Fall Leaf Collage How-To

Create unique collages with your kids and preserve your favorite autumn leaves in a beautiful illustration.

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Leaf Collage

Grab the kids and commemorate the changing seasons with a beautiful collage of end of summer petals and fall leaves. You can illustrate your favorite animals, flowers, landscapes and anything else you like, all while creating wonderful memories.


To make your leaf illustrations you will need leaves and/or petals, newsprint or flower pressing paper and a stack of heavy books. You'll also need scissors and glue, a paint brush and paper to create your collage on. If you want to add details you will need colored pencils, crayons, markers or paint. Whatever you feel most comfortable with.

Foraging For Leaves

The most important things you need for you collage are leaves and petals, so your first step is to find some! Gather leaves of all different sizes, shapes and colors. You won't know for sure which ones you will need until you start creating, so pick a wide variety.

Arranging Leaves

Once you've gathered all your leaves, lay them out on a piece of newsprint or pressing paper small enough to fit under your stack of books. Arrange your leaves on the paper, making sure none of them touch or overlap.

Pressing Leaves

Place another piece of paper on top of your first layer of leaves and place a heavy book on top. Add another layer of leaves, pressed between two sheets of paper, and stack another book on top. Continue layering leaves and books until all of your leaves are in the stack. Finish with a few more heavy books on top.

Handling Pressed Leaves

After a week or two, your leaves should be completely dry and pressed flat. Remove the books and gently peel apart the papers on either side of the leaves. Peel the leaves and petals gently off the paper, they will be delicate.

Shaping Leaves

Now that your leaves are dried and pressed, you can start choosing the perfect colors and shapes to use in your collage. If you can't find the perfect shape, make it by trimming the leaves into whatever shape you need. Leaves can be tricky to cut, so if you're working with kids under eight you'll need to give them some help, or just skip this step.

Planning It Out

Plan out your collage before you start gluing the leaves down. Arrange and layer shapes, and move them around the page until you're happy with the composition. The longer you wait to glue things down, the more flexible you can be!

Gluing And Sealing

Once you're happy with your arrangement, go ahead and glue all of the pieces to the paper. Use a brush to add glue to delicate pieces. Once everything is glued down, seal the whole collage with a thin layer of clear glue or acrylic sealer. This will ensure that your leaves are well attached, and will help your collage last longer.

Finishing Touches

Add any finishing touches with the craft supplies of your choice. Crayons, pencils, pens, markers and paint will all work, so use whatever you are most comfortable with. This is a great way to add eyes and other details that are too small to collage. If you're working with very young kids, you can skip this step.

Ladybug And Butterfly

Leaves and petals are the perfect shape and color for creating insects. Beetles, butterflies and dragonflies are great places to start! Add spots by layering leaves or just painting them on.

Leaf Snake

If you have a lot of little leaves, try making a snake out of them. Overlap them in a long, twisting line and add a larger leaf for the head. Paint a pattern along his back to finish!

Leaf Bird

If you have lots of brightly colored leaves and petals, use them to create a bird. Make the body with large leaves, and add small colorful petals for feathers. Embellish the background with the craft supplies of your choice by adding clouds, birds or a landscape.

Leaf Horse

You can also create a background with leaves instead of paint and pencils. Cut out grass and hills, trees and houses or whatever fits into your collage. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process of creating.