Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kid craft: watercolor leaf garland tutorial

I LOVE FALL.  I look forward to it allll year long.  And since my kids love autumn as much as I do, today we made a quick paper autumn leaf garland to hang in our classroom, and in the windows. . . 

Honestly, these leaf garlands may be the only fall color we get in West Texas!  Our autumns tend to be very... abrupt.  First, our trees start to look a little dry, then the leaves will shrivel a bit, maybe turn brown around the edges.  And then one good thunderstorm comes along and suddenly all the leaves are on the ground!  That's it!  In one fell swoop, the trees are bare.  *sigh*  But I digress. . .

Let's make a watercolor leaf garland!

You'll need:

* construction paper or cardstock in autumn colors
* clip art of leaves, or you can draw your own; I used this free printable from
* watercolor paint & water
* paint brush
* glitter glue
* scissors
* thread
* sewing machine

Recommended ages: 3 - 8, with adult supervision (painting, scissors) and assistance with / completion of some steps (such as sewing machine operation***)
*** I allowed my 6 and 8 year old sons to operate my sewing machine with my careful guidance and close supervision.  My 4 year old isn't allowed NEAR it.  ;)  You know your child best. 


First, print out some leaf clip art (or draw your own leaves) onto orange, yellow, and brown construction paper, several sheets per child.

Paint the leaves with watercolors, to liven up the colors and give the leaves some depth.  Let the paint dry thoroughly.  (It didn't take long.)

Next, add glitter glue to really make the colors pop.  Allow to dry.  The thinner the glitter glue, the quicker they'll dry.

Cut out the leaves.  We cut off (ignored) the stems.


If you have very young children, you'll want to complete this part.  If you have older kiddos that are mature enough to handle using a sewing machine, this is a very simple beginners project. 

We sewed the leaves together with chain sewing.  Basically, chain sewing is sewing one piece (of fabric, paper, whatever) right after the other, without lifting the presser foot.  You can space the pieces however closely you'd like, all while continuing to press the pedal.  (Here's a great video if you'd like to see chain sewing in action.) 

We used a long stitch, and sewed straight down the main vein of the leaf.  All the boys had to do was steer the needle down the center of the leaf.  They were usually pretty close.  ;)

Monkey 7 spaced his leaves several inches apart, by pulling the leaf (and thus the thread) while continuing to press the pedal. . . .

. . . while Monkey 6 sewed his very close together:

Now hang 'em up, and admire your little one's autumn artwork!

What is your child's favorite autumn craft?  I'd love to hear about it... so we can try new autumn projects, too!  :)

1 comment:

  1. With the onset of autumn kids generally get excited. I too love it and the designs which you had provided are too good to me. It has been also too good of you to give the tips of making the leaves of cloth and giving instructions on making it out. It can be really a good theme and a part of the baby parties or welcome parties in home.
    discount baby items


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