I’ve wanted to post about this project for about a week and share the holiday craft love with you. Then this happened and for a brief moment in time my little world crumbled, and I couldn’t wrap my head around making pretty things. But we’ve had a tiny break from the heavy rains today, and so I thought I, and possibly you, could use a little distraction today, courtesy of the creative brains at Anthropologie.
Okay, please tell me I’m not the only one who walks into that store in complete wanderlust over their unique displays. Have you seen what they do with wooden pallets? I sometimes forget they sell clothing. Is it just me? I’ve even trained my husband: every time we go to the mall, we head straight for the elevator, get out, walk straight past all the stores (even Pottery Barn) and beeline straight for Anthropologie. He even has a favorite leather sofa he sits on and reads their artsy coffee table books while I walk around just like Charlie Bucket, the first time he stepped into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Except I haven’t licked the walls. Yet.
At Anthropologie, they did this amazing winter display using felt cut it into the shapes of leaves, and created swags of garlands. They used plaid and red also, but my focus was all over that wonderful wintery green felt, and you regular readers know how much I love that green…
Since they don’t sell their garland, I decided I could make my own. And I’m going to show you, step by step, exactly how I made mine!
Because I know some of you might feel the urge to scroll down to see how mine turned out first, here’s a peek:
Okay, now I’m going to teach you how to make your own felt holiday garland!
You will need the following:
- 1 yard of each color you want to use for your leaves (I used 3 colors, three shades of green – pine, kelly and lime green)
- thick paper (I used a standard paper folder)
- a pencil and a pen (I found a sharpie pen worked best)
- sharp scissors
- rotary cutter (optional)
- hot glue gun
- red pom poms (optional)
- a companion that you like to craft with (there is a considerable amount of cutting, folks)
Start out by drawing your leaf onto your paper with a pencil. As you can see, my free hand isn’t the best, and that’s perfectly okay…
Fold your paper in half, directly down the center of the leaf. After folding, then cut your leaf out. Folding before cutting allows you to cut just one half of the leaf, ensuring both sides come out even…
Next, cut around your paper leaf, leaving a little space around it. (You can see mine on the right side, below). This is going to be your template for all of your leaf cutting, which is why you want to use a paper that is sturdy.
Take your felt and lay it over a flat open surface. Grab your pen and begin drawing your leaf shapes with your leaf template. I squeezed mine close together to get max mileage out of my felt…
Now you’re going to cut out each of your leaves. This is where having a friendly companion comes in handy. Thankfully I had my friend Laurie join me and the two of us chatted for hours while cutting away…
I couldn’t get the best picture of it, but you want to fold your leaf in half at the top, and carefully cut a very small hole (actually it’s a semi-circle cut, cause your leaf is folded in half)..
Now you’re going to need to cut long strips for your garland. We used a rotary cutter which gave us really straight lines, but you can also just use scissors. As far as the length, that’s totally up to you. We just made random lengths..some were the same length and some were varied…
Now the fun part, stringing your leaves onto your garland strings. If your holes are too small, a little tug on each side of the leaf and the felt will easily give...
Next you’ll want to add your red berries. While theirs didn’t have berries, a friend of mine shared with me that her Anthro store did and I loved the idea. I found this package of tiny 1/4” red pom poms at JoAnn Fabrics, but I’m sure you can find something similar at any craft store..
Simply hot glue the pom poms to the top of your leaf. For each garland, I selected three leaves to embellish, the end ones and the middle..
And here’s the finished product!
Here’s a close up so you can see how I strung it. This is a combination of three separate garlands, and I simply “tucked” the tails behind my chalkboard..
I love how this turned out so much, I have tons of felt left over, so I’m going to make a felt leaf garland for my fireplace mantel next!
I think I’m going to leave this up all winter long. Who says it has to come down the day after xmas : )
I’m already thinking of making one next year for Fall, with brown and gold leaves, and maybe acorns!
Before I sign-off to go check our trenches and make sure they’re holding up before tonight's big storm promises to come in, I wanted to thank each and every one of you. Your emails and comments warmed our wet little hearts. I really appreciate you guys, more than you’ll ever know.
12/22/10 Edited to add: I’ve received a few emails about the Medic Cross Stocking seen hanging next to my chalkboard. If you want to purchase one, just click here. If you order today, you might be able to get it before Christmas.