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.

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,


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,


Pretty Succulent Care

While we’re waiting for the warmer weather to settle, here are some tips on how to care for all those succulents that you’re going to have this summer:

Light – Although you would think that because succulents and cacti mainly originate in the desert they would be down with full high-beaming sun, I was told that for many species full midday sun can actually burn your plant. For many species brightly lit areas with lots of sunlight are perfect but not somewhere with full midday sun.

Water – This is the bit I was most surprised about. During the warmer part of the year most succulents and cacti go through a ‘growing’ phase where they are most active and need water and nutrients. When it cools down during the year they go into a dormant phase and need much less water (this is the point where you can neglect your plants a little). During the warmer months in their growing phase succulents should be watered once a week but rather than pour a cup of water now and then into the pot , wait until the dirt is completely dry and then soak the plant in water for a few minutes.

Soil – Succulents are usually found in gritty or sandy soils, and you should make sure this is what you use in the event that you replant them.

Pot – As with all plants, make sure the pot you use for your plant has a drainage hole in the bottom. This is where I think I went wrong in the past – planting cacti in tea cups unfortunately doesn’t allow for the right drainage (= dead succulent). If you can, plant your succulent in a terracotta pot, as apparently this improves drainage.

Re-potting – Although an annoying process to go through, if you’re a nice and caring succulent owner there will be a point at which you have to re-pot. My succulent guy says to do this every year or when the plant starts to look uncomfortable in the pot. Fingers crossed you get to that point!

Pay attention – Although these tips apply generally to most succulents and cacti, they are all different and the only way to make sure you are doing the right thing is to pay attention to how they are growing – apparently yellowing can mean too much sunlight (or over watering) whilst leaning towards the light source can mean not enough.


Have a look at these great examples of out-0f-the-garden-box ways to display succulents.

Succulents combined with hanging glass vases makes a spectacular display.


High tea just got new meaning! I found this display of tea pots at the Yellow Aloe Nursery in Clanwilliam over the weekend. They are well worth a visit!


The picture below left was also taken at the Yellow Aloe and the one on the right while visiting the Vlok family on their gorgeous farm just outside of Calvinia.


Hope you found this post inspiring and just in case you’ve missed it, have a look at the gorgeous succulent wreath Germarie made last week!

Happy styling!

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