Leaf embroidery : 15 different ways to embroider leaves

Use simple embroidery stitches to embroider leaves on fabric

Embroidering leaves is a given when you do embroidery work. All those floral designs come with leaves in all shapes and sizes. How would you stitch them? Which is your favorite method?

How to embroider leaves ? 15 easy stitches for leaf embroidery

leaf embroidery


1. Satin stitch leaf

leaf embroidery designs

Satin stitch is one of the most preferred ways of filling leaf designs in embroidery. It gives a smooth silky surface but it should not be used if the design is bigger than 1/2 inch. More details on the post Satin stitch

2. Satin stitch Variation – leaf embroidery

leaf stitch embroidery

Even if the design is wider than 1/2 inch you can still use satin stitch to fill the leaf embroidery design – by dividing the design as in the picture above. The first leaf is divided into different segments and filled with Satin stitch while the second leaf is divided into half and filled, preferably in different shades of green. 

3. Long and short stitch leaf embroidery

leaf embroidery

This is the preferred method when you have to give shading to the leaf. You can incorporate different shades of green in the same leaf with this stitch. For more details on this stitch check out the post – long and short stitch or needle painting 

leaf embroidery stitches

4. Outline stitch leaf

leaf embroidery designs

Any of the outline stitches like stem stitch or split stitch or chain stitch can be used to outline the leaf design in the way given above. More on outline stitches here

5. Outline stitch-filled leaf 

Outline stitch-filled leaf

Instead of using the outline stitch to give the outline it is used to fill the leaf design. Use less strands for more delicate look

leaf embroidery

6. Leaf with bullion veins

bullion stitch veins on the leaf

Bullion stitch has wonderful texture and dimension and it can be used to represent the veins of the leaf as in the picture above. If you do not know how to make the bullion knots check out the tutorial

7. Blanket stitch outlined leaf embroidery

leaf stitch embroidery

You can use blanket stitch as an outline stitch. Because of the textural effect of the stitch it is not suitable for all leaves. You can take a look at the 11 variations of blanket stitch here

8. Blanket stitch reverse leaf embroidery

leaf embroidery with blanket stitch

Here the blanket stitch is made to face the outside of the design. It creates a thorn like look to the leaf and is suitable for some leaves

9. Herringbone stitch leaf embroidery design

leaf embroidery

Herringbone stitch is very good filling stitch for leaves. It can be used for even large leaves or use it on the back of the fabric for a shadow embroidery effect. Look at the variations of the herringbone stitch here

leaf embroidery

10. Granitos stitch leaf embroidery

leaf embroidery

With the granitos stitch, you can make simple small leaves. Check out the tutorial for granitos stitch here

leaf embroidery

11. Stick leaves

leaf embroidery

Simple straight stitches or even the fly stitch can be used to make these kind of leaves

12. Fishbone stitch leaf embroidery

leaf embroidery

I lied. Not any of the above but this particular stitch is the most preferred of all stitches for embroidering leaves. A very easy stitch but fills up the leaf design and makes it look as authentic as a real life leaf. Check out the tutorial for fishbone stitch here

13. Open Fish bone stitch – leaf embroidery

leaf stitch embroidery

For a different look try the fishbone stitch with some space in between.

14. French Knot leaves

leaf embroidery

You can use cute little french knots to make small button leaves. Look at the tutorial for french knot here.

15. Lazy Daisy stitch -Leaf embroidery

leaf embroidery

Another stitch you can use to easily make simple leaves is the ever useful lazy daisy stitch ( which is just a stand alone chain stitch). Check out the 8 different methods of making lazy daisy flower designs .

Related post : how to embroider flowers ; Small and cute embriodery ; Baby embroidery designs

small embroidery designs

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Leaf embroidery : 15 different ways to embroider leaves”

  1. Amazing! Page after page of information that is easy to understand, clearly written, and useful. I am learning SO much. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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