I fell over a free pattern to make holly leaves on pinterest a while ago. The link took me to an amazing blog that I'm pretty sure most crocheters already know (if you don't then you are in for a treat) Attic24.
I found the written pattern a bit confusing to start with, but the super talented Lucy from Attic24 has provided brilliant clear step by step photos so with my ipad on my lap I was able to make a whole heap of holly leaves with some green yarn from my stash.
I used some green DK yarn and a 3mm hook, I think this could be a case of use what you have and it will probably be fine. Each leaf only takes about 15 minutes once you get the hang of them so you can afford to experiment.
Once I had 10 leaves I attached them to a chain. To do this I chained about 36 cm (14") then held 2 leaves at an angle to one another and slip stitched through both. I did 2 slip stitches as I found this helped to hold the leaves at an angle. Then I chained another 10cm (4") and repeated with another 2 leaves and so on. I finished off with another 36cm (14") chain.
I blocked the garland, experts will be able to see I'm not especially good at blocking but in my defence this was a yarn which had been knitted up into a mistake before and frogged so it was a bit wavy!
Basically to block you just wet the whole thing then pinned it out flat on a thick towel doubled up and leave it to dry.
You can make a garland as long as you like with this pattern, the leaves could be different shades of green to use up your yarn stash, you could make little red pom poms to use instead of buttons, or circles of felt.
I also think just one leaf with a plain card gift tag would be SO sweet on a present (I might do that next year, this year I've made these paper napkin poinsettias for gift wrapping)
Don't forget to check out the other Pinterest inspired projects from these other amazing blogs, just follow the links below.