A Fall Kid's Craft: Leaf People

Easy steps for creating a whimsical cast of garden characters.
Leaf People

Leaf People

A charming family craft project for the fall garden: leaf people!

Photo by: Image courtesy of Melissa Caughey

Image courtesy of Melissa Caughey

A charming family craft project for the fall garden: leaf people!

When I was a little girl, each year we would visit a rustic cabin that my grandfather built in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The house is tucked beneath a canopy of towering pine trees. When visiting the cabin, we made our fun outside. My sister and I loved to create miniature houses from Y-shaped branches, twigs and pine needles. We would even make faceless dolls from twigs. They were rustic to say the least but that never curbed our fun.  We did this for years on end until we grew up and our outdoor interests grew up too. 

Now that I am grown with a family of my own, the tradition continues. Each summer we take the kids up to the same rustic cabin that my grandfather built. My children are the fifth generation to enjoy it. Early one morning, I found my mother and the kids making those very same twig and pine needle houses under the pine tree canopy. The memories flooded back.  I had decided that when we returned home, I wanted to make some miniature people fit for those pine needle houses and fall outdoor fun. This past week we did just that.

Supplies:

  • Wooden clothespins
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Felt
  • Ribbon
  • Glue gun
  • Silk leaves
  • Assortment of fall craft notions
  • Acrylic paint/markers
  • Paintbrush

Click on the step-by-step photo gallery for all of the instructions.

Leaf People How-To

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Fall Garden Friends

Keep your children entertained in the garden with these adorable "leaf people" they create. These tiny fall-themed people will offer hours of outdoor enjoyment for the children while you work in the garden.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Melissa Caughey

Gather Your Supplies

You will need: wooden clothespins/acrylic paint or markers/a paint brush/scissors/assorted felt/ ribbon/X-Acto knife/pipe cleaners/a hot glue gun and decorative items such as acorn tops, sphagnum moss, yarn, silk leaves and assorted fall notions from the craft store.

Add Faces

With markers or acrylic paints, add faces to your cast of characters. Allow them to dry.

Dress Up

The possibilities are endless. Here a styrofoam gourd is turned into a skirt by hollowing out the middle with an X-Acto knife. Slide it up to the waist and hot glue it into place. Also, try hollowing out just a small portion of the gourd to make a hat.

Ribbon Pants

Cut a piece of ribbon to the desired length and slide it between the legs. Glue the ribbon's sides together for instant pants. Repeat on the other leg.

Braided Hair

Cut three strands of yarn approximately 8 inches long. Tie them off in the center with another piece of yarn. Braid each side and knot the ends. Trim off any excess. Center the braids on the head and glue them in place.

Acorn Hat

Top the braids with a darling beret made from the top of an acorn. Jazz it up even more with some crafting berries.

Grow a Beard

A small piece of felt trimmed into the shape of a beard instantly adds character. Glue it into place.

A Pumpkin Princess

Try trimming silk leaves for hair too. As a final touch, fringe the leaf with the scissors to create bangs. Glue on a pipe cleaner for arms.  A hollowed gourd becomes her skirt and her shawl is made from silk leaves. Top her head with a miniature plastic pumpkin for a crown.

A Magical Wizard

Glue on a pipe cleaner for arms and then glue two leaves back to back to form his robe. To make his wizard cap, cut a piece of felt into a very wide triangle, form a cone and glue the edges together. Decorate his hat with a few glitter berries and some moss. Sphagnum moss becomes hair. A small stick glued into his hand becomes his wand. 

Gourd Hats

Hats are made from gourds. Felt and silk leaves morph into hair. Strings of sphagnum moss become a belt. Carefully trimmed silk leaves create a sweetheart neckline on the leaf dress. Silk leaves become pants using the same technique as the ribbon pants mentioned earlier.

Ready for Play

Once completely decorated, set them aside for a little while to dry completely.  Then let the adventures begin!

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