6 Fall Leaf Crafts to Savor the Season with Your Kids

in EXPERIENCES

By Bethany Johnson

Nothing bonds a family quite like seasonal traditions. Just think back to your own memories of the fall season and you’ll agree—celebrating the changing weather is a staple of childhood. Now that you’re the adult, how do you make the most of the season’s changes with your kids? Try these six brilliant fall leaf crafts as art projects for kids and parents to savor the fall foliage together.

1. Leaf Your Mark on the World

First up? The basic leaf rub. This nostalgic activity is often a brand new experience for kids. Start by taking a walk to collect the best leaves you can find. Sandwich your leafy treasures between two sheets of white printer paper and use a special crayon like the Crayola’s Oil Pastel Sticks to rub out the stems and veins of each leaf. Have your child choose their favorite masterpieces and carefully frame them in vintage picture frames for a wall collage to decorate the stairwell every fall.

2. Leaf It to Me

Next, grab a few stretched and wrapped canvases like Kmart’s Trademark Global Professional Blank White Canvas. You’ll also need your child’s choice of metallic spray paint; one good option is Overstock Modern Metals Copper Fusion. Simply arrange your leaves on the canvas and, following the manufacturer’s safety instructions, spray-paint over them. Once dry, allow your child to lift the leaves, revealing a stunning fall foliage silhouette.

3. Leaf Them Speechless

Wait! Instead of tossing those spray-painted leaves, hang onto them. Spray-paint the other side to match. Then, use a white marker like the Sharpie Mean Streak Marker from Office Depot to pen names of your Thanksgiving attendees and display as place settings at the dining table. Now, when a family member compliments your child’s fall foliage wall art, you can also show them the leaves that helped your child create the silhouettes.

4. Leaf You with This Thought

What good are fall leaf crafts if you’re stuck with an ugly pile of gluey construction paper when your child is done? No more. Instead, create an arrangement of fall foliage leaves that will enhance your fall family portraits or autumn dining table. Here’s how to make these art projects for kids come to life:

  • Start by collecting leaves, sticks, long ornamental grasses, and reeds.
  • Use a hot glue gun to affix the stems of leaves to the longer sticks, concentrating most on one end.
  • Tie with twine in the middle so the “legs” prop up your foliage arrangement naturally.

And voila! A lovely autumn centerpiece.

5. Don’t Leaf Me Hanging

When your child spies your Crate and Barrel Oak Leaf Garland, don’t be surprised if there’s interest in crafting one for their own seasonal bedroom decor. Thankfully, the kid-friendly version is easily replicated. All you need is colorful construction paper, a hole punch, and yarn. Together, simply trace the outlines of fallen leaves onto the paper and carefully cut out the shapes. Then, punch a hole in each shape at random—the variation produces a delightfully random look—and have your youngster string the yarn through each hole. To give your “leaves” more dimension, crinkle them up and flatten them before stringing up for all to see.

6. Turn a New Leaf

Digitally savvy parents, rejoice. This activity sparks your child’s imagination by combining the goodness of fall leaf crafts with the power of technology. First, hand your child your smartphone. Under your close supervision, let your shutterbug snap a few dozen photos of the season’s brightest colors and upload them to the Shutterfly app. Then, in a few clicks, apply the best images to a custom table runner and have it shipped to your house in time for yummy family feasts.

These leaf-centric crafts will not only bring the season to life, they’ll allow you to start some fall family traditions you can enjoy now and in the future.

Once you're done with the markers, yarn, paint, and glue, grab your smartphone and use the Shutterfly app to create one more of the most creative fall leaf crafts imaginable—a custom table runner. Click here to get started.

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