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Create vibrant mandala art with this simple leaf printing technique!

The bright, block colour backgrounds have a pop-art look about them, and a group of these together makes a stunning wall display. Mandala leaf printing is a creative Autumn art activity for older kids, while younger kids like preschoolers would also enjoy the process of leaf printing but it might be easier for them without the mandala patterning.

Mandala art is a good way to learn about and practice symmetry making it a fun STEM or STEAM activity too.

You might also like our DIY nature craft construction kit

mandala leaf printing nature art project for kids

Whilst I’ve themed this activity as an Autumn or Fall art idea, it’s perfect for Spring or Summer too. It doesn’t matter what colour the leaves you are printing with are so long as they are not too dry and crumbly.

Before you make your mandala art you’ll need to head outdoors into nature to find your leaves – this is a great excuse to take the kids for a walk to the park!

I miss the days when my kids would dawdle along picking up interesting-looking sticks, rocks and leaves to bring home. For this activity I had to pick some up off the ground all by myself one morning after walking the girls to school, and it just doesn’t feel the same. Boo-hoo! 

Encourage kids to explore and appreciate nature


materials needed for mandala leaf printing

You will need:

• Bright coloured scrapbook paper, I’ve used card stock. Here is a nice selection of colours, although it doesn’t appear to have the textured affect of the paper above which I really like
Acrylic paint  – this paint is good for gaining a bright, opaque colour against the equally-bright background. Poster paints or a good quality kids paint would also work well. 
• Paintbrushes – a soft, wide one is best
• Leaves in assorted shapes and sizes

How To:

  1. Add some colour to a leaf using your paint brush
  2. Press your leaf onto the paper, somewhere near the middle but slightly off-centre so you can create a mandala pattern. Rub the back of the leaf with your fingers in order to get a better and more detailed print.
  3. Slowly peel the leaf away.
  4. Repeat, using different leaves, in a circular and symmetrical mandala pattern.


• It may help to lay the leaves out in the pattern of your choice before you print it to ensure it fits and works well in the space
• You can use the same leaf multiple times if using the same colour

leaf printing step 1

leaf printing step 2

leaf printing step 3

leaf printing completed project

leaf print in progress

mandala leaf print artwork on green background

See, super simple! I love how bright and colourful they turned out.

We were left with these painted leaves, what project could we work them into?


• Create outdoor nature art using materials from your garden
• Use chalk and nature to create drawings outside
• Make your own ochre paint from rocks
• Head to a nearby beach (or sandpit) and create earth art
• Here are 20 ways to create art from nature  by some of my favourite creative bloggers from around the web

mandala leaf printing process art idea for kids