How To Stiffen Felt – Montserrat Leaf DIY with Free Pattern

I’m on a mission to add more greenery to my home, and since I’m really bad at keeping plants alive, I’m sticking with the faux versions. So I designed a simple montserrat leaf and I’ll show you how to stiffen felt so the leaves can be shaped for a natural look.

Learn a simple and effective method for how to stiffen felt while creating lovely greenery for your home!

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Download the pattern here.

You can print it on freezer paper and iron it onto your felt or simply pin the paper to your felt. It’s up to you.

Materials you'll need for stiffening felt foliage

I used two shades of green felt, Fern and Spring Leaf.

You’ll also need:
18 gauge floral wire
Wax Paper
Glue Gun
Aleene’s Stiffen Quik Spray

As I was cutting out the leaves I discovered that these fiskars micro-tip scissors were actually better than the snips for getting in all the tight corners. I used the snips for the 2 little cutouts though.

Fiskars Microtip scissors are great for getting into tight corners

I cut out 3 leaves of each colour. (You can only get 2 leaves out of a 9″x12″ felt sheet)

Tear off a length of wax paper and and arrange your leaves on top of it.

Note: Before you start spraying your felt, I recommend spraying a piece of scrap material just to get the flow going and ensure a good spray. I didn’t do this and I ended up with quite a few drips on my felt before I got a steady spray going.

Another Note: I’ve also tried Aleene’s Liquid Stiffener and it basically turned my felt into cardboard. The spray is definitely the way to go for a more natural look!

Hold the bottle 6-8 inches above the felt and spray a light coat of stiffener on each leaf.

It's surprisingly easy to stiffen felt with this simple product!

Flip each leaf over and apply a light coat to the other side.

Let them dry about an hour, turning them over after 30 minutes.

Apply two more light coats in the same manner. Allow to dry fully for about 2 hours, flipping them occasionally.

Heat up your iron on a med-high setting and turn off the steam. Sandwich the leaves inside a cotton press cloth.

Sandwich the leaf in a press cloth to heat-set

Pass the iron over the leaves several times. Flip the leaves over and iron the other side as well. (In case you’re wondering, I love my T-fal iron!)

Heat-Set the stiffener spray

Ironing the leaves will heat-set the stiffener and create a balanced result. And that’s pretty much all you need to know about how to stiffen felt!

I was surprised to notice a difference in the two shades of green. Despite having received the same amount of stiffener spray, the wool-blend Fern leaves were stiffer while the 100% wool Spring Leaf leaves had a little more movement. Either way, I was satisfied with the result.

You can also stiffen an entire sheet of felt before die cutting out some smaller leaves. Stiffened felt leaves are great for using in headband or floral designs where you need the leaves to maintain their shape.

Next cut a felt strip 3/8″x3″, one for each leaf.

Cut the floral wire in half so you have 9″ lengths. Or trim them to whatever length you need for your vase.

Felt Montserrat Leaf DIy - How to Stiffen Felt

Apply hot glue to about 3 inches of wire and stick it down the center of the leaf. Then glue down the felt strip over the wire.

How to Stiffen Felt Leaves - DIY with Free Pattern

Now you can shape the leaves by bending the floral wires. These leaves would look amazing in a tropical bouquet! I’m using them in a vase to adorn my bookcase. ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Stiffen Felt - How to Make Felt Leaves

Stiffening Felt Leaves - Montserrat Leaf DIY with Free Pattern

Make felt foliage using stiffening spray. Simple and easy felt DIY with Free Pattern

Aaaaand I never need to water them. Win!

Don’t forget to download the pattern by clicking here.

So how would you style these leaves?

3 Responses to How To Stiffen Felt – Montserrat Leaf DIY with Free Pattern

  1. Grace says:

    Hi, I love this idea and your leaves turned out beautiful! The link to the felt colors you used isn’t working and I was curious if you used wool felt or acrylic felt? I ask because I didn’t know how ironing would change the different fabrics.

    • Laura says:

      Hi Grace, I only use wool or a wool-blend felt. I don’t use acrylic and I suspect it wouldn’t react well to being ironed. It might melt. But you could test it out with a scrap piece of felt and cover it with a press cloth so your iron doesn’t get damaged in case it does melt.

  2. Saundra says:

    Thanks so much for this inspo! I want to make a headpiece with smaller versions of these leaves ๐Ÿ™‚

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