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How to Paint Autumn Leaves: A Fun Fall Art Activity for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
September 8, 2021
1.1K Shares

Create an Autumn leaves painting that combines leaf rubbings with watercolor paints for a vibrant watercolor resist project for kids.

watercolor resist autumn leaves painting

Updated August 2021

We love stained glass art activities. They are fun to create, make beautiful decor for your home, and you can make them all year long! This fall leaves painting project is the perfect thing to hang in a window or glass door. The light shines through the lovely leaves and makings a stunning addition to your home.

This is similar to a spring stained glass art activity we’ve made, but instead of spring flowers, we use fall leaves to make a watercolor resist piece of art to hang in the doorway, welcoming visitors!

child making leaf rubbings on paper for autumn leaves painting

How to Paint Autumn Leaves

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MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Set up your materials

    Arrange your leaves together on the table, vein side up. Place the sheet of paper over the leaves and tape down the corners to hold it in place. For an extra secure work area, you can even tape the leaves down by the stems, but it’s not necessary.

  2. Create leaf rubbings

    Using the broad side of an unwrapped crayon, rub firmly over the paper to reveal the leaf skeletons. Use different crayon colors if desired.

    blue leaf rubbings

  3. Paint over rubbings

    Use watercolors to paint over the crayon leaf rubbings, creating a watercolor resist effect.

    Watch the watercolors bead up and slide off the crayon lines yet soak into the paper.

    watercolor resist leaf paintings

    For this painting, we made sure to define each of the leaves with paint so it looks more like an Autumn leaves painting and less like an abstract painting.

  4. Hang your painting

    To hang you Autumn leaves painting, you can glue the top edge around a thin dowel, using a hot glue gun. Or you can also just hang with a ribbon or string, or even tape to your door or window.

    autumn leaves painting on door

  5. Optional:

    You can hang your painting up as is, or you can also paint the back of the painting with vegetable oil to give it a translucent stained glass effect.

    light shining through leaf painting

Have you tried leaf rubbings with your kids yet? If so, be sure to try this next step of adding watercolors for a lovely stained glass painting!

child making leaf paintings

More Autumn Leaf Art Activities for Kids

Fall craft bundle graphic

Autumn Arts & Crafts Ideas & Supplies

Download our FREE printable idea list of 30 autumn activities for kids & families! Or check out the blog post with the links. So many fun ideas for fall!

And be sure to check out our FALL family fun list in our Amazon store! It includes supplies for fall arts & crafts (including the best paper leaves for painting!), autumn toys, Halloween ideas, and picture books about autumn. Plus, we have lists of the best kids art supplies, open-ended toys, children’s games, and more!

PLUS: Get our new Autumn Arts & Crafts for Kids workshop!  This is an online workshop with 10 fun fall arts and crafts activities that your family can enjoy all autumn long, with a bonus of 10 fall-themed drawing prompts! Use coupon code KASHALFOFF for $9.99!

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