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Autumn Tree Art For Kids – A Mixed Media Fall Art Project

Autumn Tree Art For Kids – A Mixed Media Art Project

We did an Autumn tree art project after school yesterday.

I’ve been trying to get back into having simple art projects set up for when Maia gets home. This one isn’t on the cheat sheet of activities, but rather incorporates a few different art materials and techniques such as masking tape artsimple printmaking, and collage for kids.

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How to Make Autumn Tree Art

Autumn Tree Art For Kids – placing masking tape on paper

First, we used colored masking tape to create our trees. What? You say trees don’t have purple branches?

Well, we were out of brown masking tape. Don’t think we ever had any, in fact. So our trees are purple, green, and black. We agree with Willow—trees can be any color.

Autumn Tree Art For Kids – sticking masking tape tree on paper

Daphne really got into this project (I pre-cut the tape for her).

But Maia, not so much. She was in a funk because a good friend of hers was supposed to come over for a playdate but couldn’t after all.

Autumn Tree Art For Kids – ink pads

After we each finished our trees, we walked around the yard collecting small leaves. And I got out the stamp pads.

Autumn Tree Art For Kids – printing small leaves

Sage leaves make very satisfactory small leaf prints.

Autumn Tree Art For Kids – glueing small leaves on trees

We also glued on some of our little pressed leaves.

Autumn Tree Art For Kids – detail photo of leaf prints on tree

Here’s a detail of a finished tree with leaf prints and collaged leaves.

Autumn Tree Art For Kids – leaf prints

And Daphne’s tree had a lot of fingerprints, which I thought looked quite leaf-like as well.

How about you? Have you been doing any Autumn tree art? Any autumn crafting?

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Autumn Tree Art For Kids – A Mixed Media Art Project


  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I’m sure that this is a repeat question. (sorry) What do you do with all the artwork. I struggle with what to keep and how much to keep. What’s your current organizational strategdy?

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 11:42 am

    We can’t seem to get enough of the fall crafts around here. It’s nice to have so much color before our part of the world quiets down to white. Here’s one of our projects:
    I love the idea of masking tape. We’ve been looking to add some different textures and what not to our palette.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I love that you stamped with real leaves. What a great after school project. I am finding it hard to do art with my older kids. They get home from school and we seem to be in a mad rush until bedtime. I think doing art right when they get off the bus could be relaxing to us all.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    They both came out great. I love seeing the difference between Daphne’s art as a 2 year old and Maia as a 6 year old! Makes me cherish the 2’s but look forward to the completeness of 6’s art.
    Naomi is 2 so it helps me see that it is something she can do.
    Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 27, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Caroline – That’s a good question, and I struggle with it myself sometimes. I used to keep it all, but don’t anymore. I still keep a lot of it, but not all. I try to keep the best, the ones they are the most proud of, the ones that represent developmental growth, the first pieces that show a new stage (first enclosed shapes, first faces, etc), and also just the ones I like. I have clear plastic boxes with lids that I keep the artwork in. Here’s a long ago post about it:
    For 3-D artwork (some sculptures etc) or ephemeral art (chalkboard drawings etc), I take photos.
    Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 27, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Looks great! I’ve been wanting to try leaf pounding, but haven’t yet. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply
    Heather Collins
    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I love this idea. We will have to try it!

  • Reply
    October 28, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Seeing this makes me think of “Drawing a tree” by Bruno Munari, which I do recommend:
    it also describes a “workshop” that could be interesting to do with Maia and Daphne.
    I think Daphne did a great job! My 2 year old would have taped all over except for on the paper!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2011 at 2:24 am

    My oldest daughter is only two, but we’ve done a few things. For halloween we made banner of pumpkins and ghosts. I precut the pumpkins and ghosts and the mouth and eye shapes. Then i let her have at it with the gluestick. She made some very picassoesque pumpkins. We also made fall color paper chains.
    I would like to try out some leaf prints but we don’t have many different trees here in the desert. We’ve tried a few rubbings but mesquite leaves don’t come out that well.
    I love your blog by the way. This my first time commenting.

  • Reply
    October 29, 2011 at 8:40 am

    hi jean- I have a scheduling question– do you plan out what activities you are going to do with the girls and get materials ready ahead of time? Sort of like meal planning for projects? I feel flooded with ideas but when my 5 year old comes home she just wants to draw or make collages by herself. Which is great and very much her personality (and mine!) but sometimes she loves a specific “activity” as she calls them. And 2 year old sort of wanders in and out of playing with playdough and drawing with markers all day. I love all the semi-structured projects I see on your blog but the days just get away from me! How, literally, do you do it…planned out?

  • Reply
    October 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    @Ljmonchik, we have a weekly family art project night. I get to decide what we do. :) If the kid doesn’t want to, the adults still have fun. Otherwise, more freeform. When my daughter napped I’d have an activity set out from when she woke. She’s with me 24/7 but I see that Jean does that for coming home from preschool too.
    Jean, just stopping back in to this post to say that my daughter and I loved this activity. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 30, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    That book looks great! Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll take a look for it.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Glad you like my blog and thanks for the comment! I wonder if you could do prints and rubbings from other nature items that you have more abundantly where you live? You could always make a different kind of leaf print, too — like cut a potato into a leaf shape and print with that and some paint.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I try to have some art materials or a simple art activity set up for after school. This mostly means just putting out a couple items on the kitchen table (paints and paper or whatever) before I go pick Maia up from school. Having a semi-structured art activity set up is just as easy (or almost so) as putting out materials for an unstructured activity. I try to do both and usually err on the side of the unstructured, but get a little crazy with the more structured around holidays. I probably shouldn’t! Here are a couple of posts that might help you.
    A post about how I plan our art activities:
    A post about simple art activities to set up for after school:
    Hope this helps!! Feel free to ask more questions if you like…

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    So glad you and your daughter liked this activity! And thanks for answering ljmonchik’s question. I like how you have a weekly family art project night as well as lots of freeform art. Sounds like a good mix. I may try that… :)

  • Reply
    October 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Just found your website – fantastic!!

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