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Create decorative pressed leaf art to hang on your walls using leaves collected from nature and colourfully painted scrap cardboard.

This is a good way to encourage patterning for kids and, of course, it gets them appreciating nature just a little bit more.

This craft was first published in 2019 and has been updated and reshared for today’s audience

Pressed leaf art for kids, a simple nature art activity with a bright and colourful result #artactivities #kidsart #naturecrafts #autumn #fall #kidsactivities

This easy collage art idea is not only great for Autumn or Fall, but you could also create it with green leaves and flowers collected in Spring or Summer.

It’s quite similar to our leaf art bugs, except the leaves have been pressed before gluing down. This makes them easier to glue down than fresh leaves because they’ve been flattened.

Pressing leaves and flowers is something I used to do as a child with my mum, it’s super easy.

How to press leaves

  1. Collect some leaves in different shapes and colours
  2. Lay out a piece of paper and place the leaves onto it without touching each other
  3. Lay a second sheet of paper on top
  4. Place this between two sheets of scrap cardboard (a cut down piece of cardboard box is perfect)
  5. Place in an out-of-the-way place with a pile of heavy books on top for 1-2 weeks, or until flattened and dry

These leaves were pressed months ago (in our Autumn season) and left in the garage. I have to admit I was disappointed they didn’t retain their colour at all  – boo hoo!

Possibly the reason for this could be that we left them too long (not sure though).

Still, we had a bunch of lovely, flattened leaves to work with for art.

There are lots of beautiful versions of pressed leaf art online, but they are mostly geared towards adults and I wanted to do something a bit different.

We’ve used scraps of card painted in bright colours as the background, which makes our version of this traditional nature craft even more eco-friendly.

materials you will need to make pressed leaf art

You will need:

  • Scrap cardboard cut into different rectangular shapes and sizes – you can make them as big or as small as you like
  • Pressed leaves
  • Craft glue
  • Mod Podge
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush

How to:

  1. Paint your cardboard scraps in different bright colours and allow to dry.
  2. Arrange some leaves onto the cardboard to work out your design before gluing them down.
  3. Glue the leaves into place with craft glue.
  4. Cover the entire board, including the leaves, with mod podge to give it a glossy coating and to protect the leaves from crumbling away.

paint the scrap carboard and allow to dry

arrange your dried leaves into a design before gluing into place

arrange your dried leaves into a design before gluing into place

Glue the leaves into place with mod podge, then paint more mod podge over the top

wait for the mod podge to dry

Create more versions with different colour backdrops so you can work them together on the wall.

Easy nature craft idea for kids - pressed leaves on scrap cardboard which has been painted in bright colours

Stick them to the wall as a seasonal decoration using blu-tack.

This would be a fun collaborative art idea for a family or group of children to work on, where each person creates one artwork and you arrange them together on the wall.

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Pressed leaf wall art idea for kids. Create leaf artworks using leaves collected and pressed and arranged onto scrap pieces of cardboard which have been painted in bright colours #leafart #autumn #kidsart #pressedleaves #thecrafttrain #naturecrafts