The easiest way to make a leaf embroidery. DIY!

Leaf embroidery is a classic figure in most botanical embroidery where flowers, leaves and many colors are combined to create a beautiful design that reminds us of nature.

There are many ways to make embroidery leaves but in this tutorial, I will show you the simplest, fastest and easiest way to do them.

The method I will teach you is called “the fishbone leaf stitch”.

Read on to learn how to embroider leaves!

leaf embroidery

Leaf embroidery tutorial step by step

As we said, there is a wide variety of techniques to do leaf embroidery, but in this tutorial I will explain step by step the technique that works best for me and seems easier and faster.

Materials you will need for the embroidery leaf stitch:

  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scissors
  • Cloth
  • Pencil
make leaf embroidery


Before you begin, prepare your materials and work area. Remember to locate yourself in a comfortable place with good light.

  • Step 1: Draw the pattern

    With the pencil, draw the leaf design you want to embroider on the fabric.

    Simply make the outline of a leaf with a straight line down the middle. This is just a fairly rough simple pattern to use as a guide for leaf shape and size.

  • Step 2: Start to embroider

    When you’re ready to start embroidering, tie off the embroidery thread at one end and insert the other end of the thread into the embroidery needle.

    Starting in the middle of the leaf, at the top point, insert the needle with the thread from the bottom up so that the knot is on the wrong side. Pull the thread up and then insert the needle into the lower end of the leaf.

    You should have a straight line embroidered right in the middle of the leaf where we previously drew it with the pencil.

  • Step 3: leaf stitch

    For the next stitch make a diagonal line that crosses the middle line slightly. This stitch goes from the bottom of the sheet all the way to the top but is cut halfway down the middle line which is where you should drop the needle and finish that stitch.

    Repeat the same stitch on the left side of the leaf.

leaf embroidery
  • Step 4: Continue with the process

    Repeat the previous step following the outline you drew in step 1.

    Each time you bring the needle to the center line, bring it a little lower until you reach the bottom of the sheet.

    Once you finish the leaf, tie the thread at the back.

At this point you should have finished your leaf embroidery!

If you have your sheet ready you will have realized how simple this technique is! If you liked the result, keep practicing to make embroidered leaves faster and faster.

This herringbone stitch allows you to make the leaf as large or small as you like and in whatever colors you prefer to use.

I hope you found this tutorial useful and that you continue to create beautiful embroidery!

Here is a step-by-step on ‘How to make a french knot embroidery easily‘.