I am one of the biggest supporters of the small urban home jungle movement.
I don’t understand why people want big houses. They need so much to maintain and to worry about and the bills for electricity or heating are “eating” money from “travel and pleasure” budgets. Especially in times of crisis. Also, in some very big houses, family members can probably not meet each other the whole day! Where is the pleasure of living together?
I do really understand people who want big gardens or – at least – lots of plans at home.
To mix these two for me is the small urban home jungle – you can have everything from both worlds.
Or, if you are like me and love working with paper, you can push your pleasure to an even higher level and create absolutely unique plants for your home jungle.
Here is how to make the home jungle hanging plant…
I suggest looking at home for the materials for this project first. If you have children, probably you have a good watercolour pad and glue for their art classes. I suspect you also have simple copy paper – for the plant I am making now, you will need only 1 sheet.
I am also about 85% sure you have some twine for wrapping presents. And as a flower lover, you probably have these little wires to connect the plant branches together – like these twist ties I used. If you have crepe paper at home – great! If it is purple – even better! But you can use any colour, matching your jungle plant leaves. I used the purple one, because my plant’s leaves are green, red and purple. But if you substitute the red with yellow or orange, for example, you can use one of these colours too. Or you can use green. You only need one matching colour.
The other good news is that you don’t need great quality crepe paper to wrap the stems. Any type will do the job, even the very thin one which I used. It is actually not even meant to be a craft material, but a party supply (“Colour Streamers PK6, 5cm x 10 cm”).
Also helpful, and I am sure you will find it at home, are sharp scissors and baking paper.
I will be happy if you comment under the article if I was right (or not) and which of the materials you already had at home. If you are reading my blog, you know I am a big supporter of craft material substitution. As a used-to-be craft hoarder, I am very careful about buying craft supplies now and how and when to buy them.
The other type of materials I used were alcohol-based markers. They are wonderful for making paper flowers and you can use them on every type of paper, even crepe paper. Choose the colours you love!
Making the leaf templates
To make the jungle plant leaves, you will first need 3 squares in 3 sizes. Say, 3” (7.5 cm) square for the biggest and about 2” (5 cm) square for the next size and, say 1.5” (3.5 cm) square for the smallest. This is the easiest way.
Using these squares as size templates, then cut out the same sizes square pieces from the watercolour paper and the copy paper to make the leaves. I made 6 of each size from watercolour paper and 6 of each size from copy paper. I am suggesting working this way if you have little helpers too, because it is easier to outline and cut out the leaf shapes later.
Draw a leaf shape on each of the template squares.
Cut out each of these shapes and you have the leaf templates ready. Put them aside, you will not need them for the next few steps.
Make the jungle plant construction
To make one leaf construction you will need 1 watercolour square piece and 1 matching copy paper piece plus one of the twist ties. I cut mine twist wires in two, because I wanted my leaves to have short stems.
Cover the watercolour square piece well with glue. Position one of the twist ties on top and put glue on the top of that too.
Glue the matching copy paper piece on top. Press gently all over to secure all the areas together and especially the twist tie in the middle.
Position the matching leaf template on the top of the construction. Don’t worry if the wire in the middle of the construction is bent. This is not a problem. Just position the top of the leaf template on the top of the wire and the bottom – on the bottom of the square, where the wire goes out.
Cut out around the template.
Repeat this with all the paper pairs and you will have the leaves ready to colour! My favourite part!
Colouring the leaves
To colour my leaves, I used 5 colours – red, purple, two shades of green and a shade of turquoise.
First make, as shown, some colour spots on both sides of the leaf – one with red and one with purple. Then repeat the same on the back of the leaf.
Then I used the dark green in the centre and around the leaf’s edges, and the light green in the central part of the leaf. With the turquoise I made some spots between the light and the dark green to create more nuancing. And, of course, I repeated the same steps on the back of the leaf
And one trick!
On the biggest leaves I left areas in white. I didn’t colour it all! This white later gave the plant’s leaves a shininess, especially when looking from a distance.
Repeat these steps with all the leaves and you will be another step closed to completing your home jungle hanging plant project!
Assembling the home jungle hanging plant
Cut strips about 1 cm (1/2”) wide from the crepe paper.
Cut a piece of twine, about 30 cm (16″) long. Put glue on the top of the twine and glue the edge of one of the crepe paper strips there then make 3-5 wraps of the paper around the twine.
Then gently slide the wraps towards the twine’s tip. This will create a shape which looks like a ready to be born bud on the top of the plant, you know, all of them have these thicker areas where the new leaf will soon appear.
Glue the bottom of crepe paper strip and leave the twine piece to dry.
While the glue on the twine is drying, wrap all the leave’s stems with crepe paper and glue.
When all the stems are ready, start with the smallest leaves and – again wrapping with crepe paper and glue – attach them around the twine.
Attach next the bigger leaves and finish at the end of the twine with the biggest.
The good thing about using twine is the softness which your plant will have. When you put it in a pot, it will look very natural.
But talking about potting, we need to accomplish one more step. We have to make the thicker end of the plant, which will be stuck in the soil.
To do this, you will need only one or two twist ties, folded in two if you prefer. Attach them to the end of the twine but closer to the last leaves.
Attaching is easy doing it the same as before – tightly wrap with a crepe paper strip and glue as you wrap.
I suggest then wrapping again and again, especially if you are using thin crepe paper. This area will have to stay inside the soil and the soul particles can tear the paper if it is not well glued. When you finish this, your plant will be ready to become a colourful part of your home jungle.
For now, mine will stay in this cute coffee cup, which I saved especially for making photos of my “travel plants”.
If you don’t have time to draw all the leaves yourself, in my Etsy shop you will find printable templates, which are also Cricut friendly.
Enjoy your craft time!