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16 Ideas to Do Art with Leaves and Celebrate Thanksgiving

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In our part of the world, the leaves don't wear the riot of colours that some of you experience on the other side of the tropic. Leaves here are mostly green or at best yellow almost through out the year. And yet, we love making leaf art and craft and they never fail to inspire.

But, imagine our joy when yesterday I received an overseas courier with a file full of pressed fall leaves!

Yes, all the way from the U.K., my blogger friend, Cathy of Nurture Store was kind and thoughtful enough to send these gorgeous leaves. During a discussion about fall leaves the other day, I mentioned to my blogger community that we are sad not to have those fall-coloured leaves. And immediately, Cathy offered to be our "leaf fairy Godmother"!

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What a gift! We accept it with open heart, dear Cathy! 
Now that we have these, what can we make with them?

My head is dizzy with ideas right now – some, our own; some from the blogs that I follow.  

I thought, as I'm going around sorting ideas, why not share them with you all.

Here are some gorgeous art and craft that you can do with leaves – fallen or pressed; colourful or green. Some of these ideas can be adapted to do with paper leaves (you can make your own) or even fabric leaves (we're doing soon!)

With Thanksgiving round the corner, you can use many of these ideas to make greeting cards, gifts, gift tags or just decorate your home.

On this note, I have to share something with you – I am so in love with the core philosophy of 'gratitude' behind this festival, that we are adopting Thanksgiving as our family tradition starting this year – on Nov. 24, Thursday ! YAY. We may not follow the rituals to the T, but we do want to celebrate the essence of this festival.

Presenting, first four of the 16 gorgeous leaf art and craft!

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Starting from top left in a clock-wise direction:

  1. Painting on Pressed Leaves @ Quince and Quire

  2. Crayon Resist Leaf Water Colour @ Art for Little Hands 

  3. Thanksgiving Leaf Garland @ The Artful Parent

  4. Leaf Printing & Decoupage Cards @ Mommy Labs  

Those leaves don't look any less ornamental and gorgeous than the prettiest of flowers. Do they? 

We've been craving to do some doodling on pressed leaves on such fall-coloured leaves. And, now that we have them, we're going to do soon and frame them too. 

Doodling on leaves and turning them into a leaf bunting – like in the picture above – is a gem of an idea. 

Rub those leaves with white crayon and coat them with a bright water-colour to reveal the magical leaf impressions! We've done such an activity with coloured crayons before, but the white crayon idea provides an abracadabra twist!

And then, printing with leaves and decoupaging them – this is an all-time favourite art activity out here! Make greeting cards, diary covers or decorate scrap books. You can even upcycle an old table mat or some pillow covers with leaf prints!

Starting from top left in a clock-wise direction

  1. Leaf Turkey Card @ Toddler Approved

  2. Leaf Bubble Print and Collage @ Hands On: As we Grow   

  3. Leaf printing in cinnamon play dough @ Nurture Store    
  4. Leaf Family @ Putti Prapancha     

If you have pressed leaves or can rake up last of those fallen leaves, transform them into leaf turkeys!

Or, paint on them and frame them like in the picture above to rev up the corner in your kiddo's room. 

Those cinnamon-flavoured playdough leaves – what a genius idea! We're doing it right away! I can't resist given that it'll not just be beautiful but so flavourful as well.

That leaf family is the cutest nature-loving family portrait I've ever seen! Why, I totally think we should have that up on our bedroom wall to declare our bonding with nature.

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Starting from top left in a clock-wise direction:

  1. Leaf Rubbing Garland @ My Creative Family

  2. Crayon Leaf Imprinting @ Critters and Crayons

  3. Multi-colour Leaf Prints @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree   

  4. Negative Leaf Impressions @ Tinker Lab

How versatile are leaves! The kiddos can rub on them, paint on them, string them, stick them, weave them, embroider them, stitch them. In the collage above, you can see so many art techniques that can be possible with leaves.


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  1. Fairy Looms @ Paint Cut Paste      

  2. Making Leaf Cakes @ Mama Pea Pod       

  3. Fall Sensory Bucket @ A Mom with a Lesson Plan    

  4. Leaf Crown @ Red Ted Art

Leaves are so versatile when talking about creative play. I can bet we all can collectively come up with dozens of play ideas with leaves. Given their texture, colour, shape, size and bulk – they can be a fabulous addition to a child's playscape.

That fairy loom idea has been on our mind for sometime now. It's so beautiful…

And those leaf cakes – how imaginative and original. What child will not like playing with them!

A fall sensory bucket is what every child should have. The range of textures and colours that the child can explore and apreciate will enrich her/his play beyond words.

And finally – the leaf crown. So simple yet endearing. This gives me an idea. For Pari's birthday which is this 30th, why don't I do some decor and props using leaves and other elements from nature. Like – this leaf crown; a leaf bunting, leaf cake and any thing else that suits a party? I have an interesting challenge here and exciting too!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Crittersandcrayons November 22, 2011, 6:49 am

    What an amazingly beautiful post! Thank you for including our leaf imprints- this is really, really stunning!

  • dinosaursandoctopuses November 22, 2011, 6:56 am

    Wonderful post and compilation! I can’t wait to see what you make with your leaves!

  • maggy, red ted art November 22, 2011, 8:16 am

    What a wonderful wonderful post about leaves! And how fantastic that Cathy sent you some :-) so lovely! And thank you so much including our leaf crown :-)


  • Melissa November 22, 2011, 1:20 pm

    WOW! What a wonderful post and thanks for including me! I am thankful to know you through blogging! How amazing!

  • Roopa November 22, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Such a gorgeous post Rashmie!! Love all the ideas here, need to try some new ones. We love playing with leaves and did some big leaf prints and rubbing just last evening too:) Cant wait to see what you and pari come up with.
    Thanks for including our leaf family.

    Loved ur decoupage candle holders too, they look lovely!

    • Anonymous November 23, 2011, 4:57 am

      @d30bc3449b5ec6a288bce14ae7a528a7:disqus I saw that picture of your big leaf printing! What fun it must have been! Can’t wait to see the full post…

  • Jen at paintcutpaste.com November 22, 2011, 4:59 pm

    what a fun post! thank you for including our fairy looms – i want to make small versions of them this year.

  • Cathy at NurtureStore November 22, 2011, 6:22 pm

    Oh, the leaves look like they survived their journey OK :) This is a beautiful round up – thanks for all the ideas.

  • Toddler Approved November 22, 2011, 6:27 pm

    What a great post!! I love these pictures. Thanks for including our little leaf card.

  • Mama Pea Pod November 22, 2011, 10:30 pm

    What a lovely post and so many inspiring ideas. The text is just beautiful! Thanks for including our leaf cakes in your round-up of ideas.

  • Anonymous November 23, 2011, 4:31 am

    Thank you, friends, for your comments and support. All your projects are so inspiring. So glad to share those with my readers.

  • Anonymous November 23, 2011, 4:54 am

    @twitter-255659366:disqus I am so happy that I came to know you, too :) This is one of the top reasons that I love blogging – besides so many others – as I come to meet people like you with shared interests and passions and most importantly – a generous soul :)

  • Anonymous November 23, 2011, 4:55 am

    @31f8d807a97649c4129bdbd13ddef051:disqus Small versions of fairy looms? Those will be the cutest sight, I can bet!

  • Anonymous November 23, 2011, 4:56 am

    @4af35f414b5521e19ce63f91ae892ea6:disqus Oh, the leaves were absolutely ship shape when they arrived! Your creativity reflects in the packing as well :)

  • Terri November 23, 2011, 5:22 am

    Beautiful post! Thank you so much for including our leaf rubbing garland!

  • Bernadette Ortiz-Grbic November 23, 2011, 12:45 pm

    so many wonderful ideas to craft, play & explore leaves. Can’t wait to see what you do with yours.

    • Anonymous November 24, 2011, 5:41 am

      Thank you for stopping by. I’ll make something soon. So many ideas in my head, but the leaves are so precious to us, I want to make sure I do my best with them… ;)

  • Natalie November 24, 2011, 4:29 am

    Thanks for rounding up so many wonderful ideas in one place! Happy birthday to Pari!

    • Rashmie November 24, 2011, 5:18 am

      Thank you, Natalie! I’ll let Pari know.. :)