Botanical Paper Leaves – DIY and Free Download

Do you ever sit inside and wish that there was a little more of the outside around you? I am really enjoying having plants in the house and my collection is slowly building. Unfortunately, I’m not all that great at watering them though. My simple solution to this is to just have some paper leaves adding to the look. No water needed and they’ll stay looking great all year round! Follow this DIY to bring your own low maintenance botanical feel into your home.

Fill a vase with botanical paper leaves that will never die. Win!

What you need:

Templates (download here, PDF template and Silhouette cut file included)
Cardboard, in variety of greens
Florist wire
Scissors and craft knife

Fill a vase with botanical paper leaves that will never die. Win!

What to do:

Start by cutting out your leaves from cardboard, using either the templates or the Silhouette Cut files. Cut a straight strip of cardboard, roughly the length you want your stem to be.

DIY your own paper leaves for decor that will never die

Glue the stem onto your leaf and then glue the florists wire along the stem. For the fern leaf, first shape the wire to the curve of the leaf, before gluing. Because of how the fern is cut it is naturally floppier than the other leaves, so it needs the wire to go along the full spine of the leaf. For the other leaves, it’s fine if the wire is glued just a few centimeters into the leaf shape.

DIY Paper leaves

Your paper leaves are then ready to go! For the delicious monster and split leaf philedendron leaves, you can fold them over to mimic how they flop on the plant.

Fill a vase with botanical paper leaves that will never die. Win!

Fill a vase with botanical paper leaves that will never die. Win!

While you’re at it, why not cut some mini leaves to make into a botanical garland of paper leaves? They could make a cute photo booth background for a tropical party or just add a little life to your desk, without needing to be watered!

Use this paper leaves template to make a mini botanical garland DIY

Use this paper leaves template to make a mini botanical garland DIY

What are your secrets to bringing some of the outdoors indoors? Do you have any tips for the rest of us?

Happy Greening!


For more creative inspiration, follow my Instagram at @Puresweetjoy or visit me at Pure Sweet Joy.

Botanical inspired party ideas

I am BIG on parties and believe we don’t take enough time out to really celebrate life and each other.

It’s my birthday in exactly one weeks time and this usually sends me in to a slightly hysterical party planning mode.

This year I’m keeping it simple (maybe that comes with age) but it’s still going to be pretty big. I come from a family that loves entertaining and it’s really part of my DNA.

After doing some research on the matter I found some lovely leafy party ideas I just had to share in this month of botanicals on Homeology.

Set the tone

Treat yourself to printed stationary that fits the theme of the event. It creates excitement and gives your guests an idea of what to expect.



Place your table in a beautiful setting and you’re half way there! Use a leafy runner and metallic plates for a bit of bling that will add grandeur to the affair.


Sit back and relax

The combination of the exposed wooden table surface combined with a Eucalyptus runner is simply gorgeous. Fill in the gaps with other leafy finds to add texture to the center piece. Alternatively you can use ferns like in the picture bottom right or bunch up branches to form a chandelier. Just make double sure that the leaves don’t wilt and loose their luster and use a hardy variety.



Crowning glory

It’s a well known fact that people love to dress up for a party. It’s a bit like stepping into character for the night. Make floral or leafy wreaths for the guests to wear and feel like a group of mystical forest fairies for an evening. The wreaths looks great hung around chairs on arrival with a name tag and make lovely party favors.


Balloon garland

Try this easy and inexpensive party trick of combining balloons and flowers. It’s a fresh approach to an old party favorite and will add colour and a pop of fun to your event.


Lovely strings

This is a toned down version that takes all the sweat out of having to blow up balloons. Simply string up flowers or leaves from a branch and use it as a back drop to your table setting. Hang it up high enough so that little kitties don’t get tempted to have a go at it.


A party without cake is just a meeting

My favourite party trick is to dress a simple store-bought cake. Use fresh flowers, leaves and berries to celebrate the season.


Personalized gift wrap

Give a memorable gift by wrapping it in the theme of the party like these simple brown paper gifts tied up with string, foliage and a photograph. Make it even more special by adding a photograph of you and the host or hostess for a lasting impression.


So here’s to all of my fellow birthday mates! May you have a lovely autumn birthday filled with happiness and the people you love.

Happy styling,


House tour – Greenhouse

This inspired home is the perfect example on how to bring the outside in and play with collections of the nostalgic, treasures found outdoors and air plants.

It achieves the ultimate goal in any home … to truly reflect the personality of the warm and loving family that lives there.


The (Streptophylla) is the home owners favorite plant! She says it looks like the leaves are permed and the less water she gives it the tighter the curls! Combined with different ceramic objects it puts the ‘life’ in this still life.


This heirloom cupboard gets a contemporary make-over without any structural changes by adding finds from the family’s treasure hunts. Nests combined with origami shapes folded by family members and displayed in a glass vase, stacked bones, folded knits and rope become a feast for the eyes. What a treasure chest!


A combination of unexpected elements like wood, stone, a knit and plants look perfectly styled on a wooden surface.


Attention to detail is evident everywhere in the house. Little thoughtful details like these hooks that display a collection of crochet was hand crafted by the owners grandfather – Oupa Louw.

The (Targentea) air plant on the left is part of a collection showcased on a window sill in the house. Graphic and beautiful!


The gorgeous collection of air plants on the window sill from the left (Targentea), top right (Bulbosa) and below right (Tionantha). I fell in love with the pictures so I thought I will enlarge them and get them framed for my living room.

TIP: Advice from the owner – Water your air plants at least once a week with a spray bottle. In hotter months you can even water them more. It’s a myth that they don’t need any watering and can be a costly mistake.


Combining three of these (Sedum Morganianum) commonly known as ‘Donkie sterte – Donkey tails’ make a jaw dropping display on a bland wall. I thought they look incredibly lush but the owner informed me that they are actually suppose to have more dense leaves. They don’t due to them being planted in a shady area. I still think they are absolutely beautiful!


Feast your eyes on the owner’s green house that is neatly tucked away under a big tree in the garden. It was a birthday gift from her husband. I say hats off to such a thoughtful man!


A sneak peak into the greenhouse filled with luscious plants waiting to be used either in the garden or indoors.

The owner tells me that she prefers to use succulents instead of flowers as they are equally pretty and can easily be planted once cut and used for display purposes.

I hope you have been just as inspired by this house tour as I was when taking the pictures.

Happy styling,


Thoughtful gift idea

Over the past few months I have been so lucky to shoot with the very talented photographer and plant enthusiast, Charlene Schreuder.

What I’ve learnt from the experience is that there is a secret tribe of women that love sharing their beloved plants in the form of cuttings and they can spot a fellow tribes-mate a mile away. It’s a bit like the mommies you see in the shopping malls giving each other a supportive nod as they pass each other with strollers.

On one of our shoots Charlene ended up with this beautiful box of cuttings from the home owner. Isn’t it just the loveliest gift idea ever!


Photography: Charlene Schreuder

I have since come to the conclusion that all those beautiful air plants I have been looking for don’t exist in nurseries but have been collected by this secret tribe. If one of you are reading this post please inbox me as I’d love to get a foot in the door!

Happy styling,


Styling ideas: botanical

Using botanical prints, seed packets and collections of plants add a lived-in feel to a space. Try these simple styling tricks in your home.

Layered walls

Combine botanical prints with magazine cut-outs and add them to a wall. It looks like wallpaper and adds depth and interest. Then place a distressed furniture item in front of it and add a collection of glass and ceramic vessels with a few of your favorite plants and succulents.


String them up

Create a greenhouse effect by stringing up herbs and plants that look good when dried to a piece of string and secure them with pegs. Then add an indoor potting table to display a collection of cuttings and plants. This will work very well in a sun room. You could also string up seed packets or prints like bunting or simply suspend a few fern leaves as a backdrop at a dinner party.


Stack it up

Try this impressive and graphic collection of wooden boxes stacked up to display your collection of plants in beautiful vases and pots. Paint some of the backs of the boxes in a muted color like this grey to tie it all together. Leave some of the pots empty and incorporate geometric-shaped items and books to add interest and texture.




Display black and white botanical prints in different frames to achieve this eclectic look on the right. If you like it more distressed opt for suspending a glass vase with a single leaf as the ‘picture’. It’s an unexpected twist that is sure to attract a lot of attention. The bottom picture shows another way of framing botanicals by using industrial windows to showcase a lush garden.



Combine lovely ceramic items like these hands with succulent plants, feathers and black and white photos to create a still life in a corner of the home. It’s structural and graphic with a lot of impact. Alternatively you could use wooden artist figures available from your local craft store.

Hanging plants are still all the range and grouped together they make a lovely collection. Have a look at the wide range of plants available from Opus. They specialize in hanging gardens, flowers and plant related designs.


Happy styling,


Get the look – botanical

Recreate this beautiful botanical look with a few of our sourced items. It’s fresh, contemporary and very much on trend.



1.  Atelier Chesterfield sofa in bottle green from


2.  Green stripe scatter from Weylandts, Fabric Girolata – Leaf from Hertex and Strelitzia Scatter from Weylandts


3. Ribbed bud vase from Mr Price Home

4. Gold mirrored side table from Loft Living

5. Black and white vinyl sheet flooring from Floors Online


6. Jonne Terracotta mini vase from Weylandts

7. Spanish Carafe 8L from Weylandts

8. Ceramic cut out bulb vase from Mr Price Home


9. Two tone vase from Weylandts

10. Cross back ladder shelf from Mr Price Home

11. Moody blue EC 108 from Plascon

Happy styling,


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