We've had an unusually warm October here in Memphis, so leaves are not quite as bold as they normally are this time of year.  But they're still starting to change and fall so we thought it would be a good week to celebrate leaves!  

Leaf Collage & Drawing

Let leaves inspire your art!  Search for different types of leaves & glue them to your paper.  Turn your leaves into something fun using a pencil.  Outline your pencil marks using a Sharpie.  Finally, finish your picture by painting on a layer of glossy Mod Podge.  This will help seal the color of the leaves.  And don't worry - it dries clear!

Leaf Silhouette Watercolor

Choose a fun shaped leaf & put it on a piece of watercolor paper.  Fill up spray bottles with either liquid watercolors (diluted with a little water) or make your own watercolors using dried up markers.  We used spray bottles normally used for travel sized hair spray.  Spray watercolors on your paper & on top of the leaves.  It works best to hold the bottle about 12" off your paper.  Experiment with different colors and see how they blend.  Finally, pull the leaf off the paper to reveal the silhouette underneath.

Paint with foil 

We're always looking for new things to paint with in the studio.  Kids love experimenting painting with things other than paintbrushes, so we decided to give this a try.  First step is to crinkle aluminum foil into a ball.  Next, dip your foil into different colors of paint & roll it onto the paper to form the leaves.  Finally, use your finger or paintbrush to paint a trunk in.  

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Leaf Garland

This is a great project to use as a holiday decoration at home.  We also had a 5 year old little girl make herself a necklace this morning. The first step is to cut leaves out of fabric and felt.  We collect tons of fabric scraps, mostly leftover from interior design samples, so we have lots of fun patterns and colors of fabric to choose from.  Basic felt works too.  Next, thread the needle with embroidery floss. Younger kids will likely need help threading the needle.  Use a simple running stitch to string the leaves together (see below diagram).  This is a great way to teach kids a running stitch because it doesn't require too much control & they can work on a wide scale.  Continue adding more leaves until you've reached the desired length.

Leaf Rubbings with Watercolor Resist

This takes traditional leaf rubbings to a new level.  Find leaves with fun vein patterns & lay it underneath your paper.  Rub on top using crayons and/or oil pastels & experiment with blending different colors.  Paint on top using watercolors, it will resist the crayon lines and create a beautiful image.

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