Whenever you are making a craft project that calls for a leaf, wouldn’t it be fun to make the leaf out of something unique and charming? These DIY felt leaves will do just that. I am going to show you how to make 6 different leaf varieties in this tutorial.
When it comes to making felt leaves, there are several different kinds of felt and fabric that you can use. Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing, and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool, or from synthetic fibers such as petroleum-based acrylic or acrylonitrile, or wood pulp-based rayon.
Different types of felt, much like yarn or fabric, have different properties, making them perfect for certain projects and not so ideal for others.
Here is a quick review of a few types of felt to consider for your projects.
Craft felt is made from 100% synthetic material. This type of felt is inexpensive and available at craft stores and online. Most craft felt comes in pre-cut sheets, but can also be purchased by the yard. Best used for: simple crafts of all kinds.
Blended Wool Felt
Blended wool felt is made from a blend of real wool and rayon. Wool felt is much softer to the touch and has a slight two-tone effect. Blended wool felt comes in over 100 different colors. It can be purchased in sheets or by the yard. This felt is more expensive than draft felt, but still reasonably priced and worth the cost if you are making a project that needs to be a little more durable.
Best used for: home décor crafting such as pillows, table runners, and heirloom quality crafts.
100% Wool Felt
Wool felt comes in different thicknesses and is usually sold by the yard and is quite expensive. It has a luxurious feel and is used for professional apparel and home décor.
Felted wool sweaters
Felting a wool sweater (70% and higher wool content) can produce a wonderful piece of material for making crafts. Check out this post and video for detailed instructions on how to felt a wool sweater. A felted sweater can add so much texture and character to a craft project. Make sure you are saving your wool sweater scraps for projects like this!
Felt Leaves materials & Items needed
- Green felt scraps. Use different shades of green to add contrast. Craft felt is usually acceptable for this type of project; however, you are free to use any kind of felt including felted sweater material.
- Embroidery floss and embroidery needle (Shades of green)
- Sewing machine (optional)
- Green floral stemwire
- Glue gun/tacky glue
- Felt Leaves instructions
- Bamboo skewers painted green (tall skinny leaf)
- FREE PRINTABLE PATTERN
**You can apply the mistletoe leaf technique to any leaf to add a wire and flexibility to any leaf. Simply make your leaf of choice and then add the backing wire shown in step 6 to any leaf.
1- TWO TONED, BASIC FELT LEAVES
- Cut out two basic leaves, one large and one small. (Each a different shade of green).
- Apply hot glue or tacky glue to the back of the small leaf. Center the small leaf on top of the big leaf and glue it in place.
- Apply to a craft project.
2- BLANKET STITCH LEAF
This leaf can be made using the sewing machine blanket stitch if that is available on your machine. If not, you can sew the blanket stitch by hand using embroidery floss and a needle.
- Cut out a small leaf of one color of felt and then a rectangle that is another shade of green. (Pattern available)
- Center the leaf on the rectangle and pin it in place. Sew around the outline of the small leaf. You can use the thread and floss the same color as the leaf or a different shade of green to add contrast. You can view how to sew a blanket stitch HERE.
- Following the small leaf outline, cut the rectangle felt just outside the smaller leaf about ¼ inch to add an outline effect.
3- LEAF VEIN CUT OUT
This is a fun free form design that adds a lot of character and texture to a leaf. I use this particular leaf for my upcycled sweater pumpkin pattern. This method can be used for all types and sizes of leaves.
- Cut out two leaves using two different shades of green felt, or brown can be used as well. The top piece will be the color of the leaf veins.
- Using a sewing machine or stitching by hand, sew the veins of the leaf. This is a free form design. You can draw the veins with a disappearing ink pen if you want, but I just usually get sewing and eyeball it.
- Start at the bottom of the leaf and sew the main center vein. Backstitch at the beginning and end of stitching. (Don’t worry about cutting the threads just yet).
- Go back down to the bottom of the leaf and sew each individual vein. DO NOT SEW ALL THE WAY TO THE EDGE. STOP AT LEAST ¼ INCH FROM THE EDGE.
- When you have all the veins sewn that you want, clip all the threads.
- Take a pair of scissors, (small tip scissors work best) and trim around the veins, close to the seam. This will cut away most of the top layer leaving a contrasting vein. LOVE IT!
- Add a supporting wire if needed and then apply the leaf to your project.
4- TALL SKINNY LEAF ON STEM
This is a leaf that is good to use for Lillie flowers, coneflowers, and daisies. Get my felt flower variety pattern set HERE. This leaf can be made using a bamboo skewer for the stem or a thick floral stem wire.
- Cut out the leaf using the available pattern.
- If using a bamboo skewer, paint it green using acrylic paint.
- Get your glue gun hot. I like using a low temp glue gun.
- Apply a strip of glue just halfway up from the bottom, in the center of the leaf.
- Fold the leaf edges in, so it wraps onto the stem. You can arrange it however you want it to look.
- Adjust the upper leaf to your liking, and apply the flower of your choice to the top of the stem.
5- EMBROIDERY VEINS LEAF
This is a basic leaf, and this technique can be used for all shapes and sizes of leaves.
- Thread an embroidery needle with the desired shade of green embroidery floss. Depending on how bold you want the stitching to be will decide how many strands of floss you will use. I usually go with 3 strands of floss.
- Follow the instructions for the two-toned basic leaf, except don’t glue the layers together quite yet.
- Knot the end of the floss and insert the needle into the backside of the small leaf. (So the knot is sandwiched between the two felt pieces.
- You can either eyeball the leaf vein design or draw on with an invisible ink pen.
- Using a backstitch, or small running stitch (individual preference) sew along the vein. Knot by taking a very small stitch, wrap the thread around the needle and insert the needle and pull out. Clip thread. You can get the instructions for these stitches here in this post.
6- MISTLETOE LEAF
This is like a mistletoe leaf, however, this technique can be used on other shapes as well. To make this leaf, you will need a sewing machine set on a zigzag stitch setting.
See the mistletoe tutorial HERE
- Cut out several leaves. You can vary colors and textures of felt.
- Take a floral stem wire and place it down the center of the leaf, with the end of the wire in line with the end of the leaf.
- Go to the sewing machine which you have threaded with matching thread and set to a zigzag stitch.
- Before sewing, test the width of the stitch to make sure it is wide enough, but not too wide. Sitch to hug the wire but not be too close so you hit it with the needle.
- Stitch over the wire from the bottom of the leaf to the top of the leaf. Backstitch at the beginning and end of stitching.
- Bend and shape the leaf as you desire.
There you have it. Now you can make your floral crafts stand out with the authentic charm and character of handmade felt leaves.
Have fun crafting!