A month had passed since Autumn started and I still haven’t decorated my house with some bits and pieces to celebrate it. Also, I needed to come up with a DIY since that was one of the themes for this blog. With all the Uni stuff it has been a challenge to gather up an idea and work on it as soon as possible. Enough with the complains, time to talk about craft!
I saw many posts – especially over Pinterest – with garlands for autumn with so many shapes from leaves to pumpkins and I couldn’t notice some of them were done with artificial leaves. You might not know but I barely shop online and is very hard to find them in store – at least in my town – so I usually end up making everything myself with simple and easy access materials.
I am not going to say this throughout every step of the DIY so I am going to leave it here, You have plenty of ways to do this and you are free to do it the way you like the most I don’t want you to fell obligated to follow this “rules” precisely this is my way of doing it and each of us have another way we find easy or pleasure to do so. I will tell you some tricks to save you time that will end up with the same result. Because this DIY can be done with so many variables I’ll be telling you precisely what I’ve done so you can decide if you want to follow just the guidelines or do exactly like I did.
- Metallic paper in two different colours (ivory and gold)
- String (Perle cotton size 8)
- Pencil (Staedtler Lumocolor Waterproof in white)
- Leaf template (around 7cm per 8cm)
First, you need to get a template. I printed out mine from the internet but you can draw your own or use a real dried leaf as a base.
You can use other string you like just make sure to keep the proportion between the leaves and the string, if your leaves are small don’t use a chunky string, that way you are giving more importance to the string instead of the leaf itself. Also, I recommend using a white pencil just so you don’t have to erase the marks after cutting them out because even if you can see bits of white it won’t look bad and it will help giving brightness and texture to it. Any matte paper works as well but I wanted to have and extra brightness.
Grab your template and contour the shape on one side of the sheet. Draw the next one close to the first and to the margins of the paper to save space – this paper isn’t cheap, let me tell you. Repeat the process until you run out of space and do the same for the other sheets. Do as many as you want until you have enough leaves for the garland – I did two sheets of both colour which made around 10 to 11 each. Another way of doing it is to print out a page all set up with the leaves. With this method you’ll end with a bunch of equal leaves and with less work to do so is a time saver.
This is the part that takes much time: cutting off all the shapes! I know is the part you wish to have a cutting machine – me too – but do it when you are watching tv or listening to music. Usually, this is when I clear my head of all the problems, have my hands busy with something so mechanical – after the first two leaves you stop thinking how you are cutting them – that my mind is free to think in other stuff.
WARNING: When working with the leaves be careful with the sharp edges because of the paper thickness you can injure yourself. Don’t underestimate the paper just because you can rip it doesn’t mean he won’t find revenge. My template is very pointy so when I grab them I have to be careful so I don’t hurt myself.
This next step is the most painful… you are going to crumple all the leaves. You read well, CRUMPLE! I now after all this work I should be crazy to tell you the next step is to “destroy” what took you at least a couple of hours to do. I know is painful mental and physically – those sharp edges are going to hurt a bit so is better to take some precocious and use a glove – but is a harm needed, the all point is to give more texture to the simple and flat piece of paper. As you know the real leaves have veins some larger than others which give them shape and volume and just doing a simple straight line mark it wasn’t enough for me and seemed really unnatural. So get yourself together and crumple those sons of b… nature!
With all your leaves cut off is time to glue them to the string. Unroll a good amount and start laying the leaves on top without any glue. Just arrange them into their proper place alternating the colours. You can do them apart as far as you want and for a cheeky little help use a black pen to mark the place where they are going to be glued – I set mine 12 cm apart from the centre of each other. Also, make sure you live a margin from the first and the last leaf, you are going to need it for fixing or attach somewhere – I left 30 cm and it wasn’t that much, was enough but I could leave more. Be aware all these measures were set apart from the centre of the leaf!
After all the leaves glued are ready to decorate anything you want! For more inspiration you can search on Pinterest “autumn garland DIY” or “leaves garland DIY” you will find thousands of ways to do it from the quickest and easy to the most nerve-racking way. And is plenty of taste to everyone! With glitter, without, with dried leaves, felt, tissue paper, fabric… it goes on and on. So I want to show how I imagine mine and hopefully to inspired you and even teach you something new.
You can look for an easy template as the ones for children to colour and use Paint to colour it with the colours you like. You can end up with a garland with leaves grey, blue and white – who says it has to be brown or green?! Is your project you decide! – You can even do a rainbow leaves garland to cheer up the down days! Creativity has no limits only you can create does barriers and if someone doesn’t like screw them what matters is YOU and only YOU if you’re happy then the craft is done!
If happens to you do this DIY please share with me your creation I would love to see it or if you got inspired – like me – and made some changes on it share it as well over my social media. I would love so much to see someone grab my idea and make their own.