Leaf Painting is the Perfect Autumn Craft

One of the best parts of fall is the beautiful colors, when every shade of yellow, orange and red covers the trees and adorns the sidewalks. Although most of the time we simply rake these leaves up in the end, there are ways to use them for a fall-themed art activity. Leaf painting is easy and creative and is the perfect use of the the leaf piles covering your yard.

To start this DIY fall art project, take a walk around your neighborhood. Enjoy the Halloween decorations that are already up, pet a few dogs, and most importantly, collect your favorite leaves. It's best to find a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors to have more options when you're making your leaf art.

Look for fall leaves that are dry and intact, as these will hold up best during your autumn leaf art. One you have a decent collection of lovely fall leaves, it's time to decide which craft idea you'll use. Better yet, make a combination!

Leaves as Prints

The classic leaf craft is to use the leaves as prints. If you use acrylic paint, it'll make a clearer, more accurate leaf print, while watercolor paint will be a bit more abstract and variable. Either works fine, or you can use a combination.

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To start, use a paintbrush to paint the leaves with a generous amount of paint, using each one as its own little canvas. Use lots of different colors for a colorful fall craft. When the leaves are still wet with paint, press each leaf to a piece of paper or white cardstock.

With the painted leaves, press down firmly on the paper or card stock, making sure that you've pressed down every part of the leaf so that the veins will show up on the paper. And voila! You have a colorful nature art decoration mirroring the beautiful, bright colors outside your window.

Leaf Silhouette

Another leaf painting idea is to use the leaves as silhouettes, painting around each leaf to show off its shape in a creative way. It's easiest to use double sided tape to attach the leaves to the paper before starting. (You'll remove them after painting).

Tape leaves on paper or card stock in any design you life. Then, using watercolor paint or acrylic paint, paint around the leaves. Slowly work your way out until you've covered the paper. It's fun to use different shades and colors as you work, blending them together as you go.

leaf painting
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Let the paint dry, and then take your leaves off the paper, being careful not to rip it. This art idea is full of color and is a great kids craft, both creating beautiful art and getting kids outside into nature.

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