I made this DIY tropical leaf plant for a specific vase.
The other day I broke another one of my favorite Anthropologie mugs. It was a lucky break, as it sort of broke in half. Instead of binning the mug, I upcycled it into a DIY wall vase.
Not only was it a lovely mug but it also had sentimental value as it was a gift from a very good friend.
Even though I was able to repurpose the mug into a wall vase it was only really suited for faux plants and flowers.
As the mug had a Boho vibe, I decided that a tropical leaf plant would look the best in the mug vase.
I think that you can make pretty realistic-looking faux flowers and plants with crepe paper. Especially if you use the thick Italian crepe paper as it can be molded and shaped.
I designed this tropical leaf plant myself and I’m not sure what plant it is but I think the leaves look very similar to banana leaves.
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What You Need
- Italian heavy crepe paper (180 g) in sage green
- Floristry wire stems 14 gauge 12- 16 inches long
- White craft glue
- Yellow sharpie pen
- A small piece of flower oasis or a scrap piece of foam
How to make a DIY Tropical Leaf Plant
1.. To make the first leaf, cut a piece of the crepe paper into a rectangle approximately 7cm by 12cm (3″ by 5″). Then another strip 1 cm by 12 cm (1/2″ by 5″).
Top Tip: Make sure that the grain of the crepe paper runs in the right direction. Follow the picture above. The crepe paper folds should lie in the direction that the paper would get longer when pulled.
2. Next, stretch out the long thin piece of crepe paper. Glue one end to the top of the wire stem. Then tightly wrap the crepe paper around the wire stem. Use another dollop of glue to secure the end of the paper strip to the wire.
3. Next, place glue down the center of the large crepe paper rectangle. Then, stick the wrapped wire stem to it.
4. Then, fold the crepe paper around the stem in half. Cut out a leaf shape whilst the crepe paper is folded around the stem.
5. Next, fold out the crepe paper to reveal the leaf shape. Then, use the sharpie to add tinting to the edge of the tropical leaf.
6. Next, cut out random small nicks and cuts into the edge of the leaf.
7. The best bit about using this heavy crepe paper is that it can be bent and shaped. Manipulate the crepe paper on the leaf to bend and shape it into a more realistic tropical leaf shape.
8. Repeat steps one to seven to make at least another 5 DIY tropical leaves. I suggest that you vary the sizes of the leaves slightly to make a more realistic plant.
9. Finally, to finish the DIY tropical plant, place the foam in the mug Boho wall vase and arrange the leaves in the vase. The wire stem and the flexibility of the crepe paper enable you to shape the plant so that it looks more realistic.
There is a tutorial of felt tropical leaves with this DIY felt lampshade.
If you’re like me and you love the Boho look in home interiors check out these wonderful vintage tropical palm tree prints.
I’ve also made an upcycled leather Boho vase with giant crepe paper flowers and Boho jeans pillows that complement this craft. I think that these DIY tropical leaf plants would look great in recycled hanging planters too.
You can find more fun papercrafts here.