Autumn has arrived and with it the ever-present chore of raking leaves.
After the leaves have been gathered into piles and the ensuing leaping and cavorting into them has lost its appeal, have the kids gather a few of the nicest ones they can find for a fall craft that’s fun and easy for even the littlest kiddo.
Leaf print projects are a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon, and your little crafters can make banners, posters, cards, ornaments and lots of other colorful decorations featuring leaf motifs and designs to decorate their room, the family room or to give as gifts.
How To Make Leaf Prints
You’ll need a few supplies for creating the basic leaf images:
- Assortment of leaves
- Cardstock or other sturdy paper
- Acrylic or tempera paint
- Foam paintbrush
- Paper plate or baking sheet
- Rolling pin or brayer
- Paper towels for messy fingers
Cover the work area with craft paper or a vinyl tablecloth to protect the surface from enthusiastic crafters.
Have the kids choose leaves that are intact and flexible – soft leaves will retain their shape when pressed onto the paper.
Overlapping for a marbleized effect, pour several colors of paint on a tray or paper plate. A small amount is all that’s needed to do several leaves, and you can add more as required.
Whether you choose acrylic or tempera, there are lots of paint sets for kids that you can use for this and other painting projects. Acrylics are available in a vast array of colors, while tempera paints wash off easily with water. Check out these Paint Sets for Kids:
Use a foam brush to dab paint over the leaf surface. Dipping the leaf directly in the paint is another option, but make sure there’s not too much paint on the leaf; you’ll wind up with a gloppy, distorted image.
Lay the paint-covered leaf with the paint side up on a piece of paper and cover it with the card stock or paper you want the design to appear. Use a rolling pin and gently, but firmly roll over the leaf sandwich.
See these Rolling Pins:
Lift the top sheet of paper and gently pull away the leaf. After they dry, your child can use the sheets for lots of artsy projects. Using cardstock, which is heavier than craft or construction paper, your child can make greeting cards, cut out the images for ornaments or make banners by stringing the cards together with cord or yarn.
Your little artist can sprinkle the image with glitter while the paint is still wet, or add her own detailing with markers or crayons after the paint has dried.