Autumn is here! Leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground. Why not gather some and make some fun fall crafts?
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.
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
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.
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.
Make a one-of-a-kind bowl out of leaves to use as a festive centerpiece this season!
A can or cup
A container with water
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
This fun activity turns a leaf into a blank canvas that you can decorate any way you imagine!
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
Adding a string of garland or a wreath made of leaves is a great way to bring the excitement of the season indoors.
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
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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