Home > Craft > Craft: Roses made from leaves

Craft: Roses made from leaves

To cater for my international readership and for the love of craft, I’m bringing on board ‘The Stig’ of craft, my new, northern hemisphere based Occasional Craft Correspondent…. (with thanks, E.P.):-

The Occasional Craft Correspondent

Am I crafty? Nope. I potter around. The words ‘you could sell those’ fill me with dread because the very thought of ever doing something crafty for sale means that I’d HAVE to do it and then it’d stop being fun. So, I potter around. Occasionally. Sometimes the bug bites and then I HAVE to make something and once I get a project into my head, I really DO play with it. Take these roses for example – it started with one and finished with 60! My husband already knows that this is the moment when he has to step away and let nature take its course. I find that this generally happens in autumn and winter – maybe because it starts to get cold and this means I’m inside more. Unfortunately, the bug generally bites at rather inopportune moments, which leads me to believe that this could be a form of seasonal procrastination (seasonal in that it’s centred around seasons, unfortunately not in the procrastination).

The problem is that I’m a bit unco. I’d like to be less unco. This, however, ensures that any crafty stuff I do has to be 1. easy 2. quick 3. effective.

I once saw these roses many years ago but it took me almost 10 years of living in a country with a real autumn and real autumn colours (at autumn, no less!) to get around to trying. It looked really hard, but really – it’s not! An evening in front of the telly is enough.

What you need:

4 or 5 fallen but not completely dry maple leaves – it’s better to have some smaller leaves for the inside and some bigger ones for the outside.
A piece of string/cotton
Some floral tape (I bought a roll off my local florist)

Instructions:
Take one smaller leaf and fold it back in half (with the stalk facing down). Roll the leaf quite tightly.

Take another leaf. Fold it back in half. Put the rolled leaf in the middle and just a bit down from the top edge. Fold it over from the left and the right. Hold tightly and repeat with the remaining leaves. You should have a rose-shaped thingy.

Tie it together tightly. You can also use thin elastic bands, but you need to be careful not to break the stalks.

Take the floral tape. It looks a bit like crepe paper and isn’t sticky. You need to moisten your fingers and when you place it on the leaves, you need to stretch it a little and wrap it around the stalks so that there’s an overlap. If it breaks, don’t worry about it, just overlap that bit and keep going. The important thing here is to keep your fingers moistened.

FAQ:
1. Can I use other types of leaves?
Yes, I guess so, but they need to be wide enough – and have a ‘square’ shape. Also, can’t be very green because they’ll crack. The florist I bought the floral tape from said that she’s seen people make roses by folding them long-ways along the vein. I haven’t tried this method though.
You don’t have to use big leaves. I found a sapling of a red maple and made the tiny little ‘buds’ in the photos.

2. If I don’t have floral tape, can I use anything else to wrap around the stalks?
Yes, you can. I’d probably use crepe paper tied down with some green cotton, or some green duct tape. The problem with this is that the floral tape is quite muted in colour and as the leaves dry, it doesn’t stand out and looks quite natural.

3. Do I have to use cotton or string to hold the leaves together?
No, you can use elastic bands but then need to be very thin not too small because you don’t want to break the stalks.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12

Step 13

(UPDATE: N.B. the rose in Step 12 is not the same one as in Step 13 – i.e. Step 13 demonstrates what happens when the autumn colours take hold of their own accord – they change colour themselves.)

Step 14 - go crazy

Step 15 - how lovely is that?

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Categories: Craft
  1. Sam
    October 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I may have missed something but the rose went from yellow to red. Is this just different leaves or did you paint it?? They look great!

    • October 30, 2010 at 8:12 am

      You use autumn leaves. Yellow leaves become light brown/gold, ginger/toffee-coloured leaves become dark brown/reddish and the little red buds came from a red maple and they were seriously bright red when I picked them up from around the tree! The reason why they were a lot smaller was because the tree itself was very small (only about 160cm tall) and it had small leaves.

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