How to Make Leaves on a Tree Costume

Written by katherine harder
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How to Make Leaves on a Tree Costume
Use real leaves for an authentic-looking tree costume. (leaves image by pearlguy from

If you want to make a nature-themed costume for a social event or your child's stage debut, you can make a tree costume to fit your needs practically, inexpensively and with little effort. Since tree costumes are so basic, they can look unconvincing or silly. Spend extra time carefully crafting realistic-looking leaves for an attractive, believable tree costume for your special occasion.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Several sheets of scrap paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Sturdy fabric scraps in leafy colours
  • Fabric chalk
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Fabric paint in brown and green tones
  • Sponge paintbrush
  • Fake moss

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  1. 1

    Collect leaves from around your home or from a nearby forest. Select about five to 10 large, whole, interesting-looking leaves, depending on how many different shapes you want to use for your tree costume.

  2. 2

    Trace the outline of each leaf on scrap paper, and cut out the outlines to use as a template for your fabric. Do not discard your leaves.

  3. 3

    Place your leaf templates on your fabric, and trace around the templates with chalk. Make as many leaves as you'd like for your tree. Forty to 50 large leaves or more will create a fuller looking, more realistic tree. Make double that amount if you're working with single-sided fabric. Use several fabric textures and colours for more attractive results.

  4. 4

    Heat up your hot glue gun, and glue matching leaf sides together; this step is only necessary if you made twice as many leaves because of single-sided fabric. Glue the uncolored sides of the fabric together when you glue your leaf sides together.

  5. 5

    Sponge a thin layer of fabric paint over the face of a leaf. Find its matching fabric leaf, and gently press the real leaf's painted side over the fabric leaf's fronts. Allow the paint to dry, and then paint the back. This process creates a faint imprint of a real leaf's face onto your plain fabric leaves.

  6. 6

    Repeat the process with all the leaf shapes. Once the painting process is complete, you can discard your real leaves.

  7. 7

    Attach your leaves to your tree costume with hot glue by the stems. Cover any obviously glued areas with glued-on fake moss.

Tips and warnings

  • For a quick-fix when you have a limited amount of time, cover your tree with artificial leaves from fake decorative plants. You can find inexpensive faux plants at your local dollar store. Cut them from their stems using strong scissors or sharp wire cutters.

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