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How to Preserve Fall Leaves and Create Mandala Leaf Art

by Jean Van't Hul
July 1, 2021

Tips on how to preserve Fall leaves, as well as how to draw and doodle on leaves and then create mandala leaf art.

LOVE written on leaves

We love using the beautiful fall leaves we collect in all kinds of art projects. Doodling and drawing on them with markers might be one of our favorite things to do – you can doodle, draw zentangles, or write the things you are thankful for on the leaves.

But sometimes it can be hard to know what to do with those leaves, once they’ve been decorated. If you don’t have a purpose for them in mind, they might dry out and get crumbly.

Here are some tips on how to decorate and preserve Autumn leaves, plus a fun way to decorate a blank wall at home!

preserved leaves out on wax paper
This post contains affiliate links.

How to Preserve Fall Leaves

MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Gather your leaves

    Pressed leaves work best for this project. Place the leaves between the pages of a book for 1-2 weeks. If the book is special, place leaves between paper first, to protect the pages of the book.

    leaves to be pressed

  2. Decorate your leaves

    Use the metallic sharpies to decorate the leaves however you’d like. We enjoy creating doodles, zentangles or repeating patterns––or meaningful words.

    Pro tip: Work on a mat or piece of paper, to protect the table underneath.

    drawing on leaves with sharpie

  3. Preserve your leaves

    Once the leaves are decorated it’s time to preserve them with Mod Podge. This brings back the vibrant color of the leaves which may have faded in drying. It also makes them less brittle and more flexible.

    Spread the leaves out onto wax paper, then brush mod podge onto one side. Let dry, then turn leaves over and brush a coat onto the backs of the leaves.

    preserving leaves with mod podge

It really works! The leaves are supple again and vibrantly colored.

If you want to draw on fall leaves but don’t have any pressed:

  1. Press leaves after drawing.
  2. Draw on leaves then use them in a contact paper suncatcher or stained glass. The contact paper keeps the leaves flat as they dry and displays them at the same time.
mandala leaf art pinterest

How to Create Mandala Leaf Art

Once your leaves are decorated and preserved, it’s time to try Mandala Leaf Art!

attaching leaves to wall to make a mandala

Mandalas are repetitive designs in a circular shape. They are so fun to make with natural objects, stickers, and collage items.

What better way to use your beautiful fall leaves than to design a mandala on your wall!?

Use tape or mounting putty in order to arrange and rearrange your mandala until you’re happy with the result. The coat of Mod Podge on the leaves will help them be both flexible and strong enough to be handled repeatedly.

leaf mandalas on wall

We love the way these gorgeous fall leaves look on the wall! Will you try this Autumn leaf art project? If you do, tag us on Instagram @artfulparent!

More 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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mandala leaf pinterest

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