Plentiful at this time of year – gorgeous leaves! We live on a street lined with maple trees, so the materials for these are abundant. I am not sure who first created these but I am certain they have been made for a long time. I first learned how to make these a few years ago from a retired art teacher in our community. She like to wrap the leaves really tight so they looked like rose buds, I like to find the really big leaves and make them with large open “petals”. I’m not a huge fan of dried flowers but these do have beautiful color.
What you need: About 10 colorful maple leaves (per flower) in various sizes, they should be dry & freshly fallen, so they are pliable. It is also helpful to have on hand short twigs, scissors and florist tape.
Using one of the smaller leaves, place the colorful side down and fold the points in. Begin to roll the leaf from one side.
Take a second leaf and fold the center point down. Place the first rolled leaf in the center, fold down the side points on the second leaf and wrap both sides around.
Continue to add leaves, rotating the flower as you go to get an even size. Work with the smaller leaves towards the larger ones. When you rotate it also helps to keep the sides tucked in so that it doesn’t unravel.
When you have added all your leaves or reach desired size, pinch the leaf stems tightly and begin to wrap with florist tape. Trim the stem ends and cut. Finally if you are wanting a “long stem” use a stick and attach to the flower by wrapping it with a bit more florist tape.
Then ‘ta da’ you’re done! I made just a few… and stuck them in a random vase I threw a while back. My girls also made one each and took them to their teachers – so sweet, they are!
A few years ago, I used these for a thanksgiving centerpiece
. I should note: this was the first year I stayed home with my girls, so I had a lot of pent-up creativity. I made a “Mayflower boat” by gluing sticks, and mixed real flowers and maple roses. For the sail I ironed cotton muslin to freezer paper and ran it through my printer, to get a family picture. Then I sewed it to size and added pockets to attach to the mast. I know it was a bit “overboard!”