Fall is such a simple and sweet time of year. We love the cool temperatures and beautiful changing leaves. We also love that after a busy summer, many of our crafters jump back into creating projects for the holiday season. While we haven’t quite started working on our winter and holiday projects yet, we have had so much fun creating some beautiful autumn-themed content for you!
We were thrilled to collaborate with Benzie Design for this felt wreath! Benzie Design offers wool blend felt in over 90 colors, and their color selection is unmatched by anyone else in the felt industry. Their shades and tones are absolutely beautiful, and the felt cuts perfectly with the Silhouette Rotary Blade. We loved working with Benzie Design felt, and you’ll love creating with it, too! Try it out and save 10% on your first purchase at benziedesign.com using the code SILHOUETTE2021. This offer is valid through March 31, 2022, so visit their site and get crafting today!
This wreath might look a little daunting, but the process is actually quite simple! It’s all about repetition—the elements are easy to make, and you’ll get this beautiful final result by creating lots of leaves and adding them all to the wreath in the same way. Let’s get started!
- Silhouette Cameo® 4
- Silhouette Rotary Blade
- Silhouette Strong Tack Cutting Mat
- Silhouette Flocked Heat Transfer – Tan (2 rolls)
- Silhouette Flocked Heat Transfer – White (2 rolls)
- 12-18 sheets of Benzie Design Wool Blend Felt—we used three 12 x 18 in. sheets each of the colors pumpkin, cantaloupe, ecru, peach, blush, and grapefruit
- 13 in. foam floral ring
- Straight pins
- Household iron
- Design ID #2531 by Silhouette
Step One: Create Cut File in Silhouette Studio
Let’s start by creating our cut files in Silhouette Studio®. Purchase the leaf design we need from the Silhouette Design Store. This design is gorgeous, and it will be perfect for our heat transfer details. And by using the Offset Panel, we can use this design as a base for creating the leaf shapes that we’ll cut out of felt.
Create a new document in Silhouette Studio and double-click the leaf design in your library. This will open the design in your document. When the design opens, the back piece and the detailed piece are already separated. Select both of them and resize them to about 3.8 inches tall. Then, we copied both pieces and dragged them to the holding area to the side of the virtual cutting mat. This will still leave you with one set of leaves on your cutting area. Next, delete the inside details of the leaf. We don’t need to create an outline for this part, just the outside.
Once you’re left with the outer edge of your leaf in the design area, select it and open the Offset Panel. It’s on the right hand tool bar and looks like a star inside of another star. Inside the panel, click “Offset” at the top. You can adjust the size of the offset, but we like to stick with the default. Now, you can delete the inside outline. We’re left with the cut we’ll use for our felt, which will give us leaves that are around four inches tall.
Now that our larger felt leaves are ready to be cut out, let’s work on the heat transfer piece. Select the two pieces that we moved to the holding area and group them together. You can do this by clicking and dragging your mouse so both are selected, right-clicking, and selecting “Group.” Make sure that your leaves look like ours; the blank felt leaf should be slightly larger than the intricate heat transfer piece.
Step Two: Duplicate Designs to Fill Material
Next, we need to create all of the leaves we’re going to cut out, making sure that we fill out the material to get as many leaves as possible. There are a few things to keep in mind before we set up our files. For the felt leaves, you need to leave a little extra space between each leaf so the Rotary Blade can make its turn adjustments.
Note: You can check where your machine will make these turns and double-check your spacing by going to the Send Panel. Have your cuts selected and select “no cut” for Tool 1, and open the Tool 2 tab. Select “cut edge,” and the rotary cut lines will appear in blue. From here, you can check to see if those lines will overlap with your cuts.
We’re going to leave our cutting mat and media size settings at the default 12 x 12 in., and we fit two rows of four leaves onto our page. When we cut out our felt leaves, we’re going to turn the felt around on the cutting mat and send this cut job again, for a total of 16 leaves out of each felt sheet.
Because we’re cutting our heat transfer directly from the roll, we need to create a new document in Silhouette Studio with a different media size. Click the plus icon at the top of the screen where your document tabs are to create a new document. Then, in the Page Setup panel, select these settings:
- Cutting Mat: None
- Media Size: Custom (12 in. width x 36 in. height)
Now, copy the heat transfer leaf design from your previous document and paste it onto this new page. We’re going to use our regular blade to cut our heat transfer, so you can place the designs as close together as you need to. Just make sure that they aren’t touching! We were able to fit eight rows of four leaves onto our page. This will give us 32 leaves from each roll of heat transfer.
Step 3: Cut Out Shapes
We’re ready to start cutting out our leaves! This is definitely the longest part of the project. Like we mentioned at the beginning of this post, this project is all about repetition—and there is a lot of it!
We decided to cut all of the felt leaves first. Begin by pressing your felt onto your strong tack cutting mat. It’s okay for the excess felt to extend past the edge of the cutting mat; it will still go through the machine properly. Just make sure that you have enough space in front and behind your machine so the felt doesn’t get caught on anything! Now you can load your mat into the machine.
In your first Silhouette Studio document, go to the Send Panel by clicking the Send tab in the top right corner of the screen. Make sure that your rotary blade is loaded into Carriage 2 of your machine, and open the Tool 2 tab of the panel. Your Cameo will automatically detect that you have the rotary blade in the machine. Select “Cut Edge” and confirm that none of your leaves are touching and that the turn marks don’t overlap with your leaves. You should also make sure that the material is set to “Felt, Acrylic.” Benzie Design felt is a wool blend, not acrylic, but we can use the same cut settings as acrylic felt.
We’re ready to send our cut job to the machine! Press Send at the bottom of the panel and watch your Cameo cut out the first half of your felt leaves. When the cut is complete, unload the mat from the machine and remove the cut pieces. Then, remove the entire piece of felt from the mat, flip it around, and place the uncut half of the felt onto the cutting mat. Now we can send the cut job again to cut out the second half of our leaves! Continue this process until you’ve cut out all of your felt.
Note: We used three sheets of each of our six colors. That’s a lot of felt, and it takes a lot of time to cut out that many leaves! We didn’t cut out our felt all in one session—we made our wreath over the course of a few days. Give yourself plenty of time for this step.
When you’re done cutting your felt pieces, you can remove the rotary blade from the machine. We’ll be using the standard AutoBlade that came with our Cameo for our heat transfer leaves. Open your second document and make sure that your Page Setup Panel is ready for matless cutting. Then, go to the Send Panel and select “Heat Transfer, Flocked” for your material under the Tool 1 tab. We used the default cut settings that the software suggested.
We’re ready to load our heat transfer into the machine. Pull the roll feeder out from the bottom of your machine. Extend it fully and pull open all of the panels. Then, place your heat transfer roll onto the roll feeder and lock it into place by sliding the right panel. Feed the heat transfer through the slot with the glossy side facing down and load the heat transfer into the machine.
Send this cut job to your Cameo. This will also take some time because you’re cutting the entire roll at once. When the cut job is finished, remove the heat transfer & the finished roll and repeat the process. We used two tan and two white rolls. When you’re finished cutting out your heat transfer, weed out the excess material and cut them into individual leaves.
Step Four: Iron on Heat Transfer Vinyl
Now, we’re going to add our heat transfer details to our felt leaves. We decided that we only wanted to use the heat transfer motif as an accent that’s spread throughout the final wreath, so we only cut enough heat transfer to add to about half of our leaves. We’re going to add our white heat transfer to the blush, pumpkin, and cantaloupe felt, and we’ll add the tan to the ecru, grapefruit, and peach felt. Keeping these color combinations consistent will give the wreath a polished look!
Set your iron to a medium heat. When it’s ready, place your heat transfer material on top of the felt. Press down firmly for around 10 seconds and allow the piece to cool. We recommend ironing on one leaf and letting it cool while you press the heat transfer onto another leaf, then going back to peel the plastic off of the first piece. You don’t want to let the heat transfer cool for too long, or it may become more difficult to peel off. In this case, reheat the material and try again.
If you’re having trouble getting your heat transfer to stick, you can always make your iron hotter. It’s best to start at a lower heat setting and then work your way up, rather than starting too hot and burning your material. Because this felt is a wool blend, it’s more heat resistant than other felts. It’s one of the reasons why we love working with Benzie Design!
Step Five: Assemble the Wreath
We’re in the home stretch! The assembly process for your wreath is quite simple; we’re going to use straight pins to stick each leaf into the foam floral ring. You’ll want to make sure all of your leaves point in the same direction, so decide if you want them to face left or right. We’re going to attach all of our leaves on the left side so they flow to the right.
To attach the leaves, begin by pinching the left side of the leaf. From the back side, stick the pin through both sides of the leaf, making sure that the pin goes through all of the layers and comes back through the bottom of the leaf. Then, keeping the pin as straight as possible, stick the pin into the foam. The process might feel strange or even a little difficult when you start, but as you continue, it will feel a lot more natural.
Add in leaves covering the front side of the wreath, making sure that you don’t cover the back of the foam. Otherwise, the wreath won’t sit flush against your door or wall. Once you’ve completed the first row, layer the next row underneath the first one.
Tip: If you don’t like the look of the green foam, you can always spray paint the floral ring before you start adding leaves!
As you add more leaves, alternate between different colors and designs, going between the blank leaves and those with the heat transfer detail. You don’t need to place your leaves in a specific color pattern. We added our leaves randomly, mostly trying to make sure that the same colors weren’t too close together and that the heat transfer details were spread out across the entire wreath.
You don’t want to run out of leaves going around the wreath the first time. So, we recommend not making the wreath super full from the beginning. Instead, spread them out ever so slightly and make your way around the wreath once. Then, you can go around again and fill in any empty spots. Place it against the wall repeatedly and step back so you can see where you should add more leaves. Try fluffing the leaves occasionally to get a feel for what the final project looks like, and try and make the fullness as even as possible all the way around.
Repeat this process until you have used all of your leaves or you are satisfied with the result. We still had a few leaves left over!
Thanks for joining us as we dove head first into fall! If you create this wreath or any other projects you think we may want to feature on our page, tag us @silhouette.inc on social media! Come back to our blog every week for more awesome blog posts, videos, tutorials, and more!