Fall Leaf Art with Scratch Art Paper
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Fall Leaf Art with the Scratch Art Technique

Fall Leaf Art with Scratch Art Papers

If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I am loving the first of the Autumn leaves.

Love, love, love.

Spring will always be my favorite season, but fall is a close second. Partly because of all the amazing colors and patterns in the leaves around me.

Don’t get me wrong. We still have mostly green here in Asheville, North Carolina, like most of the U.S.

But I’m seeing more and more leaves changing colors on my walks.


The colors of Autumn…

A photo posted by Jean Van’t Hul (@jeanvanthul) on

Reds, oranges, yellows, browns.

An Autumn Leaf is a Work of Art

Each autumn leaf is a work of art—a tiny canvas worthy of framing.

But! I’m getting carried away.

Here’s a leaf art project we did the other day, inspired by some of the beautiful fall leaves we had collected.

Doing Scratch Art in the Studio

Fall Leaf Art with Scratch Art Paper

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Making our own scratch art paper


1. First we covered paper with oil pastel drawings until the entire sheet was full of color. 

Then, I cut each 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper into four sections. Just ’cause it took us a while to fill those with color and to give us more pieces of scratch art paper.

Making our own scratch art paper

2. Then we painted over the oil pastel with a layer of the metallic purple BioColor paint.

Not convinced purple belongs in the Autumn palette?

Purple is an autumn color

We’ve been finding lots of lovely purple around us lately.

Fall Leaf Art with Scratch Boards

3. Finally, we scratched our autumn leaf designs through the surface of the wet paint with toothpicks and Q-tips.

Fall Leaf Art with DIY Scratch Paper

Aren’t these pretty?

Halloween Scratch Art

Maia drew jack-o-lanterns with her toothpick, rather than leaves.

DIY Scratch Art

And both kids did some abstract art.

By the way, if you want more tips and tricks on making your own scratch art papers, check out my post on DIY Scratch Art the Easy Way.

But wait! There’s more!

DIY Scratch Art with Oil Pastels

I really wanted to try this fall leaf art with black, to see how it would look, so we also decided to try a scratch art technique I saw on Babble Dabble Do recently. We layered black oil pastel over the colored oil pastel.

DIY Scratch Art with Oil Pastels

This definitely took more time and muscle power than a quick coat of paint and Daphne asked me to help do her black layer.

But once it was on, she had fun scratching out an Autumn picture with a tree and jack-o’-lanterns while I drew leaves and acorns on my own scratch art paper.

DIY Scratch Art with Oil Pastels

I recommend you make some fall leaf art with scratch art paper! If you make your own scratch art papers, you can focus on autumnal colors (even purple!) or if you want to use pre-made scratch art paper, that works too.

Autumn Arts & Crafts Ideas & Supplies

The Artful Parent Amazon shop for Fall Crafts & Play Ideas.

See our FALL family fun list on my Amazon storefront!

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!

Fall craft bundle graphic

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. Use coupon code KASHALFOFF for $9.99!

Plus a bonus of 10 fall-themed drawing prompts!

30 September Activities for Kids Free Printable Graphic

Download our FREE printable idea list of 30 autumn activities for kids & families!

Or just check out the blog post with the links… So many fun ideas for fall!

Pin It for Later 

Fall Leaf Art with Scratch Art Paper
  • Dena
    September 15, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Hi Jean,

    Do you let the paint completely dry before the scratch part? Thanks, we love scratch art and sounds awesome to do it from “scratch”!

    • Jean Van't Hul
      September 17, 2015 at 10:17 am

      We don’t let our paint dry first, Dena. We find it easier and more fun to just go ahead and scratch our designs through the wet paint.

  • Amanda
    September 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you so much for this wonderful idea! I had planned to do bubble prints tomorrow but am finding myself entirely out of straws. This is going to be perfect and my kids are going to love it.

    • Jean Van't Hul
      September 17, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Hope you enjoyed it, Amanda!!

  • Anna
    September 15, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Beautiful leaves. Ours in the UK haven’t quite turned yet but it won’t be long – there is a definite smell of autumn in the air!

    • Jean Van't Hul
      September 17, 2015 at 10:18 am

      It’s a good smell, isn’t it, Anna?! :)

  • Ana
    September 16, 2015 at 7:32 am

    This is completely stunning! I love both versions and the idea to incorporate fall leaves!!!

  • Anita wright
    September 21, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Hello Jean, I am a mother of three two girls one boy I also have six grandchildren four of them under the age of four. I have always been a full time mum and so when I found your site I was so excited to take your amazing ideas and use them . Brialee jay is eight and she has loved from an early age coming into my craft room .i now have two grandsons who. Have now started wanting to do messy play and I love it too . We are going to try the fluffy paint as our autumn is upon us now it is wonderful I can try some of your fun well one of my grandsons will be coming in soon from preschool so bye for now. Nita

  • Lina Sennott
    September 22, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I love your newsletter. I am going to try these project ideas. My son loves drawing but he isn’t very good at it and kids in class have told him his drawings are terrible :( It discourages him so hopefully these fun projects will help him practice and make him more confident in his art work and grow his ideas so when he does things in class he will shine!!

  • Jenna Michelle Pink
    September 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Ah this is a lovely idea. I remember creating scratch art as a child. Lots of fun :)

  • Thirza Schneider
    October 12, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I love your creative ideas! Thank you so much for sharing them with us! What do you use to scratch the scratch art with? Thanks!

  • Novian
    March 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I am currently studying to become an early childhood teacher and I find these activities truly amazing. Thank you. I am inspired by your love for children’s art and I will be better able and more open to inspire children to be creative with their art thanks to you. Keep up the good work.

    • Jean Van't Hul
      March 7, 2016 at 4:17 am

      Thank you so much, Novian! And good luck with your studies to become an early childhood teacher!

  • tara
    April 26, 2016 at 6:03 am

    Smart idea…Simple and elegant design. Thank you for sharing.

    Tara, Bizbilla