Leaf Prints

It’s really starting to feel like fall around here, and I found a great seasonal art project that celebrates the change of seasons in a colorful and creative way.  The autumn colors are gorgeous in Vermont, but before you know it the leaves have fallen and become a crunchy, brown carpet littering our yard and driveway.  Because autumn is officially here and since we will soon be knee-deep in its evidence, I love a craft that will help me explain the abstract concept of the seasons and get the kids prepared for the chilly days to come.  And the final product is really pretty!

So  here’s what you need:

Leaves, paint, paper, cookie sheet

Here’s what you do.

Collect green, non-crunchy, still fresh leaves of all shapes and textures.  If they are fallen and crunchy, they’ll be too stiff to lay in the paint and will just disintegrate and make your paint all nasty.  So keep in mind, you’ll have to do this craft soon, or else all your leaves will be out of commission!

Then pour some paint into a cookie sheet and smear it all around.  I used fingerpaint and a spatula.  Set ground rules for the spatula ahead of time.  Trust me.  It becomes a rainbow weapon of temptation.

Then lay your leaves in the paint.  Try to press them down as completely as possible so the entire leaf and all its textures and crevices is covered.

Then peel the leaf off…

(I like this picture)

…and press it onto a nice clean sheet of paper.

Try to press down firmly over the entire leaf, making sure that as much paint as possible is transferred to the paper.  Otherwise your leaf looks like this—

–and the result isn’t nearly as good.

In the end, if you’re creative, you could make a really cool pattern of leaves to decorate your home or even frame as a seasonal work of art if you like them that much.  I was really pleased with ours, although I didn’t plan ahead with any kind of rhyme or reason to our artwork.

I was still focusing on keeping my kids as un-painted as possible.

Hence the finger paint.

This craft was about 75% me, 25% them, so although I am really pleased with how they came out, I will hold off from saving or framing them until I can look at the finished product and know it was 100% their creation.  Regardless, we’ll still do it every year because they really are lovely to look at and it was a fun way to say goodbye to summer and usher in the fall.

Sure is starting to feel like fall around here!

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