Upcycled Sweater Pumpkins – New Video Tutorial


It’s pumpkin time! I love everything about fall, the bright cheery colors, the crisp air, pumpkins and wearing sweaters. But as most of you know already, wearing sweaters is not what gets me excited, it’s MAKING THINGS WITH SWEATERS that makes me smile.

In my newest Skillshare class I show you how to make these fun, whimsy upcycled sweater pumpkins. These pumpkins can be made with felted wool sweaters, cotton sweaters, orange knit, and even fleece. They have so much character, each one turns out a little different.

Play Video

This upcycled sweater pumpkin class is only 17 minutes long and will get you on your way to making a fun Halloween and Thanksgiving decoration. You can leave them out until it’s time for your Christmas decorations.

The pattern comes FREE with class enrollment. If you are not a member of Skillshare yet, here is a link where you can get 3 months of the premium membership for only .99 cents. With the holidays coming along, this is a great opportunity to take unlimited classes and learn how to make some fun Christmas gifts.

Skillshare has classes and video tutorials on almost anything you would want to learn how to do.

  • Crafts,
  • photography
  • painting
  • cooking
  • sewing
  • photoshop
  • graphic design
  • crochet and so much more.

If you find after a few months, you don’t use it, you can cancel your membership at any time. What a no-brainer!

If you are not interested in enrolling in the class and just want to purchase the pattern, you can download the pattern here.

This is all you need to make a sweater pumpkin:

  • Sewing machine or you can sew by hand with a needle and thread.
  • Felted Wool sweaters or mixed fiber sweaters work as well, knit or fleece
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Stuffing
  • Two shades of green felt
  • 2-inch length of a thin tree branch
  • Hot glue gun/glue
  • Green 18 gauge cloth stem wire or green craft pipe cleaner
Upcycled Sweater Pumpkins

Gather your sweaters in all shades of orange, yellow, tan and brown and let’s make some pumpkins!





Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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HOLISTIC LIVING: Healthy Travel Tips

holistic living

I went on a little vacation this week, and as I was gathering all my goods, I thought it would be a fun idea to show you some things I do and some things I take along with me. Here are some healthy tips and tricks that I do to maintain SOME holistic living while traveling.

holistic living

Notice that I said “some”. When you are out of your routine and in a different place it can be challenging to do all the things you normally like to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  I suggest you back off a little and do the BEST YOU CAN and enjoy yourself.  Don’t freak out because maybe you had to resort to eating a little “fast food” or that you didn’t get your daily run in.

Know and trust that your body is very resilient and it will bounce back quickly once you get back to your normal routine. I say this like I don’t worry about this stuff, well I still do somewhat but have learned to not let it ruin my vacation.

I bring with me and implement the things I can, and then enjoy myself.  Yes, you will have to adapt a little, but that is good for you!

Here are a few tips & tricks:

Medications, Supplements, and Tinctures

Make sure you have all your needed medications and supplements! I learned this the hard way. On the last trip I went on I ended up getting food poisoning. Without going into too much detail, because of a particular condition I experience, I am supposed to up my dose of hydrocortisone significantly if I experience any kind of illness or food poisoning. My doctor had given me some shots with cortisone in them in case this ever happens. (I ended up in the emergency room when I had food poisoning before, pretty much because I couldn’t keep the cortisone pill down).

Anyway, I forgot to pack the shots for this trip. DANG, I was sooooooo sick. I would rather go through childbirth than this. Not fun being that sick in a hotel room.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

If you have a “daily” supplement container, it is a good idea to tape it closed like I have done here in the photo. I have had it open up and spill all over my purse way too many times before I learned to just tape it closed. I use painter’s tape.

holistic living

Don’t forget any NEEDED medications, supplements, or tinctures. To save room, I get the small snack zip bags, label them, and put the capsules in there. If I think I may need the whole jar, I will just take the whole thing. Put them all in a BIG zip bag.

holistic living

Healthy Snacks

Throw a few snacks in a little zip lock bag for those times at the airport or in the car when your sugar levels may drop and you need something to eat. If you have something handy, you will be less tempted to buy junk food, and save some money.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

If your hotel room has a fridge in it, go to a grocery store and buy a few healthy snacks to have on hand. I like to get some string cheese, rice crackers, apples, nut & seed mix, carrot & celery pre-cut mix, bottled water, and grapefruit.  Yep, that is sauerkraut in there. I got that for a little extra probiotic action for my gut this week. It was a small bag so even though I didn’t finish it, the little I had served me well.

Even if the place you are staying has breakfast available, it is nice to have some of your own alternatives. (The snacks you bought at the store are probably better for you than the instant pancakes, powdered eggs, or sweet rolls they have available). Now, if there is no other option, do the best you can. They will usually have oatmeal packets or yogurt and perhaps some fruit if you are lucky.

If you are really feeling vigilant, I know some who take their blenders with them. I really don’t want to be hauling my Blendtec on the plane. Although I did consider taking my son’s Magic Bullet. Oh, how nice a green smoothie would taste on vacation!

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living


What about grapefruit? When traveling, most likely you will be eating out more frequently than normal, and perhaps eating foods that are a little more heavy, rich, and fatty. Grapefruit is a good source of fiber, and it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber both of which can help improve digestion and constipation. Who wants to be constipated while traveling?

After eating a heavy dinner, I like to come back to the hotel and have some grapefruit. I peel it just like an orange. You are going to love the aroma as you peel it. Now some of you may never have eaten a grapefruit like this, but trust me, it grows on you and is quite a yummy snack. There are VERY good properties in the pith (white stuff around the grapefruit) so don’t pull it all off, eat it. When I eat a grapefruit, I don’t get bloating, or indigestion, and I feel much lighter.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living


It is so important to stay hydrated and so easy to forget to drink water while you are traveling. I bring along my own water bottle and pack it empty, so that when I get to the hotel I can fill it up and have it handy. It helps me to remember to drink water if I have my water bottle there.

If you don’t want to pack your own, make sure you at least buy some bottles of water to have handy. I buy a few gallons of water and bring them back to the hotel. Most likely you don’t want to be drinking the water from the bathroom tap!

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living


Although you may not be able to attend your favorite yoga class or go for a bike ride, there are some ways you can still move your body while traveling or while on vacation.

  • Skip the elevator and take the stairs
  • If the hotel you are staying at has a gym, use it
  • Go for a walk and do a little exploring
  • Take an online yoga class in your hotel room

It can be so easy to go several days without exercising while on vacation. It doesn’t have to be a serious workout, just move your body in some way. You will regret it if you don’t.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

Herbal Teas

This is another thing I bring with me. I always take some Yarrow tea with me. This is one of my “go-to’s” when it comes to any kind of illness. Also good to help detox.

When I travel I take a little zip package of a blend of herbal teas that I like, usually Yarrow, Peppermint, and Raspberry leaf. I know it looks like I am smuggling some drugs or doing crazy stuff, nope just herbs.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

Sometimes, the hotel will have some herbal teas, but not always. What I do is go down to the lobby and get some hot water where they have it for coffee, and fill up a cup. I take it back to my room, put in about a teaspoon of dried herbs, and let it steep for a few minutes. Then I get out my trusty stainless steel straw that filters out the herbs and viola, a nice cup of tea.

Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

Essential Oils

I saved the best for the very last. As some of you may already know, I LOVE ESSENTIAL OILS and I don’t travel without them.

essential oil case I have a little mini case that I have in my purse at all times, but that is not enough. I like to take as many as I can, AND my diffuser.

Go HERE if you want more information on this little travel case.

There is nothing like being cramped up in a hotel room that is stuffy. Why not diffuse your favorite oils to make it feel and smell a little more like home. I have a small travel diffuser that I pack.

When packing my oils, I have a difficult time deciding which ones to bring. I take the most essential ones and pray I won’t need any of the others. Trust me; these oils have come in handy. On this trip, I was so glad I brought the big bottle of lavender because I got a little too much sun on my back and was able to have my husband apply some on my back. Works wonders.  You never know when there will be a need for them physically or emotionally. LOVE EM!

Hopefully, this will be helpful for those of you who want to maintain some kind of healthy balance when on vacation.

What is a tip you have learned and do to stay healthy on vacation? I would love to hear about it!


Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More