Craft #4: Leaf Garland

Photo: Pottery Barn Kids Website

 

One of my favorite stores to browse is Pottery Barn Kids.  Their selection of holiday home decor is endless–and expensive!  You can snag this pretty 9′ felt leaf garland for a mere $49 on the Pottery Barn Kids website!  I decided I could do a little better than that!

So, my son and I went on a walk for “craft leaves.”  He loves picking each one up and scrutinizing it to see if it is craft worthy.  (Until he gets bored and throws anything he finds on the ground into the bucket–we did find his missing bouncy ball that way.)

 

 

 

 

CRAFT: DIY PB Kids Leaf Garland

DIFFICULTY: Intermediate

MATERIALS:

  • leaves in many shapes and sizes–best to gather these when they first fall off the trees so they are pliable
  • felt in several colors
  • 9′ of wide ribbon in the color of your choice
  • 9′ of narrow ribbon (3/4″ works great, but 1/2″ works, too) in a coordinating color
  • Mod Podge or homemade decoupage glue (you do NOT need to get the one marked specifically for fabric!)
  • Hot glue
  • Sharp scissors
  • Embroidery thread & needle (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. I try to squeeze as many leaves on one sheet of felt as possible!

    Chose several leaves in various shapes and sizes.  Trace them on the felt.  I made all of my base leaves tan and embellished them with different colors.  If I did it again, I would make the leaves in different colors.  I decided to make a 9′ garland–2 feet of empty “hanging” space and put 1 large leaf each 12″, so I needed 7 large leaves.  I then made several medium and smalls to fill in as  I liked it.  I just traced 2 sheets of felt.  The great thing about leaves is that they are not perfect, so don’t feel like your tracing or cutting has to be perfect, either.  A good tip, though, is to use really sharp scissors when cutting felt.  Dull scissors may cut unevenly giving you uneven edges.

  2. Using several other colors, add details.  You can add veins to a leaf, cut out a smaller leaf in the same shape to layer over the base, or match it up with a totally different leaf (I tried this and didn’t like how it looked).  Use your imagination.  Felt is a cheap thing to play around with, so you can do some trial and error without wasting a lot of money.  I found tweezers the best way to place the tiny felt pieces!
  3. Use mod podge to stiffen the leaves.  I decided just to stiffen the base leaf and not any of the embellishments.  I believe the one in the picture up there was totally stiff.  To apply Mod Podge, use a paint brush & give it several light coats.  Then, flip it over and coat the other side.  Dry it on a piece of wax paper to prevent it from sticking to your work surface.  The bottle I have says it will cure completely in 4 weeks, so you may want to stop just short of your desired stiffness.  Wash the brush immediately to prevent permanent damage (most mod podge is water soluble, but make sure to read the bottle before beginning!).
  4. You may add embellishments to the leaves with embroidery thread.  Outlines, veins, decorative stitches will all add character  personality to your garland.
  5. Stretch the ribbon out all the way (for me, the only place large enough was the floor).  Mark the ribbon where you want your large leaves to go.  Putting the largest leaves on first will give your garland balance.  I measured off 1 foot sections and marked with a pin.  After I put the large leaves on, I just eyeballed where to put the smaller ones depending on how it looked.  I laid out ALL the leaves before gluing anything down in case I wanted to move it after I got it all together.
  6. Hot glue the leaves to the wide ribbon.  You could also sew the leaves on.
  7. Carefully glue the small ribbon over the stems where you attached the leaves to the ribbon.

    Shebes is checking me measurements!!

    This is before the little leaves were attached.

  8. For ease of hanging, fold the end edge of the ribbon in 1/4″ and press with the iron.  Then, turn it again 1 1/2″ and sew this in place (hand stitching would work fine here) making a loop on the end.  Repeat at the other end.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: