crochet pumpkin surrounded by different craft materials
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17 Unique Stems for Crochet & DIY Pumpkins

Whenever fall approaches, most of us start thinking about pumpkins. And if you’re crafty like me, you’re probably thinking of a fun new spin on some DIY fall decor. I love to crochet, so I’m always brainstorming a new crochet pumpkin to make each year. One thing that makes handmade pumpkins look complete is a great “stem”. Today I’m going to be showing you ten creative ways to add a stem to your homemade pumpkin crafts.

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How Do You Attach a Faux Pumpkin Stem?

There are three common ways to attach a pumpkin stem to a handmade fabric or crochet pumpkin. First, you can place the stem material in inside of the pumpkin before you close the top and cinch the yarn or thread tightly around the stem to finish. Second, you can crochet or sew the stem directly onto the pumpkin if it is made of fabric or yarn. Finally, you can hot glue the stem into place after your pumpkin is finished.

The technique that you use for attaching your pumpkin stem will vary depending on what type of material you opt to use. And depending on the stem you choose, there may

Finding the Perfect Stem

The stem you choose for your pumpkin will likely vary based on a few factors…size, material, and personal style.

The size of your finished pumpkin will help you choose your stem. For example, a giant dried pumpkin stem might look odd on a tiny pumpkin, while small cinnamon stick might look out of place on an oversized pumpkin. Keep proportions in mind when make your stem pick.

The material your pumpkin is made from might also influence your stem choice. If you’re opting for a more luxurious fabric like velvet or chenille, you might opt for something that won’t risk snags like a twig might.

Personal style and preference will likely be the biggest factor in choosing your pumpkin stem of choice. If your style is more rustic and natural, you might find yourself staying in the sticks and stems genre. If your style is more modern, you might find leather as an appealing option. Ultimately, you want your finished pumpkin to match your decor style, so the stem can make a big difference on the impact of the finished piece.

group of various colored and sized crochet pumpkins with different types of stems

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Fallen Branches or Twigs

fold and cream crochet pumpkins with twig stems on wood background
Pattern: Great Star Pumpkin by Crafting for Weeks

Need an easy, free way to finish off that handmade pumpkin? Well your answer might just be in your front yard. One of the most popular ways to add a stem (and one of my personal favorites!) is to pick up dried branches and twigs that have fallen from the trees. Note: You can also cut your branches fresh, but they’ll need time to dry before you use them.

If you don’t have a tree to harvest sticks from, you can actually buy them in bulk on Amazon! Search for Craft Twigs and you’ll find lots of different shapes and sizes to choose from. Many craft stores carry these as well.

How to Attach: Add your stick to the center of pumpkin before closing. Use some hot glue for extra secure placement.

You can find the free pattern for the Great Star Pumpkin right here at Crafting for Weeks.

Wooden Dowels

If you like the look of a wooden stick but want something a but less rustic, try a wooden dowel for a stem. Dowels are tidy and uniform and easy to customize with paint or wood stain. You can save a little money by purchasing wood dowels and cutting them down yourself or purchase them precut to whatever size you need. Decide what size works for your pumpkin and search for Wood Dowels on Amazon or check your local craft or hardware store.

How to Attach: Add your dowel to the center of pumpkin before closing. Use some hot glue for extra secure placement.

You can find the free crochet pattern for the Easy Ribbed Pumpkin at Sierra’s Crafty Creations!

Cinnamon Sticks

Another very popular option for faux pumpkin stems is cinnamon sticks. These are a fun option for adding a bit of a fall scent while having a clean uniform finish. The cost of cinnamon sticks is going to be a tad higher than craft sticks or dowels, so keep that in mind.

How to Attach: Add your cinnamon to the center of pumpkin before closing. Use some hot glue for extra secure placement.

Want to try making your own dreamy fall pumpkin? The Polly Pumpkin pattern from The Loophole Fox is perfect to trying out the cinnamon stick stem.

Real Pumpkin Stems

This might seem like an obvious one, but did you know that you can put real pumpkin stems on your handmade pumpkins?! Save a stem from baking those pumpkin pies or stockpile the stems when your jack-o-lanterns call it quits. Put the word out to friends and family to save their stems and you’ll have quit the collection by the end of fall. Once they’re dried, real pumpkin stems are the perfect topper for your handmade pumpkins. Use a little bit of hot glue to attach them in place and you’ll have a ultra-realistic handmade pumpkin to share this season.

How to Attach: Finish your pumpkin as needed. Use hot glue to add dried pumpkin stem to top of finished piece.

Need a pattern to try out those pumpkin stems on? Check out this velvet beauty from Zamiguz Handmade Creations!

Plastic Pumpkin Stems

Did you know that you can actually buy plastic pumpkin stems? They’re made for styrofoam pumpkins and have a small prong feature. But they’re perfect for gripping yarn as well. I found these on Amazon and tried one out in my own pumpkin, so you could get an idea of how they look in a crochet piece. You can search Plastic Pumpkin Stems on Amazon or check your local craft store during fall.

How to Attach: Add your plastic to the center of pumpkin before closing. Use some hot glue for extra secure placement. Note: I also had success with inserting these into already closed pumpkins with a little bit of effort.

Crochet Stems

This might seem obvious if you’re working on a crochet pumpkin, but you can actually just crochet a stem for your pumpkins. Depending on the designer, many crochet patterns have this step written in. However, if the pattern you like doesn’t have a crocheted stem, you can always learn the skill or technique from one that does and apply to one that doesn’t.

How to Attach: Crochet stems can be made separately and sewn onto the pumpkin or made in one piece with the pumpkin. Attachment method varies based on the pattern.

There’s a lot of different takes on crocheted pumpkin stems, but I love this simple one from Made by Gootie. You can find the entire free pattern on her blog.

Crochet Coaster Stems

And while we’re on the topic of crocheting your pumpkin stems, I just had to include this interesting option for crochet stems. Each of these curly-q stem pieces is actually a drink coaster! So while the coaster are not being used for drinks, they’re acting as the stuffing and stem for your pumpkin! So creative!

How to Attach: Crochet your coaster leaves separately and tuck coaster end into finished pumpkin when not in use.

You can find the free crochet pattern for these over at Briana K Designs!

Rolled Felt Stems

One simple way to get the look on a cinnamon stick stem without actually using cinnamon is to try rolled felt. Felt is fairly inexpensive and very easy to maneuver. With a bit of hot glue, you can have a stem of nearly any length you want in just a few minutes.

How to Attach: Add your rolled to the center of pumpkin before closing and used hot glue to secure. Or close pumpkin first and hot glue to top after finished.

Krissy from Krissy’s Over the Mountain Crochet has a quick and easy tutorial for making rolled felt stems.

I-Cord Stem

I-Cord Stems are another way to crochet a quick stem. Or if you prefer knitting, you can actually knit an I-Cord as well! To make an i-cord stem, you simply crochet (or knit) an i-cord with a coordinating yarn or rope. You can keep it simple with a matching yarn weight, or try some large cotton rope or jute for a more exaggerated look like the faux fur pumpkin above. For help with crocheting an i-cord, check out this tutorial.

How to Attach: Add your finished I-Cord to the center of pumpkin before closing and use hot glue to secure. Or close pumpkin first and hot glue to top after finished.

Wanna make this luscious faux fur pumpkin? Check out my free Fable Pumpkin Crochet Pattern.

Ribbon Tabs

Stems don’t have to be complicated. One of the easiest stem options that I’ve tried to date is probably a ribbon stem. All you need is about 3″ of ribbon folded in half to make a small loop. You can sew it, glue it, or even just use a straight pin to hold it in place if you’re prone to changing your mind like me. You can even swap that ribbon or any sort of fabric. Can I just add that burlap is an adorable, rustic choice for this style?

How to Attach: Finish and close your pumpkin. Fold a small strip of ribbon or fabric in half to form loop and sew or glue it to top of your pumpkin.

Wine Corks

stack of brightly colored crochet pumpkins with cork stems and twine string tied around them
Photo Courtesy of Tina Kott

Do you save your wine corks just in case you stumble across the perfect “wine cork craft” to try out? Well look no further! Those wine corks make perfect pumpkin stems! Pour yourself a glass and stick that cork in your pumpkin.

How to Attach: Add your cork to the center of pumpkin before closing and use hot glue to secure.


Buttons are another great option for unique stems! Not only is this something you probably have around your house, but it also leaves plenty of room for creativity with fun and unusual buttons. Use one big one or stack up a few smaller ones. The possibilities are as endless as the button selection at your craft store.

Or you can get custom buttons like the one’s shown above from Kathy’s Kozies. She cuts and etches all her own buttons, so you can definitely find something unique there. She has one of my favorite shops for pumpkin finishing (…did you notice the faux leather leaves?!). If you want to shop stackable buttons, check out her Etsy shop below.

How to Attach: Finish and close your pumpkin. Sew your button or stack of buttons on top to finish.

Silk Stems

I recently found this really unique tutorial for pumpkin stems that incorporates silk! This is such a fun technique for those pumpkins that are just asking for a luxurious finish. One great thing about this method is that you could use basically any rope, cord, or even garland to make this one.

Find the easy tutorial over at Spin a Yarn Crochet.

Leather/Cork Tabs

multi color crochet pumpkin with brown faux leather stem next to multi color faux leather stems
Product: Skinny Wavy Pumpkin Stem Tags from Kathy’s Kozies

Looking for a more modern looking stem for your pumpkin? Leather might just be it! I love the clean simplicity of a leather tab for a stem. I like to buy leather scraps in bulk from my local craft store. There’s always a variety of colors and textures in the mix and it’s just a few dollars because they’re all off-cuts and leftovers. A little measuring and few hole punches will have you ready to go in just a few minutes.

Or you can just buy your tabs precut and ready to go! I know I mentioned before that Kathy’s Kozies is one of my favorites for pumpkin accessories. She’s got several styles of precut tabs in various colors in her Etsy shop. Check out all her Pumpkin Accessories below.

How to Attach: Finish and close pumpkin. Fold tab in half and stitch to top of your pumpkin.


Beads, beads, beads! I love a unique take on a classic and Dana’s idea for adding beads as a stem in her Boho Pumpkin pattern is just plain stunning. Just like buttons, you could really get crazy with unusual beads for your pumpkin stems. Or keep it simple with some classic wood beads.

How to Attach: Finish and close your pumpkin. Loop a pipe cleaner through the top of pumpkin and string your beads on the two ends of the pipe cleaner. Use a dab of glue to secure beads.

Wanna make this fabulous pumpkin? Check out the free pattern from Day’s Crochet and Knit.

Rope/Braided Twine

I’d be remiss if I didn’t add rope and twine to this list of pumpkin stem ideas. This is such a simple option, with such a cute and rustic finish. You can find decorative rope or twine at most Dollar Stores or craft stores. If you can’t find something thick enough to stand on it’s own, just braid it! This is definitely a time and cost friendly choice to pumpkin stems.

How to Attach: Cut a length of rope slightly longer than the stem you want. Place the rope in the center of the top of the pumpkin and close it around the rope. You can also add a touch of hot glue to secure.

Faux Succulents

Any plant lovers in the house? Hear me out…faux succulent stems! You can buy faux succulents in the floral section at most craft stores. They come in a variety of styles and sizes and the stems are about the same thickness as a dowel or cinnamon stick. Instead of a classic pumpkin, you’ll have a faux pumpkin planter!

How to Attach: Add your succulent stem to the center of pumpkin before closing and use hot glue to secure.

You Might Also Like…

Since we’re talking pumpkins here, here’s a list of the free pumpkin patterns that I offer on my blog! Enjoy

Great Star Pumpkin
Luxe Leopard Pumpkin
Houndstooth Pumpkin
Fable Pumpkin
Ugly Gourds Trio (coming soon!)

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this list of unique pumpkin stems for your handmade pumpkins! If you have some more ideas, I’d love to hear them and maybe even add them to my list! Leave a comment below if you think of something new to try.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

cursive signature of Kelsie

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