No-Sew Fabric Palm Leaf
I have always loved the look of simple foliage in a vase. But since adopting our kitty Sherry, who has a penchant for chewing on anything leafy, I’ve had to keep live plants out of the house. Now that Spring is on the way, I’ve been wanting some indoor greenery. So today I’m sharing how I made this No-Sew Fabric Palm Leaf, which is both kitty-proof as well as maintenance free (which I also like!).
To make your own Fabric Palm Leaf, you’ll need a few of these supplies:
- Leaf template <–click to download
- Fabric (a fat quarter is plenty, two if you’re using contrasting fabrics on either side)
- Two-sided fusible webbing such as Heat n Bond Ultra
- Iron and ironing board
- Wood dowel
- Green paint
- Washable fabric pen
- Fabric stiffener
You can download my leaf template, or you can find a real-live palm leaf or other broad leaves such as a taro plant and take a picture. This palm leaf is from my front yard. I also took a picture of a large taro leaf in Hawaii over the summer that I might try next! Print out the leaf template and cut it out with scissors (or if using your own photo, print out the photo and cut out the shape, or draw it onto another piece of paper).
Cut out two pieces of fabric slightly larger than your palm leaf. Then cut out a piece of fusible webbing the same size as your fabric. Fuse it to the wrong side of one of your fabric piece (be sure to read the directions on the webbing packaging first).
Peel off the paper backing and lay the other piece of fabric on top with the right side up. Then, take your wood dowel and place it on top of the webbing, under your 2nd piece of fabric, somewhere in the center. Lay the leaf template on top, and position the dowel so it is underneath the leaf. I’ve marked with pencil where the top of my dowel is.
Fuse the fabric so you have your first piece of fabric, then webbing, the dowel, and the 2nd piece of fabric. Carefully fuse all around the dowel so you wind up with a pocket for it. Remove the dowel.
Trace the palm leaf template onto one of the fabric sides with a washable fabric pen and cut out the palm leaf with scissors. Then place it in a paper plate and spray with fabric stiffener. Be sure to saturate it well, and flip it over to spray the other side. Then, place it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until the leaf is dry and stiffened, i.e. when you hold it up and the leaf doesn’t flop down as much. I think I microwaved mine for a total of 2 minutes. If the leaf hasn’t stiffened enough, you can spray more stiffener on it and repeat the process. Also, paint the dowel green. You can use acrylic paint or chalk-based paint, as I used. Poke two push pins into both ends of the dowel so you have something to hold onto when you’re painting, plus you can rest the push pins on two things while it dries.
When both the dowel and leaf are dry, insert the dowel back into its pocket in the leaf.
Last step: fold each leaf section lengthwise to give it some dimension. The stiffener plus the webbing will keep the crease, but you can also use the tip of your iron to help it along. If you like, you can use your sewing machine to stitch along the folds, but this optional.
Place the whole thing into a skinny vase. All done. This would be fun to make with paper too.
No plants were harmed by kitties to create this project. The Fabric Palm Leaf is a simple way to add green to your home without having to water anything, either!
Spring will be here before we know it! Click here for more Springtime crafts (as well as St. Patrick’s Day and Easter ideas) on my blog, The Silly Pearl. Thank you again to Melanie for having me on Reasons to Skip the Housework today! – Steph
Melanie works full time at Tuft & Needle and blogs part time evenings and weekends when her daughter is working on the cars with her dad!