I made a happy craft discover the other day, and I’m sharing it with you today!
I had made a simple little fabric pumpkin and I needed some leaves to go at the top. I tried just cutting the leaf shapes from upholstery fabric but they didn’t have any oomph. They just kind of drooped. Then, inspiration hit. I pulled out some metal tape and backed the fabric with the tape before cutting the leaf. And guess what? The metal tape kept the edges from fraying, it gave support to the leaf, AND it also allowed me to gently mold the leaf to make it more three-dimensional. SCORE!
And of course that got me playing with metal and fabric scraps. These fabric leaf stems are what came from my craft discovery. I made them with scraps of fabric because I’m a sucker for tiny fabric scraps, and because scrappy just felt like fall leaves to me.
Today, I’m showing how to make these scrappy fabric leaves. I’m loving the metal tape on the back!
You can shape the leaves to create a more natural look, and the metallic silver on the back is kind of a fun surprise.
I made stems with lots of leaves on them so I could use them to fill a vase. They’d also be really pretty on a fall wreath!
They're super easy to make and require no sewing at all! The metal tape holds the fabric without the need for any stitching or any fabric glue. Just layer the fabric on and cut to the shape you like! Then, use floral tape to add them to floral stems.
Scraps of fabric
Metal tape (from the hardware store) It comes in various widths. It doesn’t really matter how wide it is so long as it’s wide enough to cut your leaves from. I think mine is 2.5” wide.
18 gauge floral wire
20 gauge floral wire
Scissors (not your good fabric scissors)
Fine point Sharpie (optional)
First, make the leaves:
Cut a bunch of your fabric scraps into strips 5/8” – 1” wide.
Cut a length of metal tape about 10” long. Peel the backing off and lay it down sticky side up. Starting at one end, cover the sticky with strips of fabric.
Cover the whole length of tape.
Trim the excess fabric off the sides.
Using a fine point Sharpie, draw leaf shapes on the back (metal) side of the tape. I created 3 templates – a small, medium, and large leaf – and just traced around those. If you don’t have a Sharpie, no biggie. You could probably just freehand cut the leaves.
Cut out the leaves. Look at how little waste there is! That’s because I’m stingy and I was super careful with the placement of my leaves.
Continue covering metal tape with fabric and cutting leaf shapes until you have a nice pile of leaves to work with.
Then add the stems:
Figure out which leaves you want to have on the tips of your stems, and set those aside for now.
Cut the 20 gauge floral stems into 4” – 6” lengths.
Take one of the stems and place a small piece of metal tape over the end. Make sure you cover at least 5/8” inch of stem.
Stick the tape to the back of a leaf (NOT one of the ones you set aside). Now you’ve got a leaf on a stem!
Wrap the stem with floral tape. I had a hard time getting the floral tape to stick to the wire, so I ended using a small bit of metal tape to stick the floral tape to the back of the leaf before wrapping.
Continue adding stems and wrapping until you’ve covered all of your leaves – except the ones you’ve set aside.
Combine the leaves on larger stems:
Now let’s put together several of the wrapped stems to make a larger stem.
Take a full length 18 gauge floral stem and create an arrangement of leaves around it, placing one of the unwrapped leaves you set aside at the tip.
Use metal tape to attach the tip leaf to the 20 gauge stem. Wrap with floral tape as you did with the smaller stems, but this time add the smaller stems in as you wrap down the 20 gauge stem.
Use the stems for a floral arrangement or on a wreath!