10 autumn leaf crafts - simple and fun ideas for kids

Leaf masks crafts
What will you make with autumn leaves? (Photo: Phil Formby/WTML)

Crunchy. Crackly. Colourful. Beautiful leaves are one of my favourite things about autumn. As soon as they start drifting down from the trees my daughter and I can't wait to grab a handful and get creative with them.

Here are some of our favourite leaf crafts to try with your kids this autumn.

1. Golden leaf crowns

Leaf crown craft
Collect brightly-coloured leaves to make an autumn crown. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

We make leaf crowns every year! It's an ideal activity for youngsters who like to pretend they are a prince or princess. You simply gather some fallen leaves, stick them to a strip of card and fasten it around your child's head. You can even add berries, acorn cups or small conkers as jewels.

Get the leaf crown instructions.

2. Gorgeous leaf animals

Leaf animal craft - squirrel
Which cute creature will you make? (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

Some animals are hard to spot when you're out exploring, but you can make your own forest friends using fallen leaves. Look for leaves shaped like a hedgehog's snout, an owl's feather, a squirrel's bushy tail or a fox's face, then build up a picture. Use acorns and conkers for eyes and noses.

Watch our leaf animal video.

3. Funny faces

Leafy face craft
Yellow leaves make great hair on this funny face. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

This craft is another favourite in our house - it's brilliant fun. Gather natural bits and bobs then use them to make silly faces with leafy hair, helicopter seed moustaches or berry mouths. You could make a happy face, a surprised face, or a sleepy face. Try making a self-portrait or create a whole family of funny faces!

Get more ideas for leafy faces.

4. Leaf printing

Leaf printing craft
Gather fallen leaves and use them to make pretty prints. (Photo: Sam Oxford-Dean)

Printing with leaves is a fun way to make an autumn painting. You can make all sorts of interesting patterns and you can even turn them into cards to give to family and friends.

First, head outside and hunt for freshly-fallen leaves. Look for different shapes and sizes - flat leaves are better as it's tricky to get a clear print from curled up ones. Now you're ready to paint. Choose seasonal colours like yellow, orange and red. Paint the bumpy side of the leaf (look for the raised veins) and press it firmly onto some paper. Gently peel the leaf away to reveal colourful prints.

5. Leaf rubbings

Leaf rubbings craft
Get the crayons out and create some leaf rubbings. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

This craft is an oldie but a goodie. Lay out some leaves on a table with the veins facing up and put a sheet of paper over the top. Using the side of a crayon, colour over the leaves until you can see the shapes and patterns emerge. Try to get all the details like the veins and crinkly edges.

Get more leaf rubbing tips.

6. Leaf fireworks

Leaf fireworks craft
Make your own dazzling fireworks display with fiery leaves. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

Flash! Bang! As we get closer to Bonfire Night this is a fun activity to do with excited youngsters. Gather the brightest leaves you can find and arrange them in explosive patterns on the ground. You can even build a stick bonfire and poke fiery leaves in it to look like flickering flames.

Watch our leaf fireworks video.

7. Leafy autumn wreath

Autumn leaf wreath craft
You can use fallen leaves to make a colourful autumn wreath. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

If you like seasonal decorations have a go making this leafy wreath. First, help your kids cut out a thick circle of card. You can leave it plain or paint it an autumnal colour - we used orange. Then stick some autumn leaves on the top (we pressed ours between some heavy books for a couple of days to help flatten them out). You can keep it quite simple or layer up lots and lots of leaves. When the glue has dried, hang up your wreath with a piece of ribbon.

8. Leaf mask

Leaf mask
Make a beautiful leaf mask with golden leaves. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

If your kids love playing superheros they'll really enjoy collecting natural treasures to make their own leafy masks. Simply cut out mask shapes from card and snip out eye holes. Then stick their leaves to the card and attach some ribbon so they can wear them.

Watch our leaf mask video.

9. Leaf rainbow

Leaf rainbow craft
Can you find leaves in all the colours of the rainbow? (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

Red, yellow, orange, purple, green... Autumn leaves come in an amazing array of colours. See how many different shades you can find and make a bright rainbow on the ground.

10. Leaf letters

Leaf letters craft
Help kids make the first letter of their name using natural items. (Photo: Danielle Wesley/WTML)

This is a lovely activity to do with little ones who are learning their letters. Grab some sticks and make an outline of the first letter of their name. Then help your mini Nature Detective gather fallen leaves, sticks, seeds and feathers to fill it in.

Right, we're off to collect some golden leaves to adorn our leaf crowns now but I hope these activities have given you some ideas for autumn fun. We'd really love to see your leafy crafts and creations - tag your pics #NatureDetectives on Instagram or Twitter, or add them to our Facebook page and help inspire other families.

Get nature activities through the post

Woodland Trust family membership welcome box

If you and your kids enjoy learning about wildlife, you'll love Woodland Trust family membership. We send our members awesome Nature Detectives activity packs every season, bursting with wildlife spotting, crafts and puzzles. Plus, when you join you'll receive a welcome box full of goodies to get you started, including a guide to all our woods and a pocket-sized leaf ID book - perfect for identifying trees when you're out and about.

Family membership starts at £5 per month and your donation helps us plant trees and protect woods across the UK, benefiting people, wildlife and the planet. Find out more about family membership.

What do you like to make with leaves?

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