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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Velvet Pumpkin Leaves ~ My Newest Free Tutorial ...

Hello my dear friends,

with Autumn slowly approaching, I am planing to make a few of my pumpkin pincushions this year again. I had made a some very neat ones last year using different shades of orange velvet. This time I am going to use some new fabrics that I had recently bought in very some lovely colors.

Unfortunately I don't have any crushed walnut shells on hand ( they are in the mail to me as I am writing this post and will be here hopefully this week some time) so I thought, I would share my newest tutorial with all of you before hand.

I want my new pumpkins to have lovely velvet leaves. Unfortunately vintage millinery leave are not so easy to come by and can be very expensive too, so I decided that I wanted to make them instead of trying to find and buy them. I am very fortunate to have a piece of vintage velvet in my chest of drawers in the most lovely green color and now all I needed was the how to make them.

My first thought was to make embossed velvet leaves but that didn't work out too well and a second try out didn't happen after my first failed one. It actually wasn't what I was looking for after all. Now I had to think of something else and I did! My singed edge flowers came to my mind and I wondered if I could apply the same technique to make velvet leaves.

My first attempt went sort of well, even though the overall look of my first leaves wasn't  the best but this time that didn't stop me from trying again. The second attempt was done and this time with a little more detailed leaf template. I am glad I did because this time it worked out the way I wanted it too and that is what I am sharing with you today!

 My newest free tutorial!

How to make ...

... velvet pumpkin leaves.

You will need the following ...

~ Rayon Velvet (it must be rayon or it won't melt)
~ Scissors
~ Candle and lighter/matches
~ Printed off template or template of you choice (glued onto a piece of card and cut out)
~ Disappearing quilter's pen
~ Long nosed pliers (optional, to hold your leaf with when working over the flame)
~ A bowl of cold water (for your fingers ~ just in case)
~ Lace or thin muslin (optional)
~ Fabric glue ( I use Fabri-Tac) only if you are using lace/muslin

And here is ...

... my pumpkin leaf template. 
{Enlarge to 8 x 11 inches and print off)

Have you got everything you need? ... Now  you can start!

Cut a square of velvet slightly larger than your leaf template and lay it soft side down.

Place your template onto the wrong side of the fabric (the side showing) and ...

... using your quilter's pen trace around your template.

Once done ...

... cut your leaf out.

No worries if it isn't perfect because leaves are not always perfect in real life.

Now it is time to light your candle and it is time to transform your leaf !

But first a word of warning ...

... always be very careful when using a candle and especially when you are singing rayon fabric or for that fact, any other synthetic fabric. The fabric melts very fast and gets intensely hot ... so please, be very careful!

Have your bowl of water next to you just in case of singed fingers or your fabric does!

Carefully hold your leaf (with the soft side up) over the flame but not too close and singe all the way around it. It will only take a few seconds at a time to do so.

It should look something like this now.

If you want veins in your leaf, that is what you are going to do next if not, you are already done with your candle and if you wish to cover the back of your leaf, read further down on how to do so.

If you would like your leaf to have veins, this is what you do next ...

First fold the leaf in half (from the top to the bottom).

You can now use your long nosed pliers to hold the fold in place and singe this carefully over the flame. You can also hold it with your fingers, just be very careful when doing so.

 Beware not to do it for too long (a few seconds at a time) because you will melt the fabric right through. Open the leaf up in between after a few seconds and see if you are happy with the look of the marking or not. If not then fold it up again, hold with your pliers and singe it a little more.

That is the center vein now done!

To make the diagonal veins, fold the upper half in half and do the same as you did with the center vein.

This is what it should look like ...

... but again it doesn't have to be perfect.

Continue with the other side of the leaf ...

... just as you have done with the first one.

You could leave your leaf like this now or ...

... you could add a few more veins too. 

For the final two veins ...

... fold the upper quarters of the leaf in half and singe those edges too.

And now your leaf is almost done!

I like to cover the back of my leaves because some time when working with a candle, soot can mark your fabric and I just like everything to be very neat overall.

If you would like to cover the back of your leaf, this is what you have to do.

Cut a piece of lace or thin muslin that is slightly larger than your leaf .

Turn you leaf over so the wrong side is facing you  and using your fabric glue, ...

... run a fine line of glue on the edge of your leaf and on the veins.

Place your leaf onto the lace and press down and let it dry.

Once dry cut off the excess lace ...

... and now your velvet pumpkin leaf ...

... is done!

And it looks great from both sides too!

These are my little pumpkin leaves. I am beyond happy with the way they have turned out and I am very happy to share how I made them with all of you. 

And now my little soapbox is coming out of the cupboard for a very short moment ...

... I am happy for you to use this free tutorial and to your heart's content but I have to ask for something from some people. I have had several of my free tutorials taken by some people, slightly altered and then they made it look like it was their idea, design and work. Please, do not do this with this tutorial. I work very hard on creating free tutorials and love sharing them too and I would hate for this to come to an end because some people just don't realize how wrong it is to taken some one's work.
And now my little soapbox is back in the cupboard and resting, hopefully for a long time.

 I hope you have enjoyed my newest tutorial and I would love to hear your thoughts.
 I can't wait to make my pumpkins and embellish them with my velvet leaves. Hopefully it won't be too long before I can show my newest little fall fruit.

Oh, before I forget ...

...  last but not least ...

I am going to try and make a few different shaped leaves some time soon to see how they turn out using this technique. Why don't you try it too?!

Thank you for taking the time to visit me today here at Todolwen. It is always so nice when you do and I hope you will come back some time again.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.


  1. What a beautiful looking leaf. I love it. Looking forward to your pumpkin pincushions. Can't wait to see them. Pat

  2. These have turned out beautifully Karen, especially with the lace backing. Thanks for the tutorial. x

  3. You are a genius! Love how you make the veins.

    Happy leaf-ing!

  4. Really clever! You are so talented...and you have a lot of patience!

  5. What a great tutorial. You continue to amaze me!

  6. Thank you for sharing. I am always looking for things to make for my friend Barb and a velvet pumpkin with these beautiful leaves is perfect. I'm off to the store to buy my fabric. Thanks again.

  7. I would never have thought to use the needle nose pliers, how ingenious!

  8. Thank you for the singed leaf tutorial which I will use in all kinds of ways I'm so excited to try it.

  9. Thanku so much it's very kind of u to share this tutorial. I really hate it when people pinch other people's designs and ideas and then claim it as their own. The karma bus never forgets lol..again thanku cheers
    Kaz from Oz 😆

    1. So happy you like my tutorial. Just wondering, have you seen anyone claim it as theirs?

    2. Gracias 😄 por compartir tus conocimientos, eres muy buena explicando y dando los detalles. Eres un amor. Muchas bendiciones para ti.

  10. The fabric looks velveteen to me
    Perhaps is upholstery velvet

    1. Hi,
      No, it is vintage velvet I had found in a thrift store. Upholstery velvet is too thick and won't melt like this does.
      Karen B.