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DIY swiss cheese vine

by Timber Press on September 11, 2018

in Craft

The “Swiss cheese” holes always vary in size and location on the leaves, giving each leaf its own personality, and making this plant one of the hottest houseplants on the market. This DIY paper version gives you all the personality with none of the watering!


Swiss cheese vine, also known as Monstera obliqua, is one of the plants I have long coveted and delighted in. I love how expressive and different each leaf is. It takes patience and finger strength to cut out all the holes, but the results are worth it. I’ve styled the plant in a pot, but it would also look great in a hanging basket, or in any place where it can show off its flamboyant character.

Tools

  • Pencil
  • Wire cutters
  • Iron and ironing surface
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife
  • Large spray bottle with water
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks

Materials

  • 19 sheets of 8 1/2- × 11-inch [21.5- × 28-cm] medium green text-weight paper
  • Eighteen 16-inch [41-cm] lengths of 20-gauge green
  • straight floral wire
  • 9 sheets of iron-on adhesive cut to 8 1/2 × 11 inches [21.5 × 28 cm]
  • Kraft paper
  • Green floral tape
  • Four 16-inch [41-cm] lengths of 18-gauge green straight floral wire
  • Vessel prepared with foam
  • Gravel or ground cover of your choice (optional)

Reserve 1 sheet of paper to make baby leaves. Using the remaining sheets of paper, mock up the placement for approximately 18 each of large and small leaves (fitting about 4 leaves per sheet) and mark with a pencil where the wires will be placed. Using wire cutters, cut the 20-gauge wire into 36 lengths approximately 8 inches [20.5 cm] long. Make paper-and-wire sandwiches using the iron-on adhesive.

Trace approximately 18 each of large and small leaf shapes and use scissors (or an X-Acto knife) to cut them out. If necessary, use an X-Acto knife to carefully cut around the wire at the base of the leaf to release the paper that is adhered to the stem. Use an X-Acto knife to cut several holes in each leaf, varying the sizes and positions from leaf to leaf.

 

Shape each leaf by lightly misting both sides and forming the edges into uneven waves, pinching a portion at a time with your fingers. Form each leaf a little differently, and set them aside to dry fully.

 

Craft 3 to 5 smaller baby leaves out of the reserved sheet of paper. For each leaf, tear off a small triangular piece of brown kraft paper and use the hot-glue gun to attach it over the connection you made with floral tape.

 

Using wire cutters, cut four 5-inch [13-cm] lengths from the 18-gauge wire. Using green floral tape, wrap the stems of 2 leaves to the end of 1 of the wires 1 to 2 inches [2.5 to 5 cm] from the base of each leaf. Continue to attach leaf stems at approximately 1-inch [2.5-cm] intervals as you work down the length of the wire, until you’ve attached 3 or 4 leaves. Wrap a small piece of kraft paper around a few of the connections using a hot-glue gun. Repeat to make 4 sprigs.

Create a vine with an 18-gauge 16-inch [41-cm] wire. Using green floral tape, wrap the stems of 2 leaves to the end of the wire 1 to 2 inches [2.5 to 5 cm] from the base of each leaf. Continue to attach leaf stems at approximately 1-inch [2.5-cm] intervals as you work down the length of the wire. Alternate randomly between attaching large and small leaves until you have attached approximately 12 leaves. Using wire cutters, cut two 6-inch [15-cm] lengths of 18-gauge wire and repeat these steps to attach approximately 5 leaves to each to make 2 more vines. Wrap a small piece of kraft paper around a few of the connections using a hot-glue gun. Assemble the plant by inserting the wires into the vessel prepared with foam. Shape the plant so that the longer vine drapes down the side of the pot, then fill in with the shorter vines and sprigs. If the foam is visible, cover it with ground cover.

Author THUMBNAILCorrie Beth Hogg is the art and craft director for world-renowned event-design company David Stark Design and Production. With Stark, she has created work seen in Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, Vogue.com, InStyle.com, and more. An ardent student of nature, Hogg renders her favorite plants in paper with whimsy and careful craftsmanship. Her creations have appeared in The House That Lars Built, Design*Sponge, and Wallpaper* among others.

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