How To Make a Grunged Primitive Stuffed Magickal Pumpkin — Priscilla/Priscella! by Silver RavenWolf
Meet Priscilla/Priscella — the Sassy Primitive Pumpkin –– perfect for Halloween/Samhain decor! Easy to stich! Simple to paint! Pattern included in this article.
Copyright Notice: Primitive Stuffed Pumpkin and instructions are the design of Silver RavenWolf. Neither the design nor the instructions can be sold in any form (hardcopy or digital) without the author’s permission. Home crafters are free to make the finished project and sell it; however, mass production rights remain with the author.
Sewing supplies for Priscilla the Pumpkin.
Supplies: To make Priscilla/Priscella you will need —
1 yard of muslin a neutral color thread (such as beige or ecru) straight pins (to hold material while sewing) pencil (to trace pattern on muslin) sewing machine (or you can hand stitch) a selection of acrylic paints in several shades of orange and one golden yellow for pumpkin, two browns (raw sienna and burnt umber), and one green (olive works well), white and black (for eyes) paint brushes Grunge Mix (see ingredients in article) — which includes spices, tinfoil, and a cookie sheet Scissors Pinking Shears Paper (to print pattern from this blog) One 16 ounce bag of poly fil stuffing (or stuffing of your choice) Oven (if you plan to grunge your pumpkin) — 185 degrees for 20 minutes (check at 10 minute intervals)
Step One: Print off the Patterns Below — you can use regular paper or cardstock. Notice that I put some instructions directly on the patterns. These instructions are covered again in the pictorials for your convenience.
Left side of pumpkin pattern.
Right side of pumpkin pattern.
Stem pattern for primitive pumpkin.
Pattern for eyes, nose and mouth for your primitive pumpkin. Please note that you can adjust the pattern to fit your pumpkin face. Perhaps you would like the eyes and mouth to be smaller.
Step Two: Tape the two sides of the pumpkin pattern together.
Step Three: Cut out taped pumpkin pattern, stem and pumpkin face pieces. Set face pieces aside until you are ready to use them.
Step Four: Fold your muslin in half so that you have a double thickness of material. Trace around the edges of your pattern with a pencil directly on the muslin. Don’t forget to add the marks at the top of the pumpkin so that you know where to start and stop stitching. This open space will be where you insert the stuffing, and where the stem will be attached. Once you have traced the pumpkin, follow the same procedure for the stem.
Step Five: Pin interior of pumpkin and stem so that the two pieces of cloth won’t move as you are cutting. Leave in pins to secure while sewing. With sharp scissors, cut around your traced line, leaving at least 1/2 inch of material all the way around pumpkin and stem.
You will have two pumpkin pieces (the front and the back) and two stem pieces (the front and the back).
Step Six: Sew pumpkin pieces (front and back) together, leaving the opening free for stuffing. Do the same for the stem. I always double stitch the seams when making primitives and dolls to prevent tearing while stuffing. This means that you sew the seam once, then sew it again, following your original stitching. I realize this takes about five more minutes of your time; but, it is well worth it! There is nothing more disheartening when you are stuffing a primitive and the muslin tears at a seam or you punch a hole in the seam because you shoved too hard with a pencil or hemostat. As a side note: I use forceps (called a hemostat) to stuff all of my primitives.
Step Seven: Trim seams within 1/8th of an inch using the pinking shears. This helps to keep the pumpkin from puckering while stuffing, allowing the fabric to stretch and give. You can also clip curves (small cuts 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart) to ensure smoother sides of the pumpkin. Just be careful that you don’t cut your stitching as that would weaken the seam and cause a tear while stuffing. On the picture please see the black arrow — don’t trim the area over the opening — leave as is — this makes the seam easier to hand sew. If you cut too close, the edges will tend to pop up from the strain of the stuffing. Having a nice-sized lip allows for a neat fold and easy hand sewing to close.
Step Eight: Turn pumpkin and stem right side out. Stuff with poly fill (or your choice of stuffing). The trick to a great primitive? Little bits. I use the hemostat to push the stuffing into the corners first, and then continue to build the stuffing. I periodically pack down the stuffing as I work. I realize this takes a lot longer than you would like; but, it truly does render a wonderful finished product!
Step Nine: Make sure that pumpkin is packed tight! Hand stitch to close stem piece. Test stem by inserting it into pumpkin — stuffing of pumpkin should come right up to stem (you don’t want a gap in stuffing — you’ll notice it when you are painting) — so make that stuffing good and tight!
With needle and thread, stitch the stem closed. Stem should fit nicely into top of pumpkin.
Close up of a Braucherei charm that could be placed inside of pumpkin.
Step Ten: Time to Add the Charm. Yup, you read that right. Whether it is a prayer on a piece of paper, herbs that you feel will bring love or good fortune, or your favorite sigil — now is the time to make that charm and secure it inside the pumpkin. Traditionally, here in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, such mystic packets inside of sewn items were common. It was the seamstress’ way of protecting his or her family and friends. As the fabric worker stitched and stuffed, he or she would also intone chants (Whisper Magick — Braucherei), to wish good fortune, wealth, and wellness into the project.
This paper charm incorporates Good Luck, Assistance from the Ancestors and positive transformation using runes, sigils, and a specially blended dried herbal mix.
Mystic Packets were made out of cloth or brown paper, folded toward the seamstress or tailor to bring energy, or folded away from seamstress or tailor to push negativity away. Packets were tied with red or black thread.
Step Eleven: After placing charm in pumpkin, insert stem. Hand stitch pumpkin closed.