The Best DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

The Best DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Lately, I’ve been super-picky about the household products we use in our family. Not only what you eat but what you put on your skin can have huge effects on your health for good or bad. What gets me is that there are so many toxins out there in everyday products that are not regulated and most people don’t even realize it. So today, we are going to put together the absolute best DIY essential oil travel roller.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

When you go on vacation with the kids, what are some of the basics? There’s the inevitable fall and scrape a knee, so you’ll need disinfectant and bandages. What else? If you’re on a lake or beach vacation you will probably need sunburn spray/cream to calm it when dad refuses to put on sunscreen or you miss a spot. In addition, you’ll need bug spray and bug bite relief. Do you know what I also love? A sleep aid to calm me (and the kids!) down after a big day and sleeping in a new place.

Also, if you’re camping, road tripping, or traveling by air long distances don’t you always carry a hand sanitizer and/or wipes to get rid of all those germs?

What’s in antibacterial wipes, anyway? Well, I’m glad you asked! “Fragrance” (possible carcinogen, possible allergic reactions), methylparaben, propylparaben (both hormone or endocrine disruptors), phenoxyethanol (The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens), and so many more!

I want to know what’s in my EVERYDAY use products and know they’re good for me and my family, don’t you? Wouldn’t you love to be able to make your own using essential oils and natural ingredients?

In a hurry?

Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

Essential oils experts: questions and answers

Lately, I’ve spent a ton of time researching the best natural remedies, but sometimes I do get frustrated when I’m looking up herbs and essential oil information. Have you noticed all the conflicting viewpoints on-line? I suppose that’s true with many subjects!

DIY Essential Oil travel roller recipe

Have you ever read that a certain essential oil is okay for internal use, only to turn around and read another article that says that same essential oil is “for external use only!”? Or what about which oils are okay during pregnancy or for babies? Also, it often comes up, which brands you can use and trust? It can all be really confusing and either make you want to pull out your hair or become your own expert! What if you could watch a panel of actual aromatherapy experts tackle all of these tough questions and more?

Maybe they won’t even agree on every single thing, but at least you’ll find out why they disagree, so you can make an educated choice for yourself. I know once I have the facts I’m FULL of opinions. 😉

Have you tried eating low carb?

I love this cauliflower mac and cheese bake!

Cauliflower mac and cheese bake, square piece

Best DIY essential oil travel roller bottle

Back to the indispensable travel roller! This super simple recipe is one I use and keep on me constantly, especially when traveling. My 5-year-old son has his own he puts on his scratches and boo-boos. In addition, it’s super calming so it helps him go to sleep at night without the toxic “fragrance” in so many kids’ calming night lotions.

The DIY essential oil travel roller contains only three ingredients, well I guess four if you count the 10 ml roller bottle. Lavender, tea tree oil, and fractionated coconut oil (or olive oil works too).


DIY essential oil travel roller, lavender

First of all, let me say lavender is one of my favorite scents in the world! It has so many properties it’s really one of the most versatile essential oils and therefore so very useful for travel when you’re trying to save space. Lavender can relieve nervous tension (calms), it’s a pain reliever, skin disinfectant, it enhances blood circulation, and can aid in respiratory problems.

Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil

DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Melaleuca is also known as tea tree oil and is truly another essential oil cure-all. It has so many helpful uses, you pair it with lavender and you can’t lose. Melaleuca is an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant, and a sudorific substance.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut oil is often used as a carrier, or to dilute essential oils. Don’t be fooled! It also has its own amazing qualities that make it a great choice for a roller. It can withstand light and high heat without going rancid. Also, it’s not greasy and lighter than regular coconut oil and has more of a cleansing effect on the skin. This is a fabulous base for skin care products and as a way to use your essential oils.

As I said, the recipe itself is super simple.

To make the DIY essential oil travel roller, take one 10 ml glass bottle with a roller topper and lid. Once it’s cleaned and sterilized put in 5 drops of lavender and 3 drops of melaleuca. Fill the bottle to the top with the fractionated coconut oil. Push the roller ball into place and screw on the lid. Shake it a bit, and it’s ready to conquer scrapes, bug bites, boo-boos, rashes, stress, insomnia, and more!

It’s also one of those things I can pull out to take action on a “boo-boo” of one of the kids, and just seeing it makes them calm down and feel better. Try it out for yourself when you travel with the family or just keep one in your purse at all times. I even rub it on my wrists sort of like a relaxing perfume. It has so many uses!

What products do you like to make yourself?

So yes, I admit it. Lately, you can find me nerding out drying out my Mother’s Day rose petals for a bath salts recipe, making my own hand sanitizer, and trying out different essential oils in my lip balm recipe. It’s so time for back to basics, and I’m excited to learn more and more because hey, it keeps my babies safer. Free from daily toxins rubbed into their skin and educated to make their own choices in the future.

DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Multi-purpose essential oil rub. Good for scrapes, bites, stress, you name it! Save room while you travel!
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: essential oils, travel
Servings: 12 people
Author: Lauren Gonikishvili


  • 10 ml roller ball bottle
  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 3 drops melaleuca oil (tea tree)
  • 2 teaspoons fractionated coconut oil or olive oil, fill bottle


  • To make the DIY essential oil travel roller, take one 10 ml glass bottle with a roller topper and lid. Once it’s cleaned and sterilized put in 5 drops of lavender and 3 drops of melaleuca. Fill the bottle to the top with the fractionated coconut oil. Push the roller ball into place and screw on the lid. Shake it a bit, and it’s ready to conquer scrapes, bug bites, boo-boos, rashes, stress, insomnia, and more!
Best DIY essential oil travel roller recipe

The Super-Easy, Best Paper Airplane Ever

The Super-Easy, Best Paper Airplane Ever

This post contains affiliate links. Best paper airplane ever

Lately, I’ve been focused on meal planning, new recipes, and getting ready for Christmas. All of the sudden it hit me, Christmas is at the beginning of winter break this year. That means we have almost two and a half weeks with no school AFTER Christmas. What are we going to do? How can I get the kids to be occupied, not kill each other, and not drive me insane for two and a half weeks?? Needless to say, much list-making and calendar planning ensued.

The brainstorm of planning showed me I have events and basic schedules. What I really need are simple, fun activities to interest the kids for a good length of time at home. Meaning, we need activities they can repeat and not get bored with.

This easy and best paper airplane plan and game is one such activity. My son (5 years old) rarely tires of it, although he can be found making paper airplanes at home, Grandma’s, and even at church (oops). We call this the Georgian airplane because it was the paper airplane my husband grew up making as a kid in Georgia (the country), and let me tell you it can fly!

Best paper airplane ever pin

Best Paper Airplane Ever

First, take out a letter-sized rectangle piece of paper. You can use color, white, or whatever you happen to have on hand. Fold it lengthwise in half to make a longer rectangle or what we call a “hot dog” shape.

Best paper airplane ever, hotdog

Second, open the “hotdog” back up and fold both top corners to meet at the middle line. You’ll make two triangles and a pointy tip.

Best paper airplane ever, top corners

Third, turn the paper over and fold the triangle backward to lay flat down on top of the larger rectangle.

Best paper airplane ever, big triangle

Then, with the triangle tip pointing down, take the top, left corner and fold it to the center line about an inch above the tip of the triangle. Do the same on the right side.

Best paper airplane ever, corners

After that, identify the point on the large triangle and fold it up as far as it will go without folding the sides you’ve just folded to the center.

Best paper airplane ever, small triangle

Then, pick up your airplane and fold it in half on the existing crease.

Best paper airplane ever center fold

From there, you’re going to make the wings. Fold the line of the top wing down to exactly meet the folded center line. Turn the airplane over and repeat on the other side.

Best paper airplane ever, wing fold

That’s it!! Lastly, go over all the folds with your fingernail to make them as crisp as possible. The airplanes fly so much better if they have well-creased folds. Then you are ready to fly!

Best paper airplane ever complete

Best paper airplane games

  1. A basic game of catch. Throw the paper airplane back and forth between two people.
  2. Point out targets around the house and make a sort of frisbee golf game using airplanes.
  3. Make your own target out of a piece of poster board with numbers. Set a number goal, and the first person to get that many points wins. Have the players take turns and each only throw one paper airplane at a time.
  4. Have the kids make a paper airplane hanger out of paper or blocks.
  5. 100 Airplanes game. This is a variation on the Japanese paper crane tradition, but I made this one up. Tell the kids they have to make 100 paper airplanes and give them away as gifts. If they make a present 100 airplanes to other people they will have good luck and spread joy.
  6. Paper airplane battle between two sideways card tables.
  7. Let the children be creative and make their own stories with the airplanes. Are you at an airport? Military base? What are the airplanes’ names?


Best paper airplane ever target game

Good luck!

This is such a fun, traditional activity, and keeps my son entertained for HOURS. Maybe not hours at a time, but a good 20 minutes here and there fairly often. Do you have some other simple activities for your kids so you can get a chore done or have a moment of peace? I love this kind of thing because they can do it themselves, and at the same time, it avoids screen time.

Leave me some comments below with other awesome, easy activities!!

Beat those winter blues!

Here some other fun things to do in winter.

7 Awesome Activities to beat the winter blues, feature

Free Printable French Valentine Cards

Free Printable French Valentine Cards

This page contains affiliate links. Printable French Valentine Cards

Hearts, flowers, red, and pink! Valentine time of year is just around the corner once again. The question is, will you be prepared? Are you like me and in search of a set of fun, different, and cheap (yes, I said it!) Valentines? Do you need something to pass around to kid school friends, family, your Zumba group, and make them smile? If that’s the case, you’re in luck because you can download your own FREE printable French Valentine cards below. French, because, why not? Does one need a reason to speak in French? Pas du tout! It’s different, fun, and the language of love!

Scroll down to download your own free printable French Valentine Cards.

or Pin it for later!

Printable French Valentine Cards pin

My favorite history of Valentine’s Day story

As far as I know, there are at least 3 different Valentines or Valentiniuses the holiday could be named after. My favorite legend of the holiday centers around a certain priest way back during the height of Roman power. At this point in history, Christians were being persecuted, thrown into prisons, beaten, tortured, and generally treated badly.

According to legend, Valentine helped many Christians escape the horrible prisons and was himself captured for his aid. As a result, our hero Valentine was thrown into one of these same prisons. Under the circumstances, a bit of luck, or the grace of God, favored our Valentine. In amongst the usual torture and abuse, the jailer’s daughter visited the good Valentine. Her visits brought Valentine a ray of light, and he soon fell in love with her.

Printable French Valentine cards book

Tragically, Valentine was sentenced to death, the pleas of the jailer’s daughter going unattended. Before his execution, our hero penned a love poem and letter to his love and signed it, “From Your Valentine”. This became the basis for Valentine’s Day letters and greetings throughout the Middle Ages and until this very day.

Printable French Valentine Cards, macarons

Printable French Valentine cards without candy

A little pet peeve I have about Valentine’s Day when it comes to kids’ Valentines, is that it’s EXPECTED to put candy with every single one! Kids are bribed with candy at school, at offices, at my own house, and just have way more sugar than is healthy. Therefore, I like to do something fun for holidays like Valentine’s Day and Halloween that does not contain sugar.

Individual Valentine card

First, get some simple cellophane bags from Target or another store (or order them on Amazon here). Then, print out your printable French Valentine cards on card stock. Place one card in each bag along with a small gift for Valentine’s Day. Last but not least, tie the top of the bag with a cute red ribbon, and you’re done!


Printable Valentine cards preview pin

Small charms or gifts to go in your Valentine bag:

Do you need some gift bags, Eiffel Tower charms, or maybe Eiffel Tower magnets?

Or who wouldn’t like to receive a squeezable heart stress ball, vintage style Paris bookmark, or heart erasers?

Challenge yourself to think outside the candy box and have fun with it! Do your kids’ friends like a certain game, toy, or love France? What would be fun for your family members and friends?

What do you get with your printable French Valentine cards?

Just in case you are not a native French speaker, I’ve included a vocabulary list with English translation. These are great for kids in French classes or anyone who has a love for all things French. Take a look below, and imagine yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower. Ah, Paris…

Printable French Valentine cards preview vocabulary

Printable French Valentine cards

In today’s culture, walk into a grocery store or really almost anywhere after Christmas. What will you see? You’ll be bombarded with red hearts, Hallmark cards, chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and more to buy the perfect gift for your special someone…and all your closest acquaintances. If you love it or not, why not make it fun for kids and friends alike? Give them a Valentine and a little lesson in that flowing language of love…French! C’est magnifique!

Do you have any other fun traditions for Valentine’s Day you do with your kids? Share them in the comments below!

Printable French Valentine Cards, Eiffel Tower

Do you need a simple Valentine craft?

Kids' Valentine craft feature

Kids’ DIY Christmas Tree Ornament

Kids’ DIY Christmas Tree Ornament

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Did you know according to the Guinness Book of World Records, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby is the all-time best-selling Christmas/holiday single in the United States? Not only that, but they report, it’s also the best-selling single of all time. Moreover, it has estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide. Why am I telling you this? Well, it snowed here a couple of days ago so I succumbed to the pleas of my daughter to play some Christmas music. There’s just something about the tones of Bing and “White Christmas” to put me in that joyful Christmas mood.

Before you know it we’ll all dive into Christmas baking, crafting, decorating, and spreading of holiday cheer. I can’t wait!

Christmas Craft Time

Okay, I admit, my kids and I started out a little early this year making some Christmas tree ornaments. I wanted a project using only items I already had around the house so I didn’t have to make a special trip to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby or somewhere (I tend to spend lots of money at such places). Therefore, somewhere in my brain came up with a memory of a craft I did long ago in Girl Scouts. A craft made with simple, everyday items, which come together to make a nice ornament for the Christmas tree.

Can I tell you a little secret? What else do I like this project? Well, it occupies the children for quite awhile as they choose their Christmas card picture, glue on their toothpicks, and add decorations and the finishing touches. A kids’ DIY Christmas tree ornament.

Yes, I’ll say it. Even with the help they’ll need, you’ll have at least 15 minutes of free time. Fifteen minutes can be a lot to get your own tasks done. Namely, you can wrap three presents, prep dinner, or sit and have a mug of tea. Think about those long 2 weeks (or more!) off of school and all the things you’ll need to occupy the kids. To be sure, this is a fun, easy to set up craft the kids will be proud to put on the tree. Doesn’t that sound fabulous?

So give it a go. It can’t hurt can it? Do you use those toothpicks up in the cabinet for anything but testing the doneness of cakes? Therefore, make an awesome kids’ DIY Christmas tree ornament today!

Or you can always Pin it for later here.

Kids’ DIY Christmas Tree Ornament

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament pin

First, gather your supplies. You’ll need:

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament supplies

Second, select the Christmas card and portion of it you would like to frame with toothpicks for the ornament. I suggest using a plastic plate to keep all the supplies from rolling away or hit by little elbows onto the floor. Then place one layer of toothpicks crossing each other around the portion of the card you wish to frame. You can use the little house shape I use on the cardinal ornament, a simple square, a star, or whatever your creative minds think up. Just be sure the toothpicks cross so you can glue them together.

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament card

Third, trace and cut out the shape from the Christmas card. I usually test the toothpicks at this point to make sure they fit where they’re supposed to. Trim the cutout as needed.

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament, card cutout

Toothpick Christmas craft time!

Fourth, start gluing your toothpicks. For the first, layer I glue the entire toothpick to anchor the toothpicks to the card piece. One at a time glue them all the way around your shape. This takes some patience, but if they’re interested, kids get the hang of it pretty quickly.

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament toothpicks start

For the last toothpick in the first layer, put a dot of glue on each toothpick it crosses and place the toothpick. As much as I’d like to use a glue stick for this project, we tried, but they just wouldn’t hold together. Regular or school glue is better for the craft, and be assured, it will drip. If you have a perfectionist like my daughter reassure them it’s fine. It happens. It will dry clear.

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament toothpicks 1

Next, go around the shape adding a second layer of toothpicks. These next steps can take some patience and time, but kids get incredibly excited when it’s finished and set to dry. Again, it may not be perfect or get knocked over. Don’t be discouraged! You can always piece it back together again!

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament, glue bottle

Slow and steady

Continue to add rows of toothpicks to your desired height for the frame. Personally, I like to do five layers of toothpicks, but it’s up to you and your creative kids. When the frame is built up, leave it to dry overnight or for several hours.

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament closeup finished toothpicks

Then, cut a piece of yarn or ribbon about 8-10 inches long to make the tree hanger.

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament yarn

Thread it through the toothpick layers near the base (card).

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament, yarn threaded

After that’s complete you can tie the hanger and decorate! We used what we had in the house so there’s quite a mix of things. Together with glitter and bells, we used small colored puffballs, greenery from the tree outside, and more. Be creative! Use whatever you have or make that trip to the store and get some fun sparkly decorations. There you have it! An awesome kids’ DIY Christmas tree ornament.

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornaments

A challenge for you

As a kid, I remember simple projects like this and just loving them. It was part of the holiday season to make and bake and give things away. Every year a group a group from our church would go sing Christmas carols for local nursing and retirement homes. We always brought gifts to share with the residents, and handmade ornaments like this were always well-received.

I challenge you. Try out this kids’ DIY Christmas tree ornament and make a few extras to give away. Furthermore, take them to a neighbor, a retirement home, or a friend and let the kids experience the joy of giving their time and a hand-made gift to someone who truly appreciates it. And listen to some Bing Crosby while you’re at it.

Happy Christmas crafting!

Pin it to save for later here!

Kids' DIY Christmas Tree Ornament. Need an easy and fun Christmas craft for school or scouts? Recycling Christmas cards has never been funner! #diychristmasornament #christmascrafts




Need more awesome activities for kids?

7 Awesome Activities to beat the winter blues, feature

Kids’ Thanksgiving Journal: How To Make Kids Thankful

Kids’ Thanksgiving Journal: How To Make Kids Thankful

This page contains affiliate links. Kids’ Thanksgiving journal

We’ve all been there, or have seen it, or heard about it. You break down and buy the really expensive toy the toddler saw at the store, and they love it! That is, they love it for a week, then it sits in the toy box or the closet. What happens then? Yes, you got it! The child begs for more every time you go to ANY store with them and throws a gigantic tantrum if they don’t get it.

I’d like to think that goes away as they get older, but how do you teach kids to be thankful for what they have? If they don’t learn to be thankful, how will that affect them in the future as teenagers and adults? It’s pretty scary when you stop to think about it.

I’m going through the same issues with my kids and put together a list of ways to make kids more thankful. This is a work in progress, and I’ve found some things are great for my son and not my daughter. Consequently, I’ve come up with this printable Thanksgiving journal as a prompt and tool to help get my kids thinking about why we’re thankful.

How to help our kids to be thankful

Kids' Thanksgiving Journal pin

Kids’ Thanksgiving Journal

Click here to pin it to your Thanksgiving or Kids’ Activity boards for later!

In the spirit of the season, a kids’ Thanksgiving journal is a great way to help your elementary and even middle school students. Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and rather than focus on giving thanks only that day, build up to it with a kids’ thankful journal. Now, you can make one on your own with a regular notebook or blank journal. In the days before Thanksgiving, have the child write about different things they are thankful for and why. Also, they can draw a picture to go along with each day if they wish.

I don’t know about you, but my kids generally need more direction to help generate ideas and really dig deep and think about it. Therefore, I came up with this printable Thanksgiving journal you can download below. In it, I have a page for every letter of the alphabet. First of all, they have to think about something/someone they are thankful for that begins with the letter of the page. Then there’s a space to draw a picture and some prompts to help them think a bit more deeply.


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Kids’ Thanksgiving Journal Prompts

First off is the basic:

Tell me about something you’re thankful for beginning with the letter A. Why are you thankful for it/him/her?

Second, we dig a little more into the people involved:

Who is it or who gave it to you? Did they have to give up anything of their own to make you happy?

Third, is the action step:

How can you show them you are thankful?

My plan for Thanksgiving

I plan to give my kids a page to do every day leading up to Thanksgiving. However, you could do it all at once or a few every day, whatever’s best for the kids in your life! Then, on Thanksgiving, they will have the journal to share or as a resource when they’re asked the inevitable question, “What are you thankful for?”

Sign up for the Explorer Momma newsletter and tips and as a bonus get your kids’ Thanksgiving journal

Kids' Thanksgiving journal with msg

There are many other ways to encourage your kids to be thankful:

  1. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry.
  2. Buy fewer rather than more toys.
  3. Make sure you are using “please” and “thank you” to model good manners.
  4. Stick to a weekly chore chart or list. Have the kids help around the house daily.
  5. Always give part of the weekly allowance or “commission” to church or to a charity.
  6. Make presents and cards for others for special occasions. (They love this one)

I hope you try out a kids’ Thanksgiving journal this year if you have elementary or middle school-aged kids. Not only is it a good writing exercise, but it might get them to think a bit too. If you do complete it, please let me know how it goes for you!

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

As I said, this is a list in progress for me. Do let me know if you have an easy way to help teach kids to be thankful, and I’ll add it to my list to try with my own kids. I hope we are all thankful for the many blessings we’ve been given. From thankfulness comes so many other virtues. It’s not always easy, and I know I often have to stop and think about my motivations, but we must always keep trying.

Give Thanks

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kids' Thanksgiving Journal pin2

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor for Fall

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor for Fall

 This page contains affiliate links. Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor 

It’s fall! Are you ready to make an easy DIY pumpkin, or maybe 10, out of velvet or satin to decorate your space? I know I am! We’ve been pulling out the fall decorations and scents and are ready to celebrate the season!

The leaves are turning yellow, red, orange, and gold. There’s finally a chill in the air, I’m listening to a lot of Loreena McKennitt music, and Grandpa’s giving the kids giant warty pumpkins and Indian corn to decorate our front porch. Let me say it again, it’s fall!! Autumn is easily my favorite season, and I LOVE pulling out the scarves, earth tone sweaters, and pumpkin spice soaps and candles.

The Velvet Pumpkin – Super Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor

It’s also that time of year when the catalogs start pouring in from the mailbox, and I’ll admit I look forward to seeing all those fall colors and holiday preparation guides. There’s one catalog, in particular, I read from cover to cover and look forward to receiving multiple versions of every fall. This year I prepared my mug of tea and snuggled in on the couch after the kids had gone to bed to enjoy my catalog (it’s the little things). One item that jumped out at me was a beautiful burnt orange velvet pumpkin, and of course, that voice in my head said, “Oh! I would love several of those to put around the fireplace in the living room!”

Then I looked down at the dollar mark, and the sensible voice from the other side of my mind countered with, “That’s silly. You could easily make those for a quarter of the price!” The next day, I shared this idea with my 8-year-old daughter who thought it was a fabulous plan, and we got to work! So here we go, easy DIY pumpkin decor…

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor pin

Make your easy DIY pumpkin decor with me today!

1. To begin, gather your craft supplies together

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor in grass

You know you’re going to be at a craft, fabric store, or even Wal-mart to get costumes ready. Pick up a couple things for yourself while you get everything ready for the kids.

2. Cut out a circle of fabric

After you have your supplies set out the fabric you’ve chosen for your first pumpkin. I tried several, and if you can get some burnt orange velvet or velveteen, you’ll get sort of a vintage look. Other fabrics work great too, such as satin or simple cotton.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - tape measure

Fold your fabric in half so you only have to cut out a half circle. Then take your tape measure and mark a 9-inch radius. Basically, you’ll have 9 inches from the center of your circle all around. In order to do this, I placed my tape measure at the folded edge and used a Sharpie to mark 9 inches all the way around the half circle. For a smaller pumpkin try 7 inches or for a larger just increase to 12 inches or whatever you like.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - cutting the circle

Once your pattern is marked, cut out your circle and unfold it.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - circle

2. Gather and sew your pumpkin

Now, take your needle and thread it with a thread at least a similar color to the fabric. Then knot the end of the thread and begin to sew about half an inch from the edge of your circle. Weave the needle back and forth to make half-inch stitches.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - sewing to begin

Don’t forget to tighten the stitches so it gathers the fabric as you stitch around the entire circle of fabric.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - scrunched on the needle

You’ll see it start to look like the picture below, sort of a hat or little purse shape. As you finish going around, leave the last several inches loose so you have a big enough hole to fill your pumpkin with filling or newspaper.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - unstuffed pumpkin

3. Stuff your pumpkin

While I don’t get a physical newspaper anymore, my parents get one daily. If you have any sitting around, this is a great way to reuse them! For a 9-inch radius pumpkin, I used 5 double sheets of newspaper wadded up and stuffed them into the empty pumpkin velvet skin. Use more or less to your preference, but shape it as you go. If you prefer, you can use the poly or pillow stuffing from your local craft store (or here on Amazon if you want – Poly-Fil Fibre Fill).

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - stuffing the pumpkin

Next, tighten the stitches and knot and finish off your thread so it looks like the picture below. In the center, you should have the perfect small hole for the stem to fit into.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - no stem

4. Cut out the stem

Once the pumpkin shape and fabric is secure, take your stem fabric and cut out a right triangle (a triangle with one 90-degree angle) or as close as you can get. It definitely doesn’t have to be perfect as you can see from my example below! I used about a 5 by 10-inch right triangle.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - stem triangle

5. Make the pumpkin stem

When the triangle is cut out, begin from the wide end. Roll it up tightly so it spirals up and the stem is thick at the bottom and becomes thinner the taller it gets.

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor - rolling up the stem

6. Attach the stem to your easy DIY pumpkin decor

You’re almost done! Again, thread your needle folding the thread in half to make it double strength. Next, tuck the edges of the velvet pumpkin fabric inside. Then sew from the stem to the velvet pumpkin fabric about half an inch from the edge. The extra half inch is what’s pushed down inside the pumpkin to make a clean edge. Sew all around the stem, from the stem to the velvet each time, to secure the stem. If the pumpkin will be used and thrown around by kids you may want to sew around the stem twice!

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor sew stem to pumpkin

7. Finish the pumpkin stem

From here on the finishing touches are up to you! If you like the stem as it is, leave it that way. I trimmed mine down and sewed the tip closed on this pumpkin, as you can see in the picture. Also, I bought some ribbons to attach around the stem but then decided I preferred the plain and simple. Play around with it, be creative, but have fun!!

Easy DIY Pumpkin decor, sewing the stem

Easy DIY Pumpkin Decor pin2

Enjoy the season!

Do you love fall as much as I do? Then I really hope you try this project out and have fun with it. It is pretty easy for a sewing project, and even my 8-year-old daughter was able to do almost the entire thing herself. You don’t even need a sewing machine! She did need a little help sewing the stem to the pumpkin, but that was it! You know, they also make great gifts. My son took one (very proudly) to his preschool teacher, and said maybe she’d like to put it on her desk. She loved it, and it made his day.

While you’re in the fall spirit, light those pumpkin spice candles, plan a fall hike in the mountains, find a new book, buy some new hot teas, and pull out your favorite sweater. Well, at least that’s what I plan to do!


What other fall traditions do you and your family have?

One of my favorite places in the world in fall is Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park Restaurants feature

Craft supplies for easy DIY pumpkin decor:


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