Oh this leaf crown, it is one of my favorite headpieces so far. For a few reasons I love it. It feels more like an honest work of art than many of the other things I have made because it is so ephemeral. I also like the fact that it is made from leaves, which means that the technique can be used at almost any time of year, anywhere.
This was one of those project where I had the idea, but was not so sure of how I was going to make it, until I was actually doing it. I knew I wanted to use string and leaves, but the process was a mystery. I went out into our yard and walked over to the hydrangea bush. I love hydrangea leaves for the size, the scalloped edge and the smooth shiny texture. I picked a few of the leaves and held them in my hand as I wandered around the yard. The answer of how to work with them was not presenting itself. They draped more than I wanted them too, I needed something with a stronger midrib and a longer petiole (Oh yes I am getting fancy now with the anatomy of a leaf!).
A few minutes later I found myself crouched down at the bed of violet leaves. Oh yes, they were perfect. They have a robust leaf, with a scalloped edge and a beautiful curl to the leaf. The also have a wonderful long strong stem. The size was perfect for my vision too. So with the leaf selected I ran inside and grabbed a quilt and set myself up comfortably to play with them. It only took a few minutes before I had worked out how I was going to use the string to bind the leaves together. I loved the process. I loved how my fingers just seemed to do it, without any frustrated thought. All the years of sewing and crafting were behind me, my hands set to work, and just knew what to do. I used one long continuous piece of string and made a knot loop each time I added a leaf. I made sure to keep the string pulled firm. The stems were long so that they supported the structure. I placed each new leaf at the base of the last leaf and looped the string to hold it in place.
Elle sat bedside me watching for a minute and then busied herself collecting leaves and snipping string. Elle chose to work with dogwood leaves and after a little while declared she was making a leaf belt. Oh this Mama was proud! Nothing pleases my more than to see my children inspired and creating.
Before long I had bound enough leaves to make a garland. Elle was willing to be my model, and so I fitted it to her head. Oh the beauty! A simple stunning crown of leaves. A wonderful celebration of natural treasures, and an enlightened way to adorn one’s self. With the well-being of the environment in heart and mind, this project felt so good.
While making this crown it crossed my mind that many of you would like to make something like this too. I hope the photos are of help, and that they guide you in your own process. I look forward to seeing your creations.