By Ruth Chandler
I always wanted a cute pumpkin to hand out candy to those adorable costumed kids but didn’t want the same old thing everyone else had. When I started using the skip blades from Havel’s I began to wonder if I could use them as a way to make a cover for a simple inexpensive basket or bucket and it worked!
- Bucket or basket to cover
- ½ yard Multi-Purpose Cloth
- Havel’s original or wide skip blade (for the original I used ½ in. ribbon and for the wide 5/8 in. ribbon)
- 10 yards inexpensive ribbon ( I used a sheer ribbon)
- Paint for Multi-Purpose Cloth (I used red and yellow and mixed it)
- Paint brush
- Copierpaper for pattern
- Table cover
- Size 18 chenille needle
- Scissors – Havel’s Scissors, of course!
- First of all you need to find the basket or bucket you want to cover. Now comes the only hard part, figuring the circumference of the top. My containers were all bigger at the top than the bottom so I only measured the top.
I had to google how to find the circumference since it has been a while since I have needed to figure circumference of anything, but it’s simple. Just measure the top of the container across the middle (diameter), mine was 9 in. multiply that number by pi which is 3.41. Since the pumpkin cover has 8 sections I added ¼ in. seam allowance for all sides. 16 sides x ¼ in. is 4 inches.
9 inch 9×3.14= 28.26 +4= 32.26 total rounded to 32.5in. 32.50 divided by 8 is 4.06 so I went with 4 inches for each section for the top
Next I needed to measure the height of the container. Mine was 8 in.I added an inch to the height so that the cover would come over the top of the container.
Painting the Multi-Purpose Cloth
Multi-Purpose Cloth (MPC) is a non-woven canvas. It can be painted, stamped, stenciled and stitched on easily. Just don’t try to press it while it is wet. I mixed red and yellow paint to create orange and deliberately did not mix it completely so that there would be streaks. I like the look of the two colors streaked on the orange, I felt it gave it more texture.
- Cover painting surface with paper or plastic
- In a plastic cup or container mix the paint with water 2 to 1
- Using a paint brush, paint the MPC
- Let dry, turn over and paint other side, dry
- Now it is ready to cut
Time to make a pattern
If you have ever looked at a pumpkin closely you can see the sections seem to curve out and taper at the top and bottom. It is easier to get a symmetrical pattern by working with folded paper and ½ the pattern.
- Cut paper the height of the container
- Fold paper in ½ height wise and again width wise.
- Using the section measurements form the calculations above, (4 in. for the 9 in.) divide this number in ½, ( 2 in.)
- Use this number to measure across the top and of the paper. Mark with pencil.
- For the fold measurement, double the top measurement. Mark with pencil.
- Using the marks start at the fold with the wider mark and cut a gentle curve to the top mark.
- Open up the paper and look at the pattern
- You may have to play with it to get the exact shape you want but always fold it back up to cut to keep the pattern symmetrical.
- Cut out 8 of the pattern pieces on the Multi-Purpose Cloth
- Using the skip blade, carefully cut along all edges of the pieces, taking extra care at the corners so as not to over-lap the cuts
Time to lace it all up
The skip blade has done all the work for you so all you have to do is lace up the sections using a whip stitch. A whip stitch starts on one side of the section and goes over the edge and back into the slits made by the skip blade. This will cover the edge of the section with ribbon. The needle will only be pushed through one side of the sections.
- Cut a length of ribbon about 1 yard long
- After the first section you lace you will be able to tell more accurately what length of ribbon you will need to cut for the remaining sections.
- Thread ribbon through the needle ( it is easier to thread the ribbon if the end is cut at an angle)
- Holding 2 sections together, begin lacing the ribbon through the slits made by the blade on the long edges but not the top and bottom.
- Leave a 3-4 in. “tail” of ribbon to weave into the stitching when you are finished
- At the end of the section slide the needle under the ribbon lacing and cut off excess.
- Re-thread the “tail” ribbon at the start and slide it under the lacing also. This will secure the ends without having to use a knot.
- Stitch 4 sections together, set aside, and stitch the other 4 sections together.
Now you will have 2 sections of 4 pieces each or 2 halves of the pumpkin. It is time to put it all together.
- Lace halfway up the two remaining sides of the sections, leaving the extra ribbon attached.
- Lace all the way around the bottom edge of the pumpkin cover.
- You may have to use several pieces of ribbon and just lace the ends into the lacing as you did the ends above.
- Slide the container into the pumpkin cover.
- Lace up the edges of the remaining sections.
- Lace around the top edges of the pumpkin cover
- When you get to the handles, lace around them to hold the cover in place
If you don’t want to use MPC and still want to make a pumpkin cover you could fuse two layers of craft felt together. The felt is a bit softer and therefore does not stand up as well. The blades work great on felt as well.
All done and ready to fill with candy or any number of fun things. Enjoy!