Embroidered Leaves

There are two ways to annoy a Shetlander: First call Shetland “the Shetlands” which will instantly set their teeth on edge; second complain about the lack of trees. This usually results in either the mention of Kergord or a defensive/passive aggressive “who needs trees anyway?” response.

This month’s craft is somethiang I’ve been wanting to try for a while – embroidered leaves. It’s partly inspired by Tom Of Holland’s Visible Mending Program and partly by the transience of nature.

First, find your tree. Look around for fallen leaves or pull one or two off (shh!). The type of leaf you use will affect the result you get.

Rubbery leaves last longer and so your piece will change less. Other leaves like oak will wither thus altering your piece with time.

I would try a mixture to see what effect you like best.

Equipment & Materials needed

  • Glycerine (two small bottles);
  • Plastic tub;
  • Thread;
  • Small sharp needle;
  • A small shape punch (usually used for card making) or small sharp scissors;
  • Some kind of varnish either spray varnish or clear nail varnish;
  • A plain white ceramic tile or canvas covered frame for mounting them on.


  1. First steep your leaves in a mixture of one part glycerine to two parts water.
  2. After a couple of days remove the leaves and pat dry with kitchen roll.
  3. You can either cut or punch a regular shaped hole out of the middle of your leaf
  4. or carefully cut an abstract shape from the inside of your leaf. Or you can leave the leaf whole.
  5. If it tears you can mend your leaf by sewing two parts together. You can also sew around the edges of the hole that you cut in the leaf.
  6. It’s very relaxing when you stop questioning the point of it all.
  7. Either paint on clear nail varnish, spray on clear varnish or leave to wither with time.
  8. They look great mounted on tiles or on a plain white canvas.

Speedcrafting Leaves 2 660

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