As the chill starts to hit the air and the sweaters come out from the back of the closet around here, that means it’s almost time for DIY leaf crafts for kids. Or hey, maybe you’ve already started? (Hey, Minnesota!) While there’s no shortage of stunning DIY craft ideas around the web using leaves, the results would make you all laugh hysterically should they fall into my not-too-crafty hands. Me? I’m a little more like, So? What can we do with a Sharpie, kids?
With that in mind, I tracked down 10 inspiring but easy ideas that are made for actual doing, not just pinning and admiring. In fact, big kids can do all of these on their own, while even preschoolers can get in on each one with a little help from you.
DIY LEAF RUBBINGS
First, I have to start with leaf rubbings because my kids just love them so much. It’s so simple and you don’t really need to go more crazy than using a few colors for younger kids to really enjoy the craft. At Meri Cherry, a kindergarten teacher shows some great results from her class. She also links to a neat tip at Filth Wizardry to water down some food coloring a little and paint over the rubbings for a wax resist effect.
DIY LEAF PRINTING CRAFT
I am so taken with the results of this Rorshach-like leaf printing craft at Kleas. It basically requires using multiple colors on a single leaf, which means kids get a two-fer in both painting the leaf, and then using it as a stamp.
DIY CUT LEAF CARS
I can’t believe how cute this cut leaf car craft looks at the Art Room Plant, and it doesn’t really seem too hard. Little kids will definitely need help cutting out those windows (yeah, not handing an XActo knife to a kindergartener) but cutting out an outline should be fun.
DIY LEAF ANIMAL CRAFT
Okay, so our leaf craft animals inspired from the book Look What I did With a Leaf will probably not come out as amazing as these, though there are some great idea starters here. Plus, you’ll be surprised with what your kids come up with and how they see shapes and colors that you never would have considered.
DIY LEAF ALPHABET POSTERS
Another way to put those finished leaf animals to good use is by making your own Leaf Alphabet posters, like these at Martha Stewart. I bet kids will get super creative, too. Is R for robot, rabbit or running shoes? They’ll let you know.
PAINTED ANIMAL LEAF CRAFT
I am blown away by the painted leaves by Hazel Terry – check out her incredible Flickr stream for so many clever ideas from bugs to fish and beyond. Start with a solid base paint, then go nuts from there. [h/t My Owl Barn]
PAPER PUNCH LEAF CRAFT
My kids love playing with paper punches but I never thought about using basic shapes on leaves. The Paper Punched Leaf Craft from Grow Creative (also at very top) yields some awesome shapes you can incorporate into other crafts, like collages, garlands, or greeting cards. Don’t wait until the leaves are too dry though or they’ll crumble.
DIY LEAF MASK CRAFT
The photos of this DIY leaf mask craft at small + friendly are so adorable. She has very simple instructions for making one completely from scratch — but you can make it even simpler on yourself by gluing the leaves onto a mask you already own. (My kids seem to amass dozens of them from birthday parties and who knows where else.)
DIY SPARKLE LEAF CRAFT
The site also has a great tutorial for DIY sparkle leaves that combine two of my kids’ favorite things: Glitter, and making me clean up the glitter after them.
DIY PAINTED LEAF ART
Of course, leaves don’t always have to come in shades of brown and gold. I love how you can let kids paint leaves just to look like…even cooler leaves. This tutorial at Love from Ginger is a little more advanced, but you can easily pare it down to something your kids will be able to do on their own. [h/t brit + co]