My mantel decor this year was all about pumpkins. However, I really wanted to add a unique DIY garland to my already rustic mantel and found the perfect compliment to the pumpkins with a DIY paper bag leaf garland.
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Making this garland took just a few bags of faux maple leaves from Dollar Tree, but I was also able cleaned out several paper bags from grocery shopping I had stored in my pantry.
I don’t know why I keep such things as paper bags, but then I always seem to find something to do with them or make with them. They are great for loading up on small items and clothes to take to a donation center when you don’t have boxes. And occasionally I find a great craft to make with them such as this paper bag leaf garland.
Easy DIY Faux Leaf Garland Mantel
Making the garland was very easy, however, tracing and cutting out all of the leaves took several days, sore hands, and some patience.
My first idea for making this garland would be that it would all be made with paper bag leaves. Once I started cutting out the leaves, I realized it was going to take a lot of paper leaves to make up 12 foot of garland. On impulse, I had purchased several bags of maple leaves at Dollar Tree the last time I was there. I didn’t have a plan for them but you just never know when you might need a bag of faux fall leaves!
These bags of cut out faux maple leaves made such a difference in finishing up this garland.
To make the paper bag leaves, I first cut open the paper bag to be able to use all four sides of the inside of the paper.
Next I traced several sizes of the Dollar Tree maple leaves on the paper bag with a pencil.
Then you cut out each leaf, trace more on another bag, and continued the process.
For the garland I made, I used 5 paper bags.
Since the cutouts are a bit flat in appearance, I tossed them together and purposefully bent and crinkled the edges.
They still needed something more, so I then took a fine tip Sharpie and drew veining lines on some of the cutouts to resembled maple leaves. I knew I would be gluing them down in layers so the lines did not have to be perfect.
Gluing all of the leaves together took a bit of time but was not hard. You will need a roll of jute twine to do the next part.
Then I hot glued several layers of leaves to the top side of the twine over the bottom leaf. I tried to do this differently but found that the hot glue stuck to my dining table along with the twine and the top leaves.
Putting a leaf on the bottom side and attaching the leaves one by one on top of that in layers, and then repeating the process worked perfectly.
I alternated the paper bag leaf cutouts and the Dollar Tree leaves as I glued along the length of twine. If I saw that I needed more of either one along the way, it is very easy to just apply a spot of hot glue to one and insert it between the other leaves.
I think I watched one and a half Hallmark movies while I glued the leaves on. I just took my time didn’t rush the process.
My mantel is around 8 feet long and I made this faux leaf garland at least 12 feet long. I had more than enough of this paper bag leaf garland to have four loops hanging over the edge of the mantel. It was also easy to hang by inserting thumb tacks in the wood of the mantel and looping the jute twine around the tacks.
Honestly, this project was so easy to make and fun too! I will definitely be making other versions of garland for other projects.
If you need more ideas for Fall garland, check out these links below.
Hugs and Happy Fall!
Galations 6:7 “Don’t be misled – you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.”