How to Make a Dress from Leaves

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Using the natural beauty of fall leaves can add flair to an ordinary dress.
Using the natural beauty of fall leaves can add flair to an ordinary dress. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Crafting a one-of-a-kind dress is a way to express your individuality and creativity. One option, if you are seeking a woodsy and earth-friendly style, is to make a dress using leaves. Though this type of attire is best-suited for casual affairs and costume parties, you can honor the outdoors by creating a dress that pays homage to leaves and the spirit of fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Solid color dress
  • Silk leaves of various sizes and colors
  • Hot glue gun or glue stick
  • Needle and thread
  • Safety or straight pins

Determine whether you will wear your dress more than one time. If you will wear the dress at a later date or if you want to keep the dress, then use silk leaves to decorate the dress. If you use real leaves, then make the dress right before wearing it, because the leaves will continue to dry out and crumble.

Choose your leaves -- whether real or silk -- based on color, size and shape. Real leaves should be green or just changing colors to help ensure longevity. Do not choose real leaves that are brown or crumbling. Each leaf must be attached to a stem to help you attach it to the dress; this applies to both real and silk leaves.

Lay a solid color dress on a flat surface. Choose a base dress color to highlight the colors of your leaves. For example, if you use maple and oak leaves, then choose a dress in solid mustard, evergreen or burnt orange to pick up the subtle shades of color in the leaves.

Pin the leaves on the dress to create the style and pattern that suits your style. Use safety pins or straight pins to hold the leaves in place. This allows you to easily move the leaves around to get the design just right before you attach the leaves to the dress.

Using a hot glue gun, place a small drop of glue on the stem portion of each leaf and press gently to the dress to secure. Hold your finger in place for five to 10 seconds to ensure the leaf has adhered to the fabric. Remove the pin after you are certain the leaf is secure. Repeat the process for all leaves on the dress.

Allow the glue to thoroughly dry for one to three hours. Hold the dress up, and gently shake the dress to see if any leaves fall off. Reglue any leaves that did not stick. Use a needle and thread to stitch down any leaf edges that may stick up or out too far. This helps create a smoother look and helps further hold the leaves in place.

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