Crafting with Kids: Create a Whimsical Owl with Elements from Nature

Fall leaves and little imagination are all you need for this easy project.
DIY leaf owl

DIY leaf owl

A wise old owl comes to life with a little imagination and found fall items from the yard.

A wise old owl comes to life with a little imagination and found fall items from the yard.

During this time of year, my two children love to collect fall items from the yard. It is a treasure hunt, as they discover beautiful leaves, pinecones and acorns. Each year, they fill paper bag upon bag with their favorites. This year, we decided to use some of their findings to create this wise old owl. Every day, the children seem to find a new place for Mr. Owl. So far, he has spent some time hanging in the window, on the front door and in their bedroom-keeping guard as they sleep. I hope your little ones find making this craft a real “hoot.”


  • Cardboard-18″x12″ piece or so
  • Pencil or Marker
  • Dried fall leaves- an assortment of sizes
  • A few dried corn husks
  • Crafting glue or a hot glue gun (Use caution when using the glue gun with children to prevent burns.)
  • Two acorn tops
  • 1 acorn bottom
  • 1 stick for the perch-approximately 16 inches
  • 4 feet of twine or ribbon

On your cardboard with a pencil or marker, sketch out an oval for the owl’s body, a triangle for the tail, an oval — on its side — for the head and two triangles for ears. Next, with the glue gun, adhere the 16″ stick where the tail and the body meet.

Once the glue adhering to the branch to the cardboard has dried add the corn husks to the tail. Start on the left and work your way across to the right. Overlap the edges of the husks just a bit. Do not worry about overlapping the branch.

At the base of the owl’s body, begin gluing and layering the leaves onto the cardboard. They should begin to resemble  feathers. Start with larger leaves at the bottom of the body. As you layer the leaves, decrease the leaf size as you approach the neck. Stop at the head.

Begin to create the head feathers. The leaves that create the feathers on the head are smaller and applied as you would make a quilt. Start at the ears, fitting the leaves together like a puzzle and gluing them in place on the entire head.

Next, select eyes and a beak for your owl. We glued on two acorn tops for the eyes and an acorn body — minus the top — for the beak.

Once your owl’s feathers are dry cut your twine or ribbon exactly in half. Tie each end of the twine or ribbon to the perch on each side of the owl. Next, join the twine a few inches above the owl’s head and tie it together. To stabilize your owl, you may need to use a bit of hot glue on the cardboard back of your owl to prevent him from flopping down.

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