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Monday, August 9, 2010

"Every Leaf Speaks Bliss To Me, Fluttering From The Autumn Tree" Emily Bronte

I'm not sure if it is all of the 'back to school' ads, or if it has been the 16 straight days of temperatures over 100 degrees, but right now I am looking forward to fall.  I decided to make this fall leaf garland from some of the old books I have and post it as a tutorial for any other like-minded individuals out there.

Like most of my other projects it is fairly quick, inexpensive to make, and an  easy skill level.  After all, we are busy modern women with a lot to get done in a day :)

You will need just a few materials that you probably have on hand:

an old book
2 or 3 coordinating scrapbook paper or cardstock
light gauge wire (mine was 26 gauge floral wire)
white glue or modge podge
foam brush
sharp scissors
wire cutter
ink pad in a coordinating color
heavy twine
raffia or ribbon
large beads 
I also coated my finished leaves with matte clear acrylic spray

You can use your own, or print out my

I used the leaf patterns I marked 'A' - 'B' - 'C'
For leaf 'B' I printed out the image at 50%.

Once you have decided which leaves you want to use, stack 3 or 4 pages you have torn from your book, and use your template as a cutting guide.  You will need to flip them over and determine which side you like the look of best, given the cuts and the printed words.

Loosely cut the shape from your scrapbook paper.  Clip pieces of wire that will fit in your leaf size.

I used white glue thinned with a small amount of water, but modge podge will also work.  Just spread some with your foam brush on the back of the loosely shaped scrapbook paper piece you have cut.  Add the wire in the appropriate places and stick your book-leaf down smoothing the edges and making sure the paper is pushed tight against the wire pieces.  Don't freak if the wire sticks out a little bit- you can trim it with your wire cutter later.

Should look something like this:

I set my leaves in the sun to dry, which here literally took about 3 minutes.  It worked well to stick a leaf and put it in the sun to dry while I was prepping another.  The wire inside adds a nice stiffness and bendability to these.

For this garland I chose a fall color theme, but I plan to do one just for my Halloween decorations.  Here is a picture of each:

BTW- my good friend Starla has an awesome sale on scrapbook supplies right now at her store!  Check her out:

Okay- back to the tutorial.....
Use your ink pad to distress the face and edges of your leaves

I made 11 leaves total.  My mantle is 73" long.  I cut my twine piece 102" long.  You may have to adjust that depending on the size of your mantle, or for where ever you are hanging your garland.  I laid it all out on the floor in front of the mantle to work on the spacing.

I used a simple overhand knot to attach the raffia to the twine.  This made it easy to slide and adjust the spacing.
I added beads attached to floral wire, giving it a little twist to stay in place.
After I got it all about right, I used a spot of craft adhesive (E-6000 type) to attach the raffia to the leaf.

And that's it!!  How easy was that?  Here is the finished mantle:

I can't wait to do the black one as well for Halloween.
I have some great things in store for that- can't wait to show you!!


  1. This is gorgeous! I can't wait to make my own. Thanks for a great tutorial!

  2. Hello,

    I wanted to let you know that I am following you from Moms Blogger Club, "The Under 100 Followers" group. I am hoping when you get a chance you can follow me back at and Also, I would love to place a link to your site on my blog if you want to do the same with my blog on yours. Please let me know by sending me an email regarding this and it has been nice meeting you via the web.

    Thanks, Tracey
    (a.k.a Britney/ author)

  3. Hi There
    I found you via Social Parade Friday. Great blog. I am a new follower of your blog. Have a great weekend.

  4. I love fall! Great tutorial. Interesting way to recycle, too.

    Well done.

  5. Newly following you from MBC! I love the garland and I can't wait to check out your other blog entries!!! If I wasn't a college student myself, I would be right there with you praying for fall to come so I can have the house to myself! =)

  6. I am so going to do this one!!! What a great idea for the up coming holidays! I could use this from September through November!

  7. What a great idea and very beautifully done.

    Thanks for the tutorial. I can't wait to give it a try.

  8. Very awesome!!! And I'm with you...looking forward to the temperatures cooling down a bit and I can't WAIT for all the fall colors to come BACK!!!

  9. I absolutely LOVE this... Leaves and acorns are my favorite and ANYTHING to with book pages make my heart swoon...

  10. Love this idea. I agree that it could be used for the next 3 months.

  11. I love this, and I love fall, too! I also live in Texas. Very tired of the sweltering heat! I was in Hobby Lobby last week and sniffed a pumpkin pie candle and it got me so excited about fall! I can't wait to make this garland.

  12. Super gorgeous!! Just looking at this makes me want to jump into fall!

  13. Thanks so much!! I agree- it will probably just stay up until I decorate after Thanksgiving for Christmas. I think I will sell the black one @ the fall craft fair. And thanks to everyone that is now following, as well!! :)

  14. Loved this idea! I'm going to try one with scraps of "fall" fabric since I have a lot of that! If I'm clever, I can do one side "fall" and the other side "halloween" and make it a two-fer!

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. I am lovin this!! Do you think, with the clear acrylic spray finish, this will be durable enough to last through the years? Or at least for a few? I would really like for it to be able to be used over again. ;)

  16. @ Sheri- I would like to thank you for your kind comments! I do think that adding the few coats of the spray acrylic will help it last a few years. I would just store it carefully in a box- but the nice part about the wire inside is that it can be *somewhat* reshaped if need be :)

  17. Thanks for the great tutorial, I made a version of your garland and love it! You can see it here:, and I posted a link back to your blog...because you were the inspiration!


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