Hand Stitched Gold Leaf Garland Tutorial

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Originally posted 9 November 2018

Hello lovelies

Gold leaves garland leaves on books 1

Last time I was here in blogland, I did say that I might be back in just one week but it has in fact been 3 weeks and November is upon us. Where is the time going? One thing I know for sure is that Autumn is well under way and a chill in the air has reminded me that we are on the road to Winter. The darker, shorter days are hard to accept, however the Autumn sunshine has been beautiful, which makes the transition a little easier!

Gold leaves garland real leaves

It is that very light shining through the Autumn leaves, with their wondrous plethora of colours which has inspired my latest craft project. I have raided my fabric stash (I must do this more often!) and used a luscious, soft gold leatherette to make hand stitched leaves, which I have strung into a garland to make a pretty Autumnal decoration. I thought you might like to give them a go to…

Hand Stitched Gold Leaves Garland Tutorial

Materials & Equipment:

Makes 14 leaves

Paper, pencil, paper scissors

Gold leatherette (scraps or a piece measuring approx 30 x 30cm)

Fusible webbing – I always use this

Backing fabric – I used Kona cotton solids in natural (cream)

Gold thread – DMC E3821

25cm/10” embroidery hoop

Fabric scissors

Embroidery scissors

Embroidery needle

String to make the garland


Draw and cut out different shaped leaves to make the paper leaf templates. Use real leaves as a guide for the shape but make them approx 7 x 5 cm.

Using a dry iron, attach the fusible webbing to the back of the gold leatherette, making sure that the dimensions of the fusible webbing are slightly smaller and that the webbing is glue side down (feels rough to the touch) and smooth paper side up.

Draw around the leaf templates onto the fusible webbing using a pencil and cut out using small scissors.

Peel off the paper layer of fusible webbing from the back of the leaves, by making small slits in the webbing using embroidery scissors which creates loose ends. This is much easier than trying to peel it off from the edges. This leaves the glue layer on the back of the leaves.

Gold leaves garland small hoop and leaves

Cut a piece of backing fabric measuring approximately 31 x 31cm.

Lay the leaves gold side up onto the backing fabric using the inner ring of the embroidery hoop as a guide. All leaves should be within this inner hoop. (The pic above shows my practice hoop which is much smaller than the hoop used in this project)

Remove the inner hoop and lay another piece of fabric (or clean tea towel) on top of the leaves, which will prevent the iron from sticking to them.

Iron over the top of this protective fabric, sticking the leaves to the backing fabric. Once stuck, remove the protective fabric.

Gold leaves garland leaves on backing fabric

Lay the leaves and backing fabric on top of the inner hoop. Lay the outer hoop over the top and press down, thus catching the fabric between the hoops. Use the screw at the top of the outer hoop to tighten the hoops pulling the fabric taught at the same time.

Cut a length of gold embroidery thread and split it into single strands.

Using one strand at a time, thread the needle and stitch the markings onto the leaf using a back stitch (see this post for back stitch instructions). Normally, I would draw the markings on using a pencil or an air erasable fabric pen first, however these marking will not show up on the gold fabric or in the case of the fabric pen will wipe off. Therefore, I stitched carefully without guide markings in lines as straight as possible!

Gold leaves garland stitching leaves 2

Gold leaves garland stitching leaves 1

Once all markings are stitched, remove the fabric from the hoop.

Gold leaves garland out of hoop

Cut another piece of backing fabric to cover the leaves at the back of the fabric and a piece of fusible webbing slightly smaller than this piece of fabric.

Iron the fusible webbing to the backing fabric.

Gold leaves garland ironing webbing to fabric

Peel off the paper layer of fusible webbing and place glue side down (fabric side up) onto the back of the leaves. Attach using a hot dry iron.

Once fused together, turn over and cut out the leaves using embroidery scissors.

Gold leaves garland cutting leaves out

Gold leaves garland leaves cut out 1

Gold leaves garland leaves on books 2

Stitch each leaf to the string 10cm apart (very small pegs would work too) and hang wherever desired!

Gold leaves garland leaves with string

Gold leaves garland hanging 2

Gold leaves garland hanging 1

I attached the leaves to the string so that they hung in 2 rows. I think they would look equally gorgeous along a shelf, hanging from a mirror or stitched to a hoop to make a leaf wreath! I am now itching to make some more leaves with patterned fabric.

Have a wonderful weekend lovelies. I’ll be relishing staying cosy inside this weekend, in between performing arts school on Saturday and a pizza birthday party on Sunday!

Until next time!

Lots of love,



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