Fun Crafts Made With Autumn Leaves

Encourage your family to take a fresh look at nature by making an ecofriendly art project.

01 of 08

Leaf Creatures

Leaves gathered on an autumn walk make perfect tiny canvases for painting forest friends. Press leaves between the pages of a heavy book for a week or so. Then, let the shape of the leaf inspire your choice of animal to depict with acrylic paint. Seal the finished art with Mod Podge.

Take it Further
After painting some animals, kids can try turning leaves into houses, aliens, rocket ships, and more.

Originally published in the November 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

02 of 08

Tabletop Trees

Bring the outside in by planting a deciduous forest (with real leaves!) right on your dining room table.

  • Press a few dozen colorful leaves between the pages of a heavy book for a week or so to preserve them.
  • For each tree, paint a cardboard paper towel tube to look like tree bark. Paint the top several inches inside of one end, too. Let it dry.
  • For branches, cut several 1/4-inch-wide strips down into the painted end of the tube. Trim the ends of a few of them to make different lengths. In the other end of the tube, cut 1-inch-long slits spaced a half inch apart.
  • For a base, cut a freeform, curvy shape from cardboard. Fold open the short tabs of the tube and glue them flat to the base.
  • Attach preserved leaves to the tube's branches with glue dots. Scatter extra leaves around the base.

Originally published in the November 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

03 of 08

Autumn Art

Use beautiful fall leaves as canvases for doodle designs. Press colorful finds inside a heavy book for about 10 days, then draw on them with metallic paint markers. To add a bit more strength and shine, seal the finished leaves with Mod Podge.

Originally published in the October 2013 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

04 of 08

Leaf Glitter

These dimensional drawings are made using leaves from your yard, lending them the subtle colors of late autumn. With a pencil, sketch a simple shape on card stock. A design with just a few lines and lots of space works best. Collect dry leaves in a bag and crush them into small pieces with your hands. Draw over the pencil lines with glue, then sprinkle on the leaf pieces. Let the glue dry, then gently tap the paper to remove any loose pieces.

05 of 08

Outdoor Sculpture

Try sorting fallen leaves by color, as shown below. If you're leafless, stack stones in towers, or arrange sticks on the ground in spirals and swirls. When your child's masterpiece is complete, take a photo, then leave the art to surprise the next nature lover who comes along.

(Blog we love: This leaf project is from, where Lisa Jordan shares her family's adventures in the woods of Minnesota.)

06 of 08

Twig Raft

Create a playtime raft that really floats with just a few natural twigs from your own backyard.

07 of 08

Autumn Crown

Celebrate fall with a crown of leaves at their colorful peak. The leaves stay in their raffia base without glue, so they can easily be swapped out as the older ones fade.

08 of 08

How to Make a Crown

1. Bundle a 1-inch-wide bunch of raffia strands by tying a piece around one end. Loosely braid the strands until the braided section fits around the wearer's head with a bit of overlap.
2. Form the braid into a circle. Wrap and tie a few raffia strands around the overlapping section.
3. Tuck leaf stems into the braid.

Originally published in the October 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles