Paper flowers are all the rage but what about the foliage? I am obsessed with leaves and tropical plants lately and when we (Sharon, Lauren and Ali) started planning our Stay Wild Urban Jungle Mini Party at Alt Summit SLC this year, I knew we needed a really big and wild garland. We wanted edgy jungle yet chic, and unlike anything that had been seen on Pinterest. As the self proclaimed queen of garland, I had to make it. I knew the garland had to be full and easy to pack. It had to be bendable, for fullness, and easy to modify. Since we were working in a space out of town, we only had measurements and pictures to go by, aka make a bazillion pieces and cross your fingers that you have enough.
Make a crepe paper leaf garland:
You will need folds of crepe paper, scissors, floral wire and floral tape. Also having a fave tv show ready to marathon on Hulu or Netflix helps, too! My favorite is Revenge, so good.
Cut the crepe paper fold into thirds, two large pieces of the same size, about 6-7 inches long and a smaller end piece. Save the end piece for something else, like using it for a party streamer.
Cut 2 leaf shapes out of one of those large pieces. Cut along the direction of the grain, cutting off the folds. Repeat with second large section of paper.
Separate the leaves and twist the bottom of each one. Repeat for all the leaves, this step helps make the process faster.
Tear off a piece of floral tape about 18 inches long. Holding a piece of floral wire, place a leaf at the top and wrap the floral tape around the bottom to secure it to the wire. Keep wrapping the tape around and add another leaf, holding and taping the twisted end onto the wire.
Repeat and twist the wire with your thumb and finger to make quick work of it. It will take a few times to get the feel for it, but after that you can know these out quickly. Keep adding leaves until there is only 4 inches or so left of wire at the bottom.
Make a bazillion, attach to larger wire and more leaf shapes or hang as is. Before your hang, fluff the leaves for fullness. If you are packing or setting up somewhere else, save the fluffing until the end. Once you pack or stack these you will have to refluff at the destination. Once hanging, you are good and won't have to fluff anymore.
Need to add these to each other? Just twist together or on wire. That's the beauty of floral wire! Hang a simple swag anywhere, like I did here to spruce up my favorite bar cart.
How did I plan this gigantic garland? How did I know how many pieces to make? It was a bit tough, but this is how I did it. I made samples of each size and shape of the pieces of garland. I made a few samples of each and twisted them together. I made this crepe paper garland, that I just showed you how to make, and a bunch of card stock leaves in various tropical shapes. On each paper leaf, I added a piece of floral wire. I used scotch tape to attach the wire on the back, because glue took too long to dry and didn't hold as well. Also, a piece of tape makes the process fast. When you are making boatloads of garland, the faster you can make each individual piece, the more you can make in a shorter period of time.
Once I had my samples, I made a few of each and pieced them together to form a segment. Even though this is a bit longer, I considered this a foot. I counted up how many of each type of leaf and then multiplied that times the length of garland I needed. I made enough for fifteen feet of garland. How much is that? About 120 of those little segments. Here's a pic of half way. I love my family and what they put up with.
These boys had to be packed and shipped. This is why I say don't fluff until at your venue. It will flatten and have to be redone. Save your time!
That awesome quality of pictures? Just shot from my phone but I had to share. This is what our room looked like before we decorated. I am so so glad we draped the whole thing, it was game changing. Stay tuned for more details behind the scenes of our Urban Jungle party later this week.
And can I just say, it's good to be back! Missed you guys!