January 30, 2022 6 min read 1 Comment

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial
Dana Tezanos-Pinto - The Flowering Table - @thefloweringtable

 Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 1 and 2

For this Valentine’s Day, ring it in with a gorgeous ombre pink, red and white leafy branch while learning basic skills that can be utilized to create realistic-based leaves and branches. 

Materials:

  • 180g Italian Crepe Paper:  3-6 complimentary shades of pinks, reds and whites (I used the colors listed below, however, feel free to use what you have and/or prefer)
    • 600 - White
    • 616 - Very pale Pink by Tiffanie Turner
    • 20E/1 - Rose Peony by Tiffanie Turner
    • 547 - Tiziano Red
    • 17A/6 - Pretty Pinkish Rusty Red by Tiffanie Turner
  • Elmer’s Glue-All or Tacky Glue
  • Liquitex Gloss Medium or Mod Podge Gloss
  • Floral Tape in Tan or Brown (green or white can also be used, if preferred) - 1-2 rolls depending on size of branch(es).
  • Wired Hemp 
  • 26 gauge wire - approximately 35-50 wires as it will depend on how many leaves you would like for your branch(es).  If you have it in the color white, this is preferred. If not, I will show you how to doctor up green wire.
  • 18 gauge wire - approximately 10-15
  • White acrylic paint 
  • Paintbrush or paint sponge 
  • Styrofoam
  • Scissors
  • Wire Clippers
  • Parchment Paper
  • Flat clip (I use a chip clip that has smooth and soft rubber at the ends to avoid marking the paper)

Instructions:

  1. Start by placing a sheet of parchment paper on top of your work surface.  You may need to switch out as things get messy.  Using wire clippers, cut the 26 gauge wires in half.  Next, cut each half in half so you have 4 equal parts. Do this to all of your 26 gauge wires.
Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 3
  1. If you havewhite 26 gauge wire, you can skip this step. If you are using green or a darker colored wire, you will need to paint them white to minimize the wire showing through the paper. Take your 26 gauge wires and push them closely together into the styrofoam.  Paint at least 2-3 inches of the wires.  I used an inexpensive white paint I had on hand.  Another option would be to use white spray paint for this step. Let the wires dry completely.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 4

  1. Next, you will cut the crepe paper.  When looking at your Italian crepe paper roll, you will see that on one end there are visible lines going perpendicular to the grain that are spaced 2 inches apart.  You will need to cut the crepe so you end up with two strips with a width of approximately 10 inches.  Complete this step for all colors.  If you are also using 5 colors, you should have 10 strips.  If you have chosen to use less colors, you will want to cut additional strips out of the colors you would like more prevalent.

 Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 4

  1. Now stretch all strips out fully.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 5

  1. Accordion fold strip in 2 inch increments.  Cut the folds on each side so you end up with 13-15 individual 2 inch by 2 inch squares.  Keep all squares together until you complete step 6 below.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 6

  1. Taking your clip, place it on one side as shown below.  Cut straight across from one end to the other end.  Keep the triangle groups together in stacks.  Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each strip for all colors.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 7

  1.   Time to start bringing the leaves to life!  Taking two of the same color triangles, you will need to place the triangles to create a diamond shape with the grain of the papers going up and outwards.  Add a small line of glue to the triangle on the left as depicted below.  Place the white colored end of the wire on top of the glue.  Now take the triangle on the right and place on top of the wire and press firmly together so the wire is right  between the crepe.  Repeat this step for all triangles.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 8

  1. It’s time to apply the Liquitex Gloss Medium or Mod Podge Gloss to add subtle shine to the crepe!  Use a sponge brush or a paintbrush for this step to apply the glossing medium.  Apply a thin layer goingwith the grain of the paper to provide a smooth application.  Stick the wire of the wet diamonds into the styrofoam so the gloss layer can dry.  I put mine in front of my space heater to dry faster and I did notice it curled the paper more than it typically has when I have let it sit out to dry without heat.  I liked the outcome based on the end result, lush leaves, I was looking to achieve.  Apply to all diamonds and let dry completely.

 Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 8

9. Let’s cut some leaves! Fold one side over the other and cut a “D” shape. Cut varying heights and slight variation of widths all while keeping the general  shape similar. Do this for all diamonds to create your leaves.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 9
10. Optional: To add a touch of realism, cut delicate notches out as shown in the photos below. With or without this detail, your leaves will look beautiful!

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 11
11. Next, pull out your floral tape. Stretch the tape to activate the glue and then starting from directly below the bottom of the leaf wrap the wire going down about 2 inches.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 12
12. Whew! Now that’s a lot of colorful leaves you’ve just brought to life! Let’s put these beauties together to create two lush, leafy branches. To make a branch, gather your roll of thick coiled wire / wired hemp, 18 gauge wire and approximately half of the leaves in each color variation.
Cut one main branch approximately 2 - 3 feet in length of thick coiled wire / wired hemp.
Next, cut the branches coming out of the main branch using variations of the 18 gauge and thick coiled wire / wired hemp ranging from 6 - 10 inches.
The key idea, if you’re looking to create an ombre branch, is to have a secondary branch for each color except for the lightest color which you’ll put at the top of the main branch.
Cut and lay out so you can visualize as shown below but keep in mind that once you start assembling, you may decide that another branch should be added or other changes need to happen to make it look how you prefer.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 13
13. Now, start assembling the secondary branches with leaves. Attach the first leaf at the top of the first wire with floral tape. Spacing can vary depending on how dense you would like the branches to be with leaves. Set a few leaves of each color to the side to use as a filler on the assembly of the main branch.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 13

14. Add leaves to all of your secondary branches and then take the tip of the main branch and create the same leaf structure as the secondary branches, just using the main branch instead. I used the lightest color here - white.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 14
15. Take all of your branches and lay them out so you can start to assemble them all together.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 15
16. Taking the main branch with the white leaves at the top, take your next color variation (#616) and, using floral tape, wrap at least 1 inch of the base to the main branch.

Be sure to wrap well since the branch will get heavy with all of the added weight.
Add the loose leaves to the main stem to ease into color changes and give more dimension.
Next, add your third color variation (#20E/1) to the main branch.

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 16

17. It’s time to add some support to the main branch. You will start by adding 18 gauge wire to the wrapping once you’re about 12-18 inches from the end of the main stem. For the branch I created, I added two 18 gauge wires (however you can add another if you feel like it needs it) after adding some loose leaves to the main branch and right before adding the fourth color variation (#547). Start wrapping in the added wire so it is secure and then attach the fourth color variation branch. Continue wrapping the added wires in with the main branch and fourth added branch. Add some loose leaves to the main branch and finally add the last color variation (#17A/6) branch.
Once this is added you may feel like the branch needs further strength. If so, I would recommend adding another piece of the coiled wire / hemp wire, in addition to another 18 gauge wire, to not only give support but also add thickness to the end, much like a real tree branch would have. Snip any excess wire ends so they are even at the bottom of the main branch.
Add a couple layers of floral tape over the part of the stem where you have just added the additional wires to secure completely in place and to give the smoothness of a real branch. Now fluff and shape your secondary branches and leaves. Add to a sturdy vase or hang on the wall for a colorful display!
Tips: To create natural looking bumps, add a small size ball of tissue or scrap floral tape and wrap over it with floral tape until it looks like a real branch. You can also use Pan Pastel or acrylic paint to add color variations on the branches to give further depth to your stunning work of art!

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 16

Now that you’ve completed one branch, you can create a second using the remaining
leaves!

I hope you have learned something new and enjoyed this Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch tutorial!
Please feel free to reach out to me via Instagram @TheFloweringTable with any questions you might have!

Valentine’s Day Leafy Ombre Branch Tutorial 16

Happy Making!

Dana Tezanos-Pinto
The Flowering Table
www.thefloweringtable.com
@TheFloweringTable



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