Fall seems to hit all the senses, doesn’t it? The colors are brilliant, the crunch of the leaves underfoot is lovely, and the woodsy smell of bonfires and fireplaces starts to scent the air. When I think of fall, I think of crisp days and a walk through the woods. When I think of fall projects, I think of burnt oranges, rust reds, and golden yellows. I also think of textures like leather and jute. This project tutorial for how to make a leather leaf garland with a Cricut hits all the right notes for me. The shape, the materials, the colors are perfect for autumn. And it’s extremely easy to make either with or without a cutting machine!
The video below will show you how to cut the leather with a Cricut machine and then use a sewing machine to sew it. The instructions for how to cut the leather leaves without a cutting machine are in the written tutorial below the video. Once you cut the leaves you can stop there and use the leaves to add small fall touches to your home as they are. Or you can try the super simple sewing technique I demonstrate in the video to make the garland! It not only makes this project easy and fun to make, but I also feel super cool whenever I use it.
And did I mention these were SUPER SIMPLE and EASY? Even if you have NO sewing experience- you can make this garland. 🙂
Pro-tip: Change up the sizing on some of your leaves gives a more natural look to your garland. To do this with the PDF, you just enlarge the printout. You can also turn over the template and trace it in that direction to flip the design. Or if you like a mix of smooth and suede, you just flip your leaf.
How to Cut Leather to Make a Fall Leaf Garland.
Supplies and Tools
- Leaf SVG or PDF template from the Creative Resource Library
- Cricut Maker
- Strong Grip Mat (purple)
- Masking Tape
- Leather- Genuine or Faux works too
- Twine and/or String
- Sewing Machine w/thread of choice
Step 1- Download the Free Fall Leaf SVG Design
To cut the leather leaves with a cutting machine, like a Cricut, download the free Fall Leaf SVG file from the Well Crafted Studio Creative Resource Library. Once you’ve entered the password for the library (it’s free to subscribe if you haven’t already) scroll down to the SVG Files section for the Fall Leaf SVG file.
Step 2- Upload the SVG file to Cricut Design Space
To do this, when you’re on the canvas page, click on the “Upload” button on the toolbar on the left-hand side of the screen. This will take you to the uploaded images page. From there, click on the “browse” button and then choose the leaf file. Then, once it’s been uploaded, select it and click on “insert images” in the lower right-hand side of the screen.
Step 3- Size and Customize the Design
You can size these to how you’d like them, by simply dragging the arrow to make the design larger or smaller. Or, you can follow the directions in the video to customize your design.
The first step to doing this is to separate the three leaves in the design. You can simply ungroup if it’s an option, or I show you how to duplicate the design 2x and then use the contour function at the bottom of the Layers panel to seperate the leaves.
Then, you can duplicate the individual leaves to get as many as you’d like. I also show you how to flip the design as well as unlock the proportions to change their shape.
The reason to take these extra steps is so that when you assemble the garland you have a more natural variety of shapes and sizes. Again, small choices that make a big impact on the final product!
Step 5- Prep the Leather for Cutting
Place the genuine leather face down onto a Cricut Strong Grip cutting mat. To make sure the leather is firmly adhered to the mat, press down and across, and use a brayer over the leather if you have it. Then use your masking or painters tape to tape all 4 sides of the leather to the mat. Cricut is happier if your leather is about 11.5″ in width. Don’t forget to move the white star wheels in the machine all the way to the right. Cricut will remind you of this before you cut.
Step 6- Check your Images, and Choose “Make it”
Double-check your images in Cricut Design Space and choose “Make it.” On the next screen make sure that your design will cut where you want it to on the leather. Double-checking is ALWAYS a good idea.
Step 7- Cut the Leather.
The next step is to load the mat into the machine. Select “Browse All Materials” and choose “Genuine Leather”.
Then follow the prompts in Cricut Design Space to insert the correct blade and then when Cricut prompts you to, press the flashing start button on the machine.
The machine will make several passes and this takes some time. Once finished, DO NOT UNLOAD THE MAT. On your screen, it will may give you the option to check the material to ensure it is cut all the way through. Just try to peel up one of the edges closest to you. If it’s not cut through yet, you can choose to repeat the cut. Just press the go button again. This only works if you did not unload the mat. Sometimes, because I don’t want to wait for a third pass, I will unload the mat and then just use a scissor to cut the small places where it may not have cut through yet. When you think you’re ready, press the “Unload” button.
Why this process of cutting and then recutting is actually a good option to have.
I think that the reason Cricut gives you the option to check your leather and then cut again if needed is that each piece of leather is different. Even if they are the same thickness, they will have different natural variables that may make them harder to cut. When I was working on this project I cut over 6 different leather remnants that all looked to be the same type and thickness. However, I found that sometimes a piece would cut perfectly on the first pass, but the next piece needed 3 passes and still did not release perfectly.
Personally, I appreciate it that they allow for irregularities in the materials and haven’t just programmed their machines to go off and cut more times than may be necessary. This practice saves wear on the blade and the mat, and my time.
Finishing the Leaf Garland
Step One- Decide on the pattern for the leaf garland.
by laying them out in order on the table. Then stack the leaves in the order you want to sew them to twine.
Step Two- Get Ready to Sew.
Measure out about a foot of your twine or string or twine AND string. Then place it in a vertical direction under the presser foot.
Set your machine to a zig-zag stitch. Lift the presser foot again and lay a leaf on top of the twine and position it all under the presser foot.
Step Four- Sew the Garland.
Slowly begin to sew over the leaf, then the twine, and then stop. Lift up the presser foot and lay down another leaf. Repeat until the garland is the length you want it to be.
Step Five- Add the Finishing Touches.
When you’re done, stop sewing, and remove the garland from the machine. You will have to cut the threads. Don’t cut the twine/string until you measure out another extra 12″ of twine/string like you did at the beginning. Again, so that you can use it to hang your garland with it. Then cut the twine/string from their rolls. Clip any threads, and if you like, you can add the little extra bows every so often along the length of the garland. This is a design choice but one of the small things you can do that really makes your handmade crafts stand out.
Ideas for How to Display your Leather Leaves and the Fall Leaf Garland.
Personally, I love these as single leaves and when they’re sewn together to make a garland. It’s a simple but elegant handmade look when you scatter them across a conference table. A quick fall touch that doesn’t take up space. They look great on a tray or in a handmade pottery bowl with a couple of small gourds. Currently, I have it draped through the arms of my dining room chandelier, and have a smaller one draped across a wall shelf.
More Ways to Display Your Leather Leaves.
- For a unique table setting, place one leaf on each plate with a name card. A simple look that makes a big impact.
- Flip them over so the suede is down and the smooth side up, and you’ve got a simple coaster.
- Punch or cut a hole in it, and you have a great little gift packaging accessory.
- A larger garland draped across the stair rail or across a headboard would look fantastic too!
That’s just off the top of my head. I’d love to know if you have any other ideas for how to use these little fall beauties. The look of these with the leather, especially the suede is just so rich and tactile. I love the look and feel of them for my Fall decorating. And once you try them, you’ll see how insanely simple this Fall DIY décor project is and what a great handmade touch it adds to your home this Autumn.
For More Inspiration.
If you love the leather leaf look, a friend of mine, Amy Romeau, has posted a tutorial on How to Make Faux Suede Fall Leaf Earrings With Your Cricut. It’s another easy craft that, when finished, looks way harder than it was. I can’t wait to make a pair (or three) of these with the leftover scraps of leather from this project! Even though her tutorial is for Faux Suede you can sub the leather and then follow the rest of her instructions, choosing “genuine leather” as the material.
And for more DIY Leather Inspiration, I’d love to have you check out my Pinterest board on the subject. I also have a Hello Fall Pinterest board that’s full of seasonal DIY projects. If you’d like to see more of my tutorials with the Cricut Maker, then I’d love to have you check out my YouTube channel. Two of my most popular are How to Make a Debossed Leather Cuff, and How to Engrave Stainless Steel.
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If you found this tutorial helpful or just love the design, please consider sharing it on social media or pinning the image below to your Pinterest boards. It really helps others to see this, which helps me. I’d also love to have you like, comment, and/or share the video above! And, if you want to get notified when a project video is posted, just hit the subscribe button on my YouTube channel! Thanks for reading!