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Let Fall Leaves Inspire Fun and Easy Seasonal Crafts

Autumn is here! Leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground. Why not gather some and make some fun fall crafts?

(Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock)

Remember that it is illegal to pick or collect anything in the forest preserves, so only gather leaves from your yard or places where you have permission. Then check out some of these ideas below.

Leaf pressing

(Photos by Angela Rafac)

As a fallen leaf dries, it will naturally curl and crumble. You can make a leaf last longer by pressing it. This allows you to remove the moisture while keeping the leaf nice and flat.


Freshly fallen leaves

Newspapers or magazines

Heavy books


1. Gather freshly fallen leaves.

2. Put a few leaves between the pages of newspapers or magazine. Skip a few pages and


3. Stack heavy books on top of the newspapers or magazines.

4. Wait. For best results, wait at least one week.

5. Remove leaves from papers and use however you like.

Leaf glitter

(Photo. by Angela Rafac)

Traditional glitter may sparkle, but it is not great for the environment. Try making your own glitter out of leaves. This is a unique and environmentally friendly way to add a sprinkle of pizzazz to your artwork.


Colorful fallen leaves

Containers or zip-top bags to store homemade glitter


An art project or something to add leaf glitter to


1. Gather colorful leaves and let them dry out completely.

2. Once the leaves are dry, use your fingers to crumble each color into a bowl. You can keep it coarsely ground or crumble longer to make finer pieces.

3. Save each color in a container or zip-top bag.

4. Apply glue and then glitter to any art projects you desire.

Leaf bowl

(Photos by Angela Rafac)

Make a one-of-a-kind bowl out of leaves to use as a festive centerpiece this season!


A balloon

A can or cup



A container with water

Pressed leaves

A paintbrush

Mod Podge


A tablecloth for your work surface (optional)


1. Blow up balloon.

2. Add some rocks to the can. This will weigh it down so your project doesn’t tip over.

3. Tape the balloon to the can.

4. Let leaves float in water to relax them.

5. With a paintbrush, apply Mod Podge to the balloon and add a thin layer of leaves. Add Mod Podge to the outer layer, then use a square of tinfoil to gently shape it around the outside to hold its form in place. After awhile, remove the foil and let dry completely.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until several layers have been completed.

7. Carefully remove the balloon.

8. Display in a place where it can be admired!

Painting on leaves

(Photo by Angela Rafac)

This fun activity turns a leaf into a blank canvas that you can decorate any way you imagine!


Pressed leaves

Mod Podge or finishing glue

Markers or paints


1. Gather and press leaves.

2. Give leaves a coat of Mod Podge. This will strengthen the leaf so your artwork doesn’t crumble.

3. Use markers or paints to paint a picture or just a design.

Leaf garland or leaf wreath

(Photo by Angela Rafac)

Adding a string of garland or a wreath made of leaves is a great way to bring the excitement of the season indoors.




A needle


A compass


A low-heat glue gun

Leaf garland directions

1. Gather leaves and let dry.

2. Use needle and twine to string leaves together.

3. Hang on wall.

Leaf wreath directions

(Photo by Angela Rafac)

1. Gather leaves and let dry.

2. Using a compass, draw a circle on cardboard to make a ring about 1 inch thick. Cut it out.

3. Use glue to attach leaves to cardboard ring.

4. Repeat Step 3 until wreath is complete.

5. Hang on wall.


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