Credit for this project idea goes to Elsie Flannigan for her felt leaf garland, that we posted about back in August. It looked so simple and fresh and I bookmarked it for a to-do project, but it wasn't until I saw Pam Garrison's version that I was pushed over the edge! I decided I had to make one and make it now! I particularly love Pam's colour selections and I was excited to find some similar ones in my stash. Photos shown are of my garland.
If you would like to make one, it is so simple to do. All you need are some pretty coloured felt pieces, some embroidery thread, a needle and a pair of scissors. I took the liberty of putting together a mini tutorial for you.
1. Draw out various leaf shapes on a piece of card stock. I used two styles of leaves with two different sizes of one so they could be layered like Pam's were.
2. Cut out the leaf patterns and use them as a guide to cut out leaves from the felt.
3. Stitch from one end of the a felt leaf shape to the other. Knot it at the beginning. If you don't want your leaves to be movable along the thread, then knot the thread before beginning to add on a new leaf.
* I tried stitching my leaves together using traditional embroidery stitches, but found that to be too time consuming. (You can see some of them done this way in the first photo.) It was easier and much quicker to just do a basting type of stitch.
* Use a contrasting or dark colour of embroidery thread, with several strands intact to enable your stitches to be more visible. This will also serve to make your garland stronger plus the stitches look a little like veins in a leaf.
* Don't let the little ones grab at your garland. Eireann, our almost 2 year old, pulled at mine and I spent a lot of time pulling the leaves back to their original positions. I could have prevented this problem had I knotted my thread before adding on each new leaf.
* While I was fixing what Eireann did to my garland, I realized that you could make a ruffled garland as well. The leaves when pulled very close together, buckle like fabric does on a gathering stitch. Maybe I'll experiment with this sometime!
This is my 'in progress' photo with Pam's version in the background on my laptop screen.