How to Make Vine Leaf Decorations

By Steve Sparkes
Vines are leaf-covered, climbing stems on plants like ivy or Virginia creeper.

Homemade vine leaf decorations add interest to toga, Italian or jungle-themed parties, or use them as additional adornments at Thanksgiving and Halloween festivities. Wrap homemade vine leaf strings around ornamentation to effectively fill empty spaces. Alternatively, wind them around stair posts or hang them across walls and along mantelpieces. Making these useful, reusable vine leaf decorations will take less than an hour using materials that likely will cost less than $10.

Cut lengths of green twine or craft wire. Use scissors or wire cutters accordingly. Make either one long vine, or several shorter vines a few feet long, depending on how you plan to dress the building for the festive occasion.

Tie, or bend and twist, loops at each end of the twine, or craft wire.

Draw the outline of a large vine leaf on thick cardbaord -- cut a large panel from an old cereal box to save buying new. Many types of vine leaves have five lobes. They have two small lobes at the back, two medium-size ones further forward and the largest lobe at the front. Between the two small rear lobes, draw a wide, long neck on the leaf.

Use scissors to cut out the leaf-shaped stencil.

Trace around the stencil on sheets of construction paper with a pen or pencil. Cut the leaf shapes out. Cut the leaves from green paper alone or give the vine a colorful, seasonal look if the event is in the fall, by using a variety of green, yellow, orange and red leaves. Make more-interesting leaves by using white construction paper as a base and coloring some leaves solid colors and others a mixture of green and yellow, or orange and red, to represent the color-changing process.

Double the neck of the leaf cutouts over the twine or craft wire and staple or glue the folded-over paper in place. Staple or glue the leaf tightly over the twine or wire to stop the leaves sliding out of position if the vine is hung at an angle.

Hang the vines from the loops on the ends. Use thumb tacks to secure them to walls or ceilings. If the vine is long, pin it up at intervals with thumb tacks. Alternatively, drape the vines over cupboards, around stair posts or along mantelpieces.

Tip

For added detail, draw veins on the vine leaves using felt-tip pens in a darker shade than the leaf. Use tissue paper instead of construction paper, if you prefer. Make wreath decorations from real vines. Cut 3-foot to 10-foot lengths of grapevines, Virginia creeper, silver lace or honeysuckle. Make a circular shape with one length. Weave the thinner part of the vine around and through the thicker end to secure in place. Tuck the widest end of a new length of vine into the already woven part of the wreath. Weave the rest of the length around the circle. Build layers until the wreath is of the desired size. You will need to remove some of the leaves from each vine before use to make them manageable.

Warning

Virginia creeper and silver lace are irritants to some people, so place out of reach and avoid using as ornamentation at events attended by young children. Avoid using toxic vines, like poison ivy, in festive decorations.

About the Author

Steve Sparkes started writing professionally in 1982. He was a journalist and photographer for "The New York Waste" magazine for a decade. Sparkes has a diploma of art and design and a Bachelor of Arts in history of art from the South-East Essex School of Art. He also has a Master of Arts in photography from the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts.