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A girl arranging dried leaves on a sheet of white paper.

Leaf Printing and Stencilling

As the seasons begin to change, Mother Nature offers up a beautiful selection of crisp and colourful leaves with which to do all sorts of arts and crafts. Ask your little ones to gather a packet full of leaves and, when the weather is a little unpredictable, sit them down and encourage them to get creative. To ensure minimal stains and smudges, use a water-based paint that can wash out with no hassle and, if you do happen to encounter a tough and burly stain, ensure that you are equipped with a laundry detergent that focuses on stain removal.

What you will need:

  • Various fresh leaves
  • Water-based paints
  • Small paintbrush
  • Old newspaper
  •  Sheets of Old newspaper
  •  An Old toothbrush
  •  Sheets of clean, white paper

What to do:

Leaf printing instructions

  1. Hold a leaf by its stem and paint on one side only;
  2. Lay the leaf (paint side down) on a sheet of paper;
  3. Cover the leaf with a sheet of old newspaper and gently rub;
  4. Remove the newspaper and leaf to reveal the leaf print;
  5. Use different leaves and colours to make a collage.

What to do:

Leaf stencilling instructions

  1. Lay out a selection of leaves onto a sheet of paper. Make sure that you leave gaps of paperbetween them;.
  2. Dip the old toothbrush into the paint. Hold the brush over the leaves and rub your thumb over the bristles so that the paint splatters over the leaves;.
  3. Keep adding more paint and rubbing until the paper and leaves are covered with colourful dots;!
  4. Carefully remove the leaves to reveal the works of art. If your little ones love using their hands to be creative, take a look at OMO’s library of kids’ activities and find a few that suit your needs.