While you can choose a ribbon that coordinates with your fabric, I stuck with classic green.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Toilet paper rolls: Want to make 20 pumpkins? You’ll need 20 rolls of toilet paper.

Charmin Ultra Strong Clean Touch Toilet Paper

You can use any toilet paper brand, but mega-rolls offer more width for larger pumpkins.

Fabric squares: Choose any pattern you like. Again, you’ll need the number of squares equal to the number of pumpkins you want to make.

6 Pieces Thanksgiving Fabric Bundles 18 x 20 Inch

This festive, fall-centric pattern and colorway will give your pumpkins an even more seasonal look.

Cinnamon sticks: Some instructions call for using twigs from your yard to create the pumpkin’s stems, but these work just as well.

Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks

These make lovely-smelling pumpkin stems.

Grosgrain ribbon: This has more flexibility and bend than other types of ribbon and allows you to tie the perfect leaves.

YAMA 5/8 inch Solid Grosgrain Ribbon Roll

High-quality grosgrain ribbon is durable, flexible, and pretty.

A pencil: Don’t worry—you don’t have to draw anything. But you will need some help tucking the fabric while making your pumpkins.

TICONDEROGA Pencils

Pencils make perfect fabric-tuckers.

Create the Shape

A roll of toilet paper is unrolled then rolled back up around the center.
Shea Simmons

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to make the shape for your pumpkin. Technically, you could just use the toilet paper rolls as they come, but the result looks more like a real pumpkin when you use the paper to create a more rounded shape.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Unroll the toilet paper eight to 10 times without tearing it loose.
  2. Start twisting the loose paper into a spiral.
  3. Rewrap the paper around the center of the roll to create a fuller, more rounded shape.
  4. When you reach the end of the paper, tuck the edge into the rerolled section to secure it.

Add the Fabric

Fabric is wrapped around a roll of toilet paper.
Shea Simmons

Now that you’ve created your shape, it’s time to transform the paper with fabric. Follow these steps:

  1. Unfold a fabric square and lay it out on a flat surface and place your newly shaped toilet paper roll in the center.
  2. Grab one of the corners, pinch the excess fabric together, and then, using your pencil, if necessary, tuck it into the hole at the top of the roll.
  3. Repeat step 2 on all four corners.
  4. After everything is tucked inside, pull and separate the fabric to form the perfect shape.

Create the Stem

A cinnamon stick is inserted into a toilet paper roll.
Shea Simmons

Once you’ve got the base of your pumpkin done, it’s time to create the stem. Follow these steps:

  1. Insert two cinnamon sticks into the top of the fabric-stuffed toilet paper roll. (Depending on how full the roll is, you might only need one.)
  2. Next, cut a piece of ribbon that’s roughly nine inches long.
  3. Wrap the ribbon around the cinnamon stick, and then tie a knot so the leftover pieces look like leaves.

Decorate

Two pumpkins made of toilet paper sit on a shelf next to an owl and cat figurine.
Shea Smmons

After you create all of the pumpkins you need, it’s time for the fun part: decorating. Many people online purchase wooden bases to sit their pumpkins, while others use faux grass or leaves as accents.

Sure, some DIYs end up being major fails, but this craft is basically foolproof. I should know, given my aforementioned ability to make almost any project look like a mutant. That’s why these cute pumpkins, which require zero glue, sewing skills, or paint, are the perfect fall activity for novice crafters or kiddos.


This is just one option for creating an autumn vibe in your home. When it comes to crafting pumpkins, the internet is full of ideas! They might not all be as easy, or turn out as well as these toilet paper gourds, but most of the fun is in the trying, right?

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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