Tuesday 18 November 2008

Paper Leaf Garlands - a quick 'how to'

While working on some woodland-themed gift-wrap ideas this week I got totally distracted making garlands instead...
I had Christmas in mind when I first made these and I think the brown oak leaves would look lovely strung along a mantlepiece and combined with more traditional Christmas colours like baubles and ribbon in red and gold... but they're also obviously suitable for autumn decor.

First you need to make some leaf templates - you can gather your own leaves and draw round them onto card, or print & cut out the sketches at the bottom of this blog post.
Now draw round your templates with a soft pencil onto brown paper (you could reuse old envelopes for this) - I just used my oak leaf templates for this -
or bright sugar paper (construction paper) in autumnal shades: Once you've cut out lots of leaves (it takes time but it's well worth it!), sew them together using an ordinary sewing needle and a length of brown thread. Sew one short stitch at the end of your first leaf, then a long stitch along the back, and another short stitch... then repeat until you run out of leaves! You can use a bit of sticky tape to hold your thread ends in place, and then a small bit of bluetack will support your garland as the leaves are so lightweight. You could also try stringing small lengths of leaves together and hanging them vertically: they spin beautifully!

Here are the leaf templates - double click them to view full size and print. When you cut them out ignore some of the detail and aim for an easy-to-cut shape. If you wanted to add some more detail to your garlands use a marker pen to copy the vein patterns onto your paper leaves:
This template is for non commercial use only. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire post on your site. Thanks!


Kristy said...

I think that these would be great in wool felt too.I used felt leaves on a bag last year and they looked great.Think I'll make an oak leaf garland for Christmas.

Unknown said...

I absolutely love the faux bois look. so sleek too. I think I will be doing this for my hip step mom who loves mid-century modern furniture.
Thanks so much for the smiles and great idea!!!