Monster Monstera

to Aliki van der Kruijs’ window

All the experiments in the previous posts are made with a leaf on a 1:1 scale. For the final piece it is time to enlarge the leaf to make the Monstera more monstrous!

When the leaf of the Monstera deliciosa grows, it stretches itself and with this growth the holes appear. Partly to give more light and rain to the leafs underneath, as well to create a bigger surface to catch light. In its original habitat the plant lives under the canopy of the rainforest and needs to spread out as much as possible to catch a sunfleck.

The growth of the Monstera leaf and its fundamentally changing appearance made me think about how to enlarge the leaves of my houseplant. To do so, I made a free interpretation of the cut-and-spread method of the grading technique used in fashion to resize a pattern.


About 150 years ago, the science of grading went hand–in–hand with the coming of commercial patterns and the mass production of clothing built with patterns. To properly fit a pattern to a range of sizes, each pattern needed to be graded, or systematically increased or decreased. Today, pattern companies and apparel manufacturers take a middle-sized pattern and grade it up for larger sizes and grade it down for smaller sizes.

The grading of the Monstera started with drawing the contour of the leaf on an A4 paper and set up horizontal and vertical lines in a grid of 5 cm. The first vertical and horizontal axis crossed the centre of the leaf. In the previous Split Leaf post I already worked with square shaped pieces of the plant, so I chose to work with squares again.


The little squares on top come from the first outline of the leaf contour. The squares are divided with 7 cm in between, making a 150% enlargement. The lines in the little squares are extended horizontally or vertically to connect with the other squares. In this way a new outline for the leaf is generated.


Filled up new pattern

(monstermonstera-4.jpg caption: Copying filled up new pattern for a new outline)


A new grid is drawn, now 10×10 cm and cut up to make a second, bigger grading.


The squares of 10 cm² are placed with 7,5 cm in between, which makes a grading of +75%.