Last weekend we celebrated Dylans second birthday with a minimalistic jungle theme party at home. I usually don't like the idea of buying lots of single use items just for one party. So I decided to use mostly decoration that we already have at home.
Then I had the idea of creating a hero decor piece that was inspired by the jungle theme and that could belong into Dylan's room after the party. Something that would fit within its current decor, that could grow as the room evolves, and that would remind us of this special day.
That's how I came up with the idea of a leaf garland. The choice of leather as the material was purely because I had some leather samples at home for years and years, that have been waiting to be used in a craft project! And I thought they are perfect for this. But you can use felt, or other materials too.
Here's the step by step process to make your own garland:
First, you will need:
- Cutting matt
- Leather / felt
- Leave shapes
- Art knife
- Leather needles
- Thread for hanging and for sewing
1) Select your leave shapes
I used Pinterest and searched for: fern leaf patterns / leave shapes designs and that's how I found this file with lovely leaf shapes. If you like them, here's the direct link to my Pinterest folder where you can download the image and print it in A4:
1) Select your leave shapes
Once your leaves are printed at the real size, cut them out in the paper with scissors or knife.
2) Trace leaf shapes over your garland material
Trace in the back side of what is going to hang. For eg. I envisioned these leaves to be made in suede, so I traced them in the front side of the leather instead. I also alternated the face of the paper so that some leaves were hanging in a slightly different way from others.
3) Cut out your material shapes
This is definitely the most tedious part of the project, especially if you are cutting leather... make sure you have got a fresh blade and take a few deep breaths in the process. Also don't be too precious about the shape being perfect. Cut it out and then trim the bits and pieces that may stick out.
4) Select your threads
Select the type of thread that you want it to hang from. In my case, because the concept was 'minimalistic jungle', I wanted something subtle. White was perfect because it blends in with a white wall and it seems like the leaves are floating. If you want a more rustic look you can use hemp or get creative with any other type of thread.
Then I selected the thread colours matching each shape, so that when sewing the leaves it became invisible. But you could go for a contrast instead, the options are endless!
5) Plan out your garland
Basically spread it out before sewing it, decide the order and positioning of each leave. Spread the thread and select the optimal spacing between the edges and the leaves, and between leaves. Make a little mark if necessary, or just remember the spacing.
6) Sew it together... and done!
It's quite a basic sewing so I am sure you can all do it! (If I can... you can :P) And this is how it looked in Dylan's birthday party:
And this is how it looks styled into a girly bedroom:
I hope you loved it! And if you decide to make a garland based on this tutorial, please show me what you have done!