2 Leaf Art Projects For Young Kids

We got all leafy up in here, since they’re starting to fall all over our yard and all. Every year I forget how beautiful they are until we pick some up and look closely.

Now is a good time to celebrate fall leaves with leaf art projects. I was inspired, so I came up with a project! (Of course.)

Our first activity was probably one you’ve seen all over the blogs, and I slapped up some clear contact paper on our front door, cut out some Fall-colored leaves and gave them to Beckett to arrange in a delightful composition.

(Yes, that is total badass duct tape holding the contact paper to the glass.)

paper leaves on contact paper

After that I was left with a whole bunch of colored card stock pieces with leaves cut out of them. This is when the fun projects usually start- you have random materials, and you have to figure out what to do with them.

That’s when I decided we would try something I’ve only seen done on fabric: freezer paper stenciling.


Cut your freezer paper to the size of the watercolor paper.

Freehand draw some leaves on the freezer paper, or trace some leaves you’ve collected, or trace some previously cut-out leaves (like we did). Depending on how old your child is, they can do this part.

tracing leaves on freezer paper


Now it’s up to you to cut out the leaves with a craft knife. You could use scissors, but you’ll get a much smoother line, and it will be much faster if you use a craft knife.

cutting from freezer paper


Place the freezer paper, wax-side down, on top of the watercolor paper, and iron on low-ish (I had my iron set one setting up from the lowest.) The best way to iron it on is to hold the iron flat down on the paper for about 10 seconds at a time in different areas. Sliding it across the paper just moved it around too much. The freezer paper will bubble in places, but  if you keep working it will stick to the watercolor paper.

ironing freezer paper


Now it’s finally time to hand everything over to your kids. Beckett and I ventured outside to collect some specimens. We chose a wide range of leaf colors and brought them inside to inspect them. I had Beckett pull out the colors from the crayon box that most closely resembled the leaf colors.

fall leaves and crayons


At this point, I used the iron to warm up a leaf area at a time on the paper, and then let him color in that leaf. I may be slightly taken with warm, melty crayon-drawing since working on our crayon painting project.

I had him use only 2 colors per leaf so they wouldn’t get muddy-looking.




crayon stencils




crayon leaves stencil


Next up I broke out the watercolors, and encouraged him to use colors that looked similar to the leaves. (By this time he was a little tired of art-making, so I finished up for him.) I suggest only doing one of these projects at a time if you have wee ones….

watercolor stencil leaves


Don’t these look cool, though? Beckett was pretty excited to peel the paper off and see the leaves appear perfectly on the paper.

fall eaves and crayons and freezer stencil fall leaf art coloring with crayons in a freezer paper leaf stencil

contact paper leaf art, stencil leaf art with crayons, and autumn leaves



11 thoughts on “2 Leaf Art Projects For Young Kids”

  1. This is intriguing! I’ve only ever seen freezer paper stenciling with fabric, but I love the way your watercolors turned out! That duct tape holding the contact paper is cracking me up.

  2. Wow those are beautiful and I am not just saying that because you shared my Instagram ; )
    What makes the freezer paper stick? It worked really well, just an ever so slight area where it bled through with the watercolor which kinda adds charm. Very inspirational project!
    At first I thought it was like wax paper and you were going to do some sort of wax resist. I wonder if that would work too.

  3. these are so awesome, i’m not sure which to pin first. i adore fall. the colors, the crisp air. i have never heard of freezer paper, would love to try this with damian. thanks for the great tutorial mama.


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